From the women’s bathroom on the first floor of the San Francisco Public Library’s main branch came that ripe, familiar tang.
On this day, the stench came from one of the disabled-access stalls, where, through the cracks in the door, a cart heaped with belongings was visible.
Informed of the situation, custodian Richard Mathews asked, “Was she naked?”In college, the textbook for my Abnormal Psychology class pushed the Next Big Thing: storefront community mental health clinics to provide easy, non-threatening care and meds so that the severely mentally ill could be de-institutionalized. It struck me then as a fantasy. Decades later, the reality hasn’t worked out too well either.