On my way to my friend's house in Bernal Heights this evening I heard children giggling from across the street and then, from a recycling bin, a monster in a Halloween mask jumped out. Why? Because it had just been cleaned, the kids across the street explained.

The monster closed the lid. I knocked twice and he came back out. I asked him if he was Oscar the Grouch. He shook his head and closed the lid. I knocked again. He came back out. I showed him my notebook and asked him what books he liked to read, but he didn't answer. He closed the lid and didn't come back out again.