Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Bus Report #173

Waited for the 22 with the dreadlocked dental technician. It was on time, one of my new favorite drivers. As usual Carmen had saved me a seat so we chatted and laughed our way down to the Mission.

At 16th and Mission a man got on the bus who looked so familiar to me but I couldn't place him for the longest time. Then it occurred to me that I DID know him, sort of... He looked just like one of the characters in last year's novel! I kept sneaking glances right up until I got to my stop.

I handed my thermos to the girl at the coffee shop. "Where's your red one?" she asked.
"Oh, don't worry, it's at home," I replied. They seem to love my red thermos over there. Not so into the blue one I guess.

Chris Daly was stumping in front of Safeway. As he and a volunteer tried to give me fliers I said, "No, thanks, I don't live in this district."
I wish him luck.

On the walk from Potrero to work I saw three crazy people talking to themselves (they were not on cellphones, I checked) and one man carrying a stack of broken-down cardboard boxes on his head.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Bus Report #172

7 AM this morning:

A sign on the 38 Geary that said 'please move back' was vandalized to read: 'please love back'
I'm trying.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bus Report #171

Three things:

The dreadlocked security guard is actually a dreadlocked dental technician (how did I misread that one?)

Carmen thinks when she dies her husband will marry a telenovela actress.

It's hard enough carrying on a conversation on MUNI, but imagine if you were like these two guys I saw this morning: They were deaf, trying to sign to each other while hanging onto the overhead straps at the same time. They had to sign one-handed, and close to their bodies so as not to bump the teenagers with big backpacks and the Cor-O-Van guys.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Story of The Alien Donut Man

I first saw the Alien Donut Man over four years ago, when M. and I took our first trip out to the Richmond for a little adventuring. He was on our 38 Geary: A tall man, sitting rigidly upright, thin white hair on a shrunken head.
There was something about him that made us stare at him. Maybe it was his demeanor but most likely it was the way he sat so perfectly still, staring straight ahead. He seemed so out of place and uncomfortable. Alien-like.
M. and I got out at 6th and wandered around, past the Irish pubs and Chinese restaurants that are now a symbol of home for me.
We passed an all night donut shop. Much to our surprise, the Alien Donut Man was sitting alone in the middle of the shop, with a donut and coffee in front of him. Again he was sitting upright and still. Unmoving.
We wondered if he had come all the way out to the Richmond just to get a donut and coffee. We decided he had.
That was it for a while. It wasn't until I moved out to the Richmond that I saw him again. He had a tendency to sit in the same place in the donut shop every evening. I would walk by and stare at him. He never moved.
Once I was going to the Castle for some fish and chips and I saw him in the lobby of the residential hotel across the street. I was with A. and I exclaimed, "Look, it's the Alien Donut Man!" I was excited to have discovered this latest bit of information: he lived in the hotel. He traveled on the bus for at least fifteen minutes each way to go to the donut shop. But why? I wanted to find out.
There's no answer yet, though. I still see him all the time at the donut shop. K. told me I shouldn't stare at him so I tried to stop, but it's really hard.
Lately, we have been catching each other's eyes when I pass by.
Thursday I nodded my head at him, slowly.
Yesterday he locked eyes with me as I crossed the street and I lifted my hand in a small, half-wave.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Bus Report #170

I have had only marginal bus luck this week. Despite leaving my house earlier than normal, I managed to be late for my connection at Fillmore for three days in a row. Something must be wrong with the 38 this week. Every morning they have been packed full of all the regulars and more and more students as the days went on.
Today I was even earlier for the bus and I caught it, along with the Russian business man, a student, and a woman who kept trying to flag down the 38L, which does not stop at our street.
At Fillmore I caught the 22, problem-free, and sat/chatted with Carmen. I think we were talking about racism, but I wasn't quite sure. I smiled, nodded, listened, but was confused for most of the ride.
At Hayes, the dreadlocked security guy got out. I said, "have a good weekend."
Carmen nudged me. "Are you stealing my boyfriend?" she asked.
I heard myself reply, "he's not my boyfriend." How old am I? Twelve?
We both had a laugh.

As I walked to work from the coffee shop I saw a 10 Townsend coming down De Haro. I scanned it to see if the Teacher's Pet was on board, but she wasn't. A moment later, I saw a flash of green jacket and several bulging tote bags coming around the corner.
Poor Teacher's Pet had missed her bus, by about 30 seconds. I stood with her and talked for a couple minutes, then we went our separate ways.
Good luck today, Teacher's Pet!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Bus Report #169

Buses I took yesterday:
38 Geary: To and from the Fillmore to buy Julieta Venegas ticket.
Then, to Trader Joe's for groceries.

22 Fillmore: Back home from Potrero Hill.
Watched the burning man people go to their reunion party in their crazy costumes.
Watched the anti-burning man folks at Thee Parkside throw an even crazier heavy metal/pig roast/motorcycle rally party of their own. If there is any doubt, Thee Parkside ruled the day, most definitely.

2 Clement: Listened to the new Pernice Brothers album three times while waiting for the 2 Clement. Took the bus straight home.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bus Report #168

This morning on the 38 Geary:
Muni dispatch came over our driver's PA system, saying that someone on the route had their 911 Emergency sign flashing and could all drivers please check if it was theirs. The announcement then said if it was a real emergency to radio dispatch.
My driver immediately pulled over and ran out of the bus. She bounded back in a moment later, her long braids swinging as she came up the steps.
"It's not me," she said, grinning.
I think I was the only person awake enough to appreciate her sassy grin and energetic-at-7-AM demeanor.