Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bus Report #826

This morning's commute, uneventful and almost the same as yesterday's.

My favorite 38 Geary driver was working today, and it was nice to see him.

We got to Fillmore a moment after the 38L so there were already a few people waiting at my stop - the same construction guys as yesterday, as well as the creepy guy who was, once again, napping in the bus stop, his can of beer balanced beside him on the bench.

He stood up and tried talking to the construction workers, who ignored him, and then to me again. I don't like anyone I don't know well standing so close to me, so I stepped away from him, told him I didn't feel like talking. He kept talking, anyway.

On the bus I sat next to a girl in patterned leggings and Ray Bans. She spent the whole ride staring at her phone.

We got to Hayes and I scanned the corner looking for either the pretty man, or Mister Fantastic. Or, preferably, the both of them.
But today was not the day to matchmake these two.
No pretty man, but welcome back Mister Fantastic, back on the bus after his time off (or his earlier bus, or his ride to work, who knows).

He looked dressed for battle today. Black jeans, black jacket, camo tote bag, bright red sneakers, new grey baseball cap.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bus Report #825

Pretty man was on my bus tonight, so for daily symmetry's sake I slipped into the seat beside him.


Bus Report #824

This morning the 38 was late so I walked up to the next stop and caught a 38L. The man sitting next to me would barely budge, taking up most of the seat with his legs wide open and his arms crossed so that his shoulders and elbows dug into me as the bus swayed.

Down on Fillmore I waited for the 22 with the construction worker who always stands too close to me and his friends, the man who never closes his mouth and another man who always tries to shove his way onto the bus even if the bus is empty.

A man was napping in the bus stop but he woke up and started following and talking to a woman who looked as though she'd seen better mornings. She crossed the street and the man doubled back, tried to get my attention. I didn't want to talk with him, so I shook my head and gestured in the direction of the bus. Leave me alone, I said. I'm just waiting for the bus. He turned to a boy who had just arrived, a tall blond kid in a Ghostbusters T-shirt. He stood very close to the boy and said something to him, and laughed, and said it again.

The three construction workers left, walking up Fillmore to the next stop. The boy and the man exchanged another few words and the man wandered off.

When the bus arrived I got on and sat in a window seat, listened to music and zoned out.

A few stops later, pretty man got on and walked to the back of the bus, sliding into the seat beside me. He moves like a dancer - fluidly, self-assured. Crossed his legs and balanced his leather pouch on his knees. Today's outfit was a watch cap, black shoes, black jeans, black flowy top over a grey shirt, slim watch with a black rubber watch band.

Still no sign of his future - Mister Fantastic is still out of town, or sleeping in, or staycationing.

At my stop, pretty man folded his leather pouch under his arm and stood up in one quick movement.
"Thanks," I said. He ducked his head and half-smiled, and sat back down.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Bus Report #823

This afternoon the 22 Fillmore was late, and then packed. And I had to be somewhere in 20 minutes.

The bus pulled in to the Bryant and 16th stop. A dozen more people tried to pack their way into the back of the bus. On the sidewalk, two rough-looking girls squatted in front of two large paper cups and three pints of ice cream. One girl scooped ice cream from pint container to paper cup, really cramming it in there. Ice cream dripped on her leg, and onto the ground. As the bus pulled away, I saw a jar of maraschino cherries on the pavement between the girls' knees.

I got to my stop with a few minutes to spare. The folks standing in the stepwell were friendly. They stepped down so a few of us could get out. "Thanks," I called back to them as I crossed the street at the light.

Later, I walked down 17th to catch the 24 Divisadero bus. The only empty seat was next to a girl who was a dead ringer for Dorothy Gale - if Dorothy was a tall woman with close cropped brown hair and beautiful dark skin. She wore a blue and white polka dot dress with a white and blue kerchief in her pocket, red glasses, a shiny red belt that matched her red purse, and sneakers. I had a feeling she had some shiny red shoes tucked into her bag.
"Great outfit," I said, sliding in to the window seat.
"Oh, thanks," she said. "It's for an audition."
I saw then that she was reading a script on her tablet.
"Well, I hope you get the part," I said.
"Thanks," she said. For the rest of the ride she worked on memorizing her lines, whispering them to herself as we rode down Divisadero.
I saw a page of the script she was reading. It was a musical based on a fairy tale. But it is a better story if I tell you it was The Wizard of Oz.
So let's go with that.

