This afternoon it was freezing cold out. At least, it felt freezing cold for San Francisco weather. I walked briskly over to 17th and Potrero and took the 33 Stanyan home from work. Everyone was in a good mood.
Three nurses from SF General helped a woman figure out how to get to Mission and 18th.
At Potrero and 16th a couple of teenagers got on. The girl spent the next 20 minutes shouting into her cell phone: "A las seis y media," she kept repeating. "Si, a las seis y media. Seis y media."
She and her friend tumbled out at 18th and Dolores.
A mom with three kids got on at Castro. One of her little boys fell asleep immediately. The mom kept ruffling his hair saying, "te vas a caer" each time he started sliding down the seat. His little sister started poking his arm, and when that didn't work, the older brother, who was sitting across from them, offered him a handful of Skittles. The boy was still asleep, so the mom and the sister put a few Skittles into his open mouth. That woke him up, sort of. He was still tired, and annoyed at them for waking him. They had the whole bus smiling and watching them.
At Castro the usual bunch of restaurant workers and handsome men filed onto our bus. A woman struggled with a large, cloth-covered animal cage. She slid it under her seat.
A girl with a thick French accent asked, "Is a rabbit?"
The woman shook her head. "Guinea Pig."
The older boy's eyes grew wide. "Guinea Pig?" he asked curiously. The way he said it I had the feeling he had never seen one before.
At the next stop the little boy said, "Can I see it?"
The woman shook her head. "Not on the bus. But if you're getting out at the next stop I'll show you, because I'm getting out, too."
The boy's family was getting out at her stop. As the bus pulled away, I saw that she had made good on her promise: all three kids were bending down on their knees to get a look at the Guinea Pig. The woman had pulled back the cover just enough so that they could see it, and poke their fingers through the cage to pet it.