Sunday, April 12, 2009

Bus Report #418

In which I prove yet again that teenagers don't scare me.

Thursday afternoon I left work a few minutes early and headed down the hill to catch the bus. A 22 pulled up and I got on, working my way through the crowd to the back. It was strange... People were standing but there were a couple empty seats in the back row. Suckers, I thought.
There was a guy sitting against the left side window, a large teenage girl with a crocheted blanket, huge purse and a tiny kitten in the middle seat and another teenage girl in the right side window.
There was more space between the two girls than between the large girl and the guy, so I smiled at the large girl and said, "Would you mind moving your stuff so I can get in the seat without hitting you with my bag, please?" Not a terribly difficult request, I thought.
Both girls looked at me. The large one tried to stare me down. The other girl sucked her teeth at me.
I asked again if the large girl would move, but she wouldn't budge, so I sighed and squeezed past her to sit down. She immediately started sighing and sucking her teeth, muttering about how rude I was to try to sit down when plenty of people were standing. She yanked her purse and blanket away from me, as I had asked her to do before I sat down.
"Why she got to sit down?" the large girl asked the other girl. "I mean shit, there's plenty of room to stand."
The other girl said, "She rude."
I said, "I don't see what the problem is. I'm not gonna stand if there's a place to sit." I did not add what I thought, which was, I am not afraid of 15 year old girls.
The girl in the window had plenty of space: she was perched on the edge of her seat, with plenty of space for her stuff. I was not in her way at all. She looked at the other girl and said, "Dominique, can you move so she can move the fuck over and give me some space?"
The large girl moved over an inch or so, grudgingly. "Now you slide over so my sister has some space," she commanded.
"Don't worry about her sister, she's got plenty of space," I said.
"Don't you be telling me about my sister," she said. For fucking crying out loud, I thought. I felt like saying something like, I'm probably the same age as your mama, or older, you talk to her like that? But the reality was, they probably did.
They kept talking about me as we slowly crawled down 16th Street. Four blocks later we were at Potrero. The guy sitting right in front of me got up and moved. I decided to take his seat: Didn't want to deal with the kids anymore. I was tired and had been working all day. I just wanted to zone out a little and relax. I settled in my new seat.
"Well shit, it's about time," said the large girl. I didn't bother mentioning to her that we'd only gone about four stops.
"Seriously, who she think she is?" said her sister.
She thinks she's an adult who works all day and likes to sit on the bus on her way home, a bus she actually paid for with her fast pass, I thought.
The girls got out at the next stop, cackling at me, at the other passengers as they went.
The youth of today, folks!

The bus filled up more and more as we kept going. At Mission, the bus filled to capacity. And then a wheelchair got on. The driver didn't want to interact with us at all, I guess, because he kept playing the recorded messages to 'move to the rear of the bus' and reminding us that 'the front seats are reserved for the elderly'.
I caught a glimpse of SK in the front of the bus. We waved to each other. I motioned for him to move back, but there was no way.
I burst out of the bus at Geary and walked to the library. After I got my books I walked back out to the bus stop. Three adorable preschoolers and their parents waited in the stop. They put me in a much better mood. When the bus came, I waited until all the kids and the dads were on and then I got in and walked to the back.


Post a Comment

<< Home