Bus Report #822

Friday morning, pretty man was on the bus again but no amount of wishing brought Mister Fantastic. Maybe he's on vacation.

This morning my 22 Fillmore driver was Lacey's replacement. She had a great new hairdo and I complemented her, we chatted a moment and then I went to sit down.

The ride was easy and uneventful, mostly people sleepwalking to work, and quiet.

At Mission and 16th there was the usual deluge of new passengers. A blonde girl with too much makeup and her boyfriend, in a blue polo shirt and khakis, got on and walked to the back of the bus. A moment later they rushed up front and gestured to the back of the bus, and Lacey's replacement promptly put our bus out of service.

I never found out what was wrong but I don't know that I believe it was anything truly horrible - wouldn't the rest of us have noticed a bad smell, or a crazy person, someone passed out, human waste on seats, or something like that?

A herd of us walked down 16th Street, people peeling off here and there, the blonde and her boyfriend turning down South Van Ness. I wondered why they had even bothered getting on the bus to go 1 block. I thought, just for a moment, that maybe whatever had happened wasn't bad and if they had never gotten on the bus to begin with we might have continued on, without any trouble.

I didn't mind the walk the rest of the way down 16th to work, even though it added extra time to my commute.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bus Report #821

This morning on the 22 Fillmore, a new passenger. He was a very pretty man, mustached  and bearded, wearing a black and white flowing top, black T-shirt, tight jeans cuffed mid-calf, with shiny black shoes and a scarf expertly twisted around his head.
He had a smart phone with a neon green case and held a large leather pouch on his lap. His long, delicate fingers rested on top of the pouch.

I got excited and thought, this is it, Mister Fantastic's new boyfriend.

Because really - a mutual love of bright neon, and Mister Fantastic's wristlet would look good next to pretty man's leather pouch.

I hoped - and I mean HOPED - that Mister Fantastic would be on the bus, not that I could telepathically matchmake the two of them, but it wasn't to be. Mister Fantastic was nowhere to be found, and pretty man got out at Church and Market.



Later, at 16th and Mission, I watched a woman try to pry open the door of the public toilet. I don't know if she succeeded.

Got my coffee and walked down 16th, waved to the guys at the garage and walked up the hill to work.

Along the way, four pigeons narrowly avoided flying into me. I wondered for a moment if I was invisible to pigeons.

And then, some sort of flying bug hit me squarely in the forehead. Invisible to bugs too, I guess.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bus Report #820

As seen from the window of the 22 Fillmore yesterday:

A skinny woman, staggering down the sidewalk. Leathery sunburned face, meth teeth. She wore a T-shirt that read: I LOVE MY LIFE.


Monday, July 07, 2014

Bus Report #819

Just returned from a trip back east and I ran in to three regular 22 and 38 riders, all on the same day.

In my neighborhood market I saw the woman who always wears knit hats and heavy coats, even in warm weather. She works a block or so away from me and we often catch the 22 together. She lives in Marin and I was surprised to see her three blocks from my house.
I tapped her on the arm, gently, and we exchanged warm greetings while bagging fresh produce. "Have a good day!" she said, filling her basket and getting into the check out line.

Later, on my way downtown to meet up with some family friends, I saw Sunny, who I used to ride the 22 and the 2 Clement with before she switched jobs. She saw me and said, "Hey, honey, how you doing?" We chatted a bit and then we reached her stop. It was nice to see her after such a long time - I think it's been almost a year.

Toward the end of the day I headed out into the avenues to go to the bank, and an early morning 38 Geary rider waved as she walked toward me. She was on her phone and had her hands full of grocery sacks, but she grinned and nodded and mouthed, "Hi!" and continued on her way.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bus Report #818

Yesterday morning, as seen from (and on) the 22 Fillmore.

Down near Fillmore and Turk, before 7 AM, a man set up a makeshift barbershop - just one stool and one black barber's smock for his customers. There were already two men waiting and one man sitting on the stool getting a trim.

Mister Fantastic got on at Hayes - floral print shirt, Giants cap, camo bag, baggy jeans. His best accessory? His air of confidence.

At Church and Duboce two women who look so much alike they could be sisters got on the bus. I don't think they even know each other, but the resemblance is really something. For a while I thought they were the same person, just with a different hair style every other day, until they both started catching the bus at the same time. One of them, the one who works at Safeway, sat beside me. The other woman, who works for a national car rental chain, sat in front of us.