Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bus Report #453

This morning it was really foggy as I walked to the bus. I stepped out of my building and actually said, "wow," out loud.
Our ride down to Fillmore and Geary was faster than usual. I walked to the 22 stop, past the Fillmore Auditorium. The front entrance to the Fillmore had notes written in English and an Asian language (couldn't tell which one but I think it was either Japanese, Korean or Chinese) asking people not to use their cell phones at last night's show.
The Fillmore bus stop looked like it had a new coat of light blue paint, and maybe new or newly painted benches. It looked good.
I waited by myself until the sunflower-seed-cracking Russian man showed up. He sat down on one of the benches.
A trio of scruffy looking guys wandered over. One was older, with a baseball cap, one was younger with lots of backpacks and looked like he'd fit in very well in the upper Haight, and one had wild, sticking-up-every-which-way hair and big round eyes. They sort of shuffled around in the stop for a moment, then the younger guy said something to the sunflower-seed-cracker and he stood up and, like last time, came over to stand right beside me.
I looked at all four men. Personally, if I was sitting on a public bench waiting for my bus and someone told me to move, I'd stay put. Whatever.
The younger guy started running his hands along the backs of the benches, looking behind them, kicking food wrappers that were strewn around. Obviously, these guys were looking for something (and by something, I assume their drugs). Had someone left them something before the bus stop was repainted? If they did, it was gone now.
The baseball hat guy stood in the middle of the stop, looking around a little nervously. The wild-haired guy shuffled towards the end of the stop and the young guy asked another man waiting for our bus (who was standing a few feet away) if he'd taken anything from the bus stop or seen anyone around.
"No, man, I just got here," he said.
I cut my eyes at the trio, daring them to ask me, or bother me, or blow their cigarette smoke in my direction.
The three of them gave up and headed towards the Boom Boom Room. As my bus pulled up I saw them asking another man if he'd seen anything at the stop.

My 22 was fairly empty, and I got a window seat. My seat mate got on at Hayes. She was a slight girl, a college student maybe, with a huge backpack and overly styled wavy dark hair.
She took a folder out of her bag and took out two sheets of paper. One said, 'a prayer for when you're feeling anxious' and the other paper looked like it had psalms on it (I really wasn't sure, non-religious Jew that I am). She looked at the anxiety prayer and closed her eyes, sat really still for a few minutes, then shuffled the papers to look at the psalms.
Good for her, I suppose, but I felt a little uncomfortable.
I stared out the window.
At my stop, my seat mate made no effort to move for me, so I climbed over her and got out.
There is a mom and a little girl who ride the bus with me in the mornings. Today I saw them walking down 16th. The little girl had her doll tucked in to her sweatshirt. It was very cute.

I stopped to talk to my friend at the garage. There was loud, skull-shattering construction going on nearby. I gestured to my ears, asked him, "How will you stand this all day?"
He just shook his head. "Well, no choice, is there?" he said.
"You'll be okay," I told him. Then I turned up the volume on my headphones and walked to work.


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