I was on my way from the Sheridan bar after-party for Cary Fukanaga‘s Beasts of No Nation (which kicks the shit out of you but is a work of undeniable visual poetry of war and carnage — a 21st Century successor to Apocalypse Now) and had just passed Alpine Street when I ran into a 20something woman who seemed a bit unnerved. Even a bit scared. If a woman strikes up a conversation with a total stranger on a really dark street, you can assume she’s been motivated by something.
“Have you seen any bears?” she asked me. “Uhhm, no, I haven’t,” I smirked. “Seriously, I’ve been coming to this festival for five years and I’ve never even heard of bears in town.” But she was serious.
She: “I’m telling you I just saw two bears walking down this street…really, no joke.” Me: “Really?” She: “Actually walking on the sidewalk.” Me: “You’re kidding! Really? How big were they?” She: “One was bigger and the other was smaller. Probably a mama bear and a baby bear on a scavenge hunt.”
We discussed ways of scaring them off or at least, you know, avoiding getting attacked. Make a lot of noise, she said. I said I’d heard you’re supposed to be cool and stand your ground and not run. I don’t think bears are very aggressive unless a mama bear thinks you might hurt her cub, I added. But what does a city slicker know?
The point is that I believed the woman. She was definitely a little bit freaked, and I’m 98% convinced that she actually saw a couple of bears strolling down Colorado Avenue. Sometime around 12 midnight or 12:05 am.