Friday, October 16, 2009

Bus Report #466

I headed home late last night, after my volunteer shift at the museum. The 38 was rerouted on Market Street because of the president's visit, so I walked down to catch it.
It was a mostly empty bus. the rest of the riders seemed tired, too, and ready to be home.
Two dorky hat-wearing guys who did not know each other ended up sitting next to each other. It made me laugh. I wondered if they thought it as funny as I did. Probably not.
A heavily tattooed man and his clean cut young friend sat in front of me, on their way to an AA or NA meeting. The clean cut young friend took a pocket size directory of local meetings out of his bag to consult it. "We're almost there," he told the tattooed man.
Behind me, a newly-arrived in San Francisco, pretty college-age Haitian girl talked quietly on the phone with her friend.
She had a lot going on: new school, new city, no job and needy housemates. I silently wished her luck.
Our bus sped down Market to Fifth. Our driver made a crazy, severe turn, so that our bus must have looked like the shape of the number 7 from above.
The tattooed man sniffed in the air. "Man," he said. "Smells like carne asada or something."
I looked down at the takeout container of beef and greens over noodles that I held on my lap.
I looked up.
"That's probably my dinner," I said. "I'm sorry if it smells."
"Nah," he said. "It smells good. What is it?"
"Beef and noodles," I replied. "So you were kind of right."
He and his clean cut friend smiled at me and went back to their chat.
"I'm taking some art classes, like painting," the tattooed man said. "They're great."
"Yeah, I'm gonna take some classes to be an EMT," said the clean cut man.
I got out at my stop and walked home through the fog. My dinner was still warm when I sat down to eat it.


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