Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bus Report #473

I know I've been slacking. Let's blame National Novel Writing Month, and leave it at that.
Not much going on with my commutes lately. The usual gang of loud kids, regulars, and crazy people of varying degrees.

This morning there was a crazy bible thumper on my 22 Fillmore. No, really, and nothing against decent church-going folk, but this guy was having a very interesting silent conversation with himself, gesticulating (in what actually looked like very deliberate, choreographed motions) to the people sitting across from him, the people sitting back where I was sitting, and to himself. He crossed himself in the manner of old Italian priests from horror films, very seriously, with lots of looping hand gestures.
And then there was the bible.
He had a black regular book-size bible in his left hand. He would tap it on his shoulders, his head, his thigh, the seat beside him, sometimes twisting his arm in uncomfortable-looking ways just to get a good thump out of it.
No one sat near him.

Yesterday morning on my way to the bus stop I passed a pile of trash on the side of the street. An old foosball (sp?) table was balanced on its side next to a pile of old pots and pans.
My heart leapt when I saw the handle of a small cast iron pan (readers may remember some older posts where I travel on the 38 with a cast iron I found on top of a trash can or the time I bought a cast iron at Community Thrift and took it on BART) peering out from under a scorched non-stick pan. Oh but I wanted that pan! I almost took it, too, before realizing I would have to carry it all the way to work and back home, and the bus was fast approaching. I hope someone else managed to scavenge it before the garbage truck came. Sigh.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Bus Report #472

Random observations.

Friday night - The Halloween revelers were already out in force. Strange, but in this city it is so hard to tell who is in costume and who is in their everyday wear. Was the guy in the BERKELEY sweatshirt a Berkeley student, or was he dressed up as one? Was the harried-looking tranny just on her way home from a tough day at work, or was she really just a man in a dress and messy wig? We'll never know.

This morning - The time change makes it sunny when I leave the house and I am not used to it, yet. My 38L was full. Everyone was quiet, either staring off into space or fiddling with an igadget. The woman sitting next to me drank hot tea out of a jam jar. The woman across from me lost her grip on her hot pink travel mug and it fell on the floor and rolled to my feet. I picked it up and handed it back to her, and she nodded at me in thanks.

At Fillmore I waited with a guy wearing a White Glove Services T-shirt, and I wondered what kind of high-end furniture he would be moving today. We got on the 22 and I sat alone, up against the window. After a while, the bus filled up with teenagers on their way to Mission High.

The kid sitting in front of me has always been a curiosity to me. He acts like he's crazy half the time, talking to himself, laughing for no reason, and the other half of the time he is making eyes at the girls. He actually bats his eyes at them and presses his lips together, and they seem to like it. He told my seatmate, another teenager, about a conversation he had with his toddler son.

For the past two days, the same woman has been getting out at Dolores. She has the same metallic blue hot cup from a cafe in Austin, TX that I do. Seeing someone else clutching that cup jolted me, and when I got to work yesterday I immediately checked to see if the cup was still in my drawer. It was. What an odd coincidence. The cup was a gift from a friend who used to live in Austin, and I have never been in the cafe before.

In front of the Roxie a youngish man with great, thick curly hair readjusted his duffel bag and when he did, his T-shirt rode up exposing his back tattoo. I didn't get a good look but it was small, with fine black lines. It looked good against his milky-coffee-colored skin.

Valencia Street is still all torn up. In the window at Abandoned Planet Books, the lights twinkled like the stars I rarely see in my neighborhood.