Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bus Report #424

It's been a busy Muni week for me. To and from work, to and from school, to and from volunteering and seeing friends and... whew.
This weekend I've mostly stayed in the neighborhood, but I took a 38L yesterday from Spruce and Geary down to Divisadero and Geary. There was a woman in the front of the bus who was talking loudly to herself and acting extremely twitchy.
I recognized her from two weeks ago when I saw her on the 38. She had been sitting near the front next to a woman with a full granny cart of groceries, including a case of Corona.
The twitchy woman was extremely thin, wearing a dirty pink track suit and no shoes. She started talking at the woman with the groceries.
"You've been doing some shopping, huh? Where'd you go? That old Cala up the street? Is it a good place to shop? I see you got yourself some Coronas. Coronas are great. You gonna barbecue?"
The grocery woman hadn't been paying her any attention but now she looked at the twitchy woman and said, "Would you like one?"
I couldn't believe it. I mean, its one thing to acknowledge the crazy drug-addled bus-riding marginally-or-fully homeless, but giving them beer? Really? Am I an asshole or does this just not seem like the best way to get someone to leave you alone?
The twitchy woman leaned over uncomfortably close to the grocery woman. The grocery woman ripped open the case of beer and gave the twitchy woman a bottle.
She cradled the beer as though it was a precious object. "God bless you, bless you, really," she said. "You know with all these people on this bus, can you believe it's so quiet? It's like no one wants to talk to each other. But you're nice."
I tried to tune her out but she kept going on and on about how quiet the bus was. I didn't think I had anything constructive to add to the discussion so I stayed quiet. As the grocery woman got out the bus she gave the twitchy woman a $20 bill.
There was a man a few rows away from the twitchy woman who watched this exchange with interest. The twitchy woman asked the man how he was doing. They seemed to know each other.
"Just fine, just fine, honey," he said.
The twitchy woman jumped up and immediately started asking everyone if they had change for the $20. No one did, or if they did, they didn't want to get involved. Finally someone asked her why she needed the change. She went on the defensive immediately. She pointed at the man she had been talking to before and said, "He was nice to me and I want to help him out." She walked past me, asking if I had change. I didn't.
No one did.

And here she was, again, on my 38L. She had shoes on this time, but seemed to be just as twitchy and annoying as before.
I got out before she did.

On my way home from running my errands I took a 2 Clement. There was a woman sitting behind me talking very,very loudly. I put my headphones on to drown her out.
A heavyset boy got on at Presidio. He had been at the gym, if his sweaty clothes and big headphones were any indication. The entire back of his shirt was sweatsoaked. Ew.

A few blocks later, an older man carrying his baby in a Mei Tai carrier on his back snuck in through the back door. The driver didn't see him and almost closed the doors on the baby. The man shouted at the driver, but no one seemed to care. After all, if he really cared, wouldn't it have been better to get in through the front? The baby was cute, though, and I was glad she hadn't met her demise on the 2 Clement.