Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Bus Report #135

A tale of two commutes

Yesterday: The 38 I usually take does not show up. Fleece Jacket Guy, Mr. Polite, Headphones Woman, Mrs. Pushy and I wait for 10 minutes.
When a 38 does show up, it immediately shudders to a halt and the lights go out. Mr. Polite and I exchange glances. "Monday," We mutter in unison.
The bus wakes up a moment later, and chugs along to 6th Ave.
Where it promptly gives up the ghost. The driver can't get the back doors open so we all file out through the front. There's a 38 right behind us and we all pile on.

At Fillmore, its raining. I wait under the shelter with the little family, standing as far away from the crazy homeless infected foot guy. Who is yelling at everyone within a two-mile radius, asking for cigarettes and lights and change.
Everyone ignores him. I turn up the volume on my Walkman.

The bus comes, and it is a new driver. How do I know this?
1. He lets the crazy man on the bus. None of the other drivers do, because he is really belligerent to other passengers.
2. He stops for the Watchtower ladies. Everyone knows they just sit in the bus shelter and never get on.

So I get to work later than usual, and it takes an hour!

Fast forward to today:
The 38 we usually take never shows up. The one that does come goes super fast, so that we are at Fillmore in 15 minutes.
The 22 is coming. I book it down Geary, with the little family running just ahead of me and a few other regulars bringing up the rear.
The bus is empty, I get a good seat.
At Church near the Safeway, someone has arranged the contents of several cases or oranges on a bench, along the fence, randomly placed on top of newspaper boxes, and even on one of the homeless people's trashbags. The oranges all have black stickers on them, but I can't read what they say.
The same guy who sat beside me yesterday (balancing a cup of coffee and a copy of Confederacy of Dunces) sits next to me again.
He smells like old beer, but he is polite and very into his book.
A woman with a shamrock tattoo on her wrist stands near us clutching the bar.
Our awesome driver won't let people in through the back, and she is no nonsense. We fly down 16th Street.
She puts some fare evaders off the bus at Mission.
We are so fast I am able to stop at the Potrero Center to get my little red thermos filled with coffee.
So three cheers for my 38 driver and my 22 driver this morning, whoever you are, you are brilliant!


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