Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Bus Report #218

This morning, on a very crowded yet eerily quiet bus, I felt someone gently tapping my shoulder. It was early and I was still sleepy.
I turned around to see what the tapper wanted.
It was the handsome South Asian chef.
"You wouldn't happen to have a tissue, would you?" he asked me quietly.
For you, I have a whole pack, I thought. Instead I just said, "Sure, hold on a sec."
I dug out my little packet of tissues and passed it back to him. "Use as many as you like," I said.
Another tap on my shoulder. "Thanks," he said, handing the pack back to me.
"You're welcome," I replied.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Bus Report #217

Not much to report this week on the bus. It's been pretty boring and routine.

The handsome South Asian chef has been on my 22 every day. He is still coughing, I hope his cold goes away soon.

The teen who always has to stand in front of me has almost missed the bus for the past two days, and I can't help but feel a little happy about this.

A man we'll just call 'QSAM' (as in, Quit Staring At Me) has managed to sit in a spot every day this week that gives him a good view of where I'm sitting. He thinks I don't see that he is staring, but I notice. He is most definitely staring. And not in a flattering way.

I saw BT last night as I was walking towards Thee Parkside. He said, "No bus tonight?" and I said, "Nope, Parkside." He smiled and nodded. If you work in our neighborhood, you know Thee Parkside.

This morning an elderly lady with a walker was waiting at the bus stop. When the bus pulled up, we all parted to let her on first, but she insisted we all get on because she was only going one stop and was going to sit right up front. She was sweet.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bus Report #216

This morning the Alien Donut Man was on my 38 Geary again. I put on my sunglasses (at 7 AM) so as to be in disguise. I doubt it worked, but who knows?
He sat diagonally across from me, his back straight and his hands clamped over his knees.
I did my best to look in the other direction.

At Fillmore I waited for the 22 with the handsome South Asian chef, the teen who always stands in front of me, and a couple other people.
The bus came late, and it was already crowded. I ended up sitting next to a kid who had sprawled out in his seat. He was taking up a lot of my space, so I slowly pushed his leg out of my way.
My feeling is: unless you pay for two fares, you are giving me all the room I am entitled to. Of course, not everyone thinks this way. Case in point: the teen who always stands in front of me took up a whole seat to herself. She was spread out in the seat with her backpack beside her. She didn't move for anyone.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Bus Report #215

Last Wednesday I walked down to catch the bus. The 22 Fillmore was stopped at my stop, but I didn't think I had a chance to catch it so I didn't bother to run.
As I got closer I could see that there was a police car parked in front of the bus. Ebony was standing over to the side.
I crossed the street. "They're finally coming for you, huh?" I asked her. She laughed. Then she lowered her voice. "It's the kids," she said.
Apparently a group of ISA students had gotten on the bus but refused to pay. When the driver told them to pay their fares or get out, they started yelling and threatening him instead of just getting out. So the driver called the cops.

Ebony and I watched as the cops (maybe two or three cops) tried to get the kids to disperse. There were about ten kids, and the sight of the cops did nothing to get them to move. Instead, the kids started cursing out the cops, too. More cops arrived.
We thought, 'good, maybe they'll take them all down to juvie to calm down'. Nope. Our 10 Townsend pulled up and we got on, just as the cops told the kids to get out of there. No one got written up, no one got taken in.
We were not happy. These kids pull this kind of stunt every day, and it's stupid. If I have to pay to ride the bus, they should too. They can afford meals at MacDonald's and the latest fashion, but they can't save $10.00 a month to buy a student pass?
Not to mention, they were so riled up after the incident, it was pretty obvious they'd cause more trouble with the next bus that came by, or else they'd start trouble with anyone who got in their way.
It was lame. The cops should have done something.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bus Report #214

Tonight I rode the 10 with Ebony again.
At his stop, BT got on and said hi, and I could tell he was listening to our conversation.
We started talking about the regulars and I said, "I remember this time when this woman was yelling at you in Chinese. Remember that?"
Ebony started to laugh. "Oh, god, she was crazy!"
"I wasn't sure what was going on with that," I said. "It didn't look like you had done anything to her."
She shook her head. "No, she was telling me the front seats are for the elderly and the disabled, and she said since I wasn't elderly or disabled I need to move to the back!"
Which was funny, since Ebony is a proud 68 year-old lady. Fit and most definitely not disabled, but certainly old enough to sit wherever she likes. We had a good laugh about that.

Bus Report #213

I rode the 10 Townsend last night with Ebony and D.
They had never met before so I introduced them before D. could retreat into his headphones world.
From downtown I caught an already very crowded 38 Limited. The bus was completely packed by the time we got to Montgomery Street, which is very unusual. Instead of just dropping people off and not taking on new passengers, our driver stopped at every stop.
What a nightmare.
We spent ten minutes at Fillmore because the people in the back would not step up out of the stairwell. Finally, the man sitting next to me and a bunch of other people started yelling at them and gesturing that they needed to step up or get out all together.
Finally, we were moving again.
Still and all, it was such a horrendous ride I got out six stops early and walked the rest of the way home.
Mondays, jeez.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Bus Report #212

Last night I dreamt I was waiting for the bus under the freeway near Duboce/13th Street. Nothing came for a long time, there were a lot of people, and I was carrying a ton of stuff.
Finally, the bus came. It turned in to a train and the destination sign said "De Haro Street to 6th Street & Dash-- Grownups only"
It was a grownups only train! The kids started protesting and rioting, and the driver started to close the doors.
"Wait, Wait, I'm a grownup!" I said, struggling though the door with all my stuff. I paid my fare and sat down on the clean, quiet, childless bus/train.
Weird dream, indeed.

This morning I was on the 38 Geary. At the 9th Avenue stop I saw a flash of blue out of the corner of my eye, a particular shade of blue: The color of the Alien Donut Man's jacket.
He got on the bus, walking slowly. Both his feet were encased in blue hospital socks and those Velcro medical slippers (for when you break your foot or something). He caught my eye, nodded, and sat down RIGHT ACROSS FROM ME.
I did not know what to do, at all. I acknowledged that he was sitting a foot away from me, he acknowledged that he was sitting a foot away from me, then I did my best not to stare at him.
The way he moves his head is like a baby bird, and he occasionally opened and closed his mouth like a fish. At one point, he tried to stand up but his legs were too wobbly so he sat back down.
I felt a surge of concern for him. I pictured lending him my shoulder as support as he got out of the bus.
Instead I got out of the bus first.

As I was walking to work I passed Emiliano. He was outside of a disgusting coffee chain store drinking coffee and leaning on his bicycle. Green flannel shirt and red Team Zissou hat present and accounted for.