Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Bus Report #202

Late Valentine's Post

I wanted to get my haircut before my trip to Portland (which was well over a week ago now), so I hopped on a 22 that was only going as far as the Potrero Center. This was fine, because my whole plan was to catch a 33 up to the Haight, anyway.

When I got on the 22, I noticed a lot of people carrying flowers or Valentine's-themed gift bags. I was surprised to see one of the regulars from the 10 Townsend, who was sitting in the front of the bus clutching a bouquet of flowers.
For convenience sake, let's call him BT and let's have BT stand for Beantown. There is just something about this guy that reminds me of Boston. I think it's his attitude. His style of dress is non-descript for the most part: black jeans, black skateboarding sweatshirt, ball cap. wallet on a chain. Skating sneakers. But he has an overall attitude that seems direct and blunt, New England-y in it's practicality.

"How sweet," I thought, watching BT shift in his seat so as not to crush the flowers. "He's taking a different bus than usual to bring his girlfriend flowers."

At Potrero everyone got out of the bus and went to wait in the stop in front of the nasty chicken chain.
BT stood nearby me. We both watched a girl with a seeing eye dog walk over near the bus shelter. She wasn't blind, not that I could tell. Maybe she was just training the dog or something.
No buses came at all.

BT saw me and smiled. We ride the 10 Townsend together a lot, and he always says "Hi," or "How's it going?" as he makes his way to the back of the bus.

"Hey," BT said. "Does the bus that stops here go up to Mission?"
"Sure," I told him. "Actually, all the buses that stop here do. So you've got a bunch of choices."
"Cool," he said. "I never go this way, but I got to go visit my buddy in the hospital."
I gasped, said, "God, I'm so sorry."
BT just shrugged. "Nah, it's cool," he said. "He's in one of them... What's it called? When like, they pay you to be in the hospital?"
"A medical study?" I offered.
"Yeah, one of those. So when he gets out, he'll have, like, a couple thousand dollars or something. But he's real bored right now, so... I'm gonna go visit."
I looked at the bouquet of flowers. Not for a girlfriend, after all, I thought. He's bringing them to his friend in the hospital. Still sweet, but in a totally different way.

The 22 came before the 33 did.
"See you around," he said before getting on his bus.


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