Monday, February 09, 2009

Bus Report #403


After spending the afternoon with the Teacher's Pet, I waited in a bus shelter at 9th and Irving for a 44 O'Shaughnessy, or the 'ghost bus', as the Teacher's Pet calls it. Just before the bus pulled in to our stop, a woman joined us. She was wearing several jackets, lace gloves, thick glasses, a hat, and had a round, plaid shawl-thingy.
I said "goodbye" to the Teacher's Pet and got on the bus. I ended up sitting right behind the strange woman. She took off her plaid shawl-thingy, and I saw what it really was: it was basically an umbrella without the metal parts. She must have had an old broken umbrella, and just took off the fabric part. Strange.


This morning, I had a long wait for the 38. It finally showed up, late, and I sat down next to this woman I see most mornings. This woman is probably in her forties but still dresses like a teenager, in flared jeans, fake fur collared jackets, you name it. I know she gets out at Divisadero and I was all set to get up so she could get out of our seat. She did not bother asking me to move, nor did she acknowledge me at all when I stood up for her. Okay. I guess she acts like a teenager, too.

The 22 came a minute after I got to the stop. It was the nice but slow driver. I got on and sat in front of the older gentleman who always has a briefcase with him. He spent most of the ride opening and closing the briefcase.
The bus smelled terrible: like chlorine bleach being used to cover up vomit, blood and something yeasty. Most of the windows were open but it didn't help.
A few middle school girls got on and started talking about the smell.
"It smells like bleach," said girl #1
"I don't know what kind of bleach YOU use," said girl #2.
"No, for real, and like, that fabric softener with the baby on it, you know? Tide?" said girl #1.
I thought, no, I think that's Downy.
"Oh, you mean Bounce!" said girl #3.

At Church and Market, our poles fell down, or got caught in the wires, or something. Our driver got out and spent a few minutes trying to reposition the poles. Then, he climbed up the side of the bus (right outside my window) and stood on the roof. I watched his reflection in a window across the street: He stood on top of the bus and then moved towards the poles. He separated them, then carefully climbed back down to street level. Another quick maneuver and we were ready to roll.

I noticed that no-name sushi is now completely boarded up. I wonder what will happen with that building.

We flew down 16th, barely making any stops. I got out at my usual stop and got some coffee, then walked the rest of the way to work. My friend at the garage was washing down the sidewalk. We exchanged "hellos" and I kept going.


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