This has got to be a hell day for the evangelical Christians. I'm going out on a limb here, but I think Halloween is the fastest growing holiday in the world. It crosses cultural lines even better than Christmas. It's not about anything Christian, despite it's origin, but is something more basic than that. For awhile I thought it was a Gay thing. That's because my first encounter with Halloween as an adult was in my early Gay days in New Orleans. It was an intense holiday in the late 70s in New Orleans. I moved on to San Francisco in the 80s and it was pretty intense here, too. First difference I noticed was it wasn't just a Gay thing in San Francisco. It was a young adults holiday all over California. Those straight kids dressed up and had a good time, let me tell you!
This year, Halloween fell on the perfect day of it's possible cycle: Sunday. The result was ten days of party in San Francisco, and I bet the rest of the world as well. The party mode intensified all week.
Friday in the Castro the sidewalks were crowded, the bars even more so. Lots of costumes and lots of drag, some good, some ... well, let's just say not everyone looks good in a dress and wig. As for walking in high heels, practice boys, practice, BEFORE you go out in public. Not everyone in costume was in drag. Quite the contrary. I thought more than half the crowd was straight. They come to the Castro because it's a neighborhood that celebrates diversity, and that diversity includes straight men who get a kick out of doing drag, straight men and women who enjoy doing serious costume and look for an appreciative audience, couples of all combination of culture, gender, race bringing their children to take in the carnival atmosphere that accompanies this holiday of bizaare.
Saturday afternoon I was getting ready to get into my Elvis drag when a friend asked for some serious help from me. I think it's quite rude for friends to have urgent needs that conflict with my social life. Rude I tell you, rude. It's rude because you know you don't have the option of saying no. They wouldn't be asking you to help if they didn't need it. Of course, if they had listened to your advice prior to making certain decisions that put them in the place where they are, they wouldn't be needing your help right now, now would they?
Instead of partying last night in my hot Elvis costume, I helped a friend move. I am too old for this shit. I did it with grace and humor, though. I complained not. Today I'm wearing a brace. I consider myself lucky. I'm sore from the strain, but nothing popped, pulled, spasm'd, or - god forbid- broke. Soreness passes quickly, but not quickly enough to make the idea of going out tonight into that madness sound attractive. Instead, I'm staying home and playing the part of terrified homeowner who pays a tribute to the ghosts and goblins who play about this night.
I have this ugly vision in my head of my roommate coming home and finding me passed out on the couch, chocolate smeared around my mouth, on my hands, hundreds of candy wrappers strewed about me, and me looking up at him and saying "I kept waiting for the kids. I waited and waited and waited."
I still don't "get" Halloween, but you don't have to understand something to enjoy it. Celebrate friends, celebrate. "Life's a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death." Happy Halloween.