Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Bus Report #487

This morning when I got down to Fillmore, I could hear the roar of the high pressure hose that the Clean Patrol uses to clean the bus stop. I was annoyed, because they never actually clean anything and instead those of us waiting for the 22 are forced to stand all the way over to the side to wait for the bus.
So I was surprised, very surprised, to get to the bus stop and see that the entire stop (which takes up a whole block) was white with soap suds. The benches, the glass panels, the trashcan and the sidewalk, white white, sudsy, sudsy like when our dishwasher overflowed all over the kitchen. The man who was doing the cleaning wore a mask over his nose and mouth. He was spraying water over the glass panels when I arrived.
I looked at him, kind of raised my hands in a questioning gesture to ask where I should stand. He turned off the hose for a moment and beckoned me over.
"Don't worry, ma'am," he said. "You can still catch the bus here. Why don't you stand over here, where it's already clean."
I thanked him and carefully navigated through the suds to the far side of the stop.
The soap had a heavy, floral scent. It was sickly sweet and I wished I had a mask, too.
The man took his time rinsing the benches and the sidewalk.
When the bus finally pulled up, I waved goodbye to the man and thanked him.
Thanked him for doing a great job, and for being so nice to a sleepwalking early morning commuter.
He just smiled (having pulled down the mask) and said, "It's about time, huh?" meaning, of course, the bus.

Last night my 22 Fillmore was extremely crowded. Our driver though, what a champ.
She was the queen of the PA system. Here are a few of her fabulous announcements.
"Move on back everybody. We'll be at Mission Street soon, and then the bus will clear out a bit. Meanwhile, hold on tight and move on back."
"Next stop, Mission Street, thank god."
"Everybody have a great evening, and Happy Groundhog Day to you all. Let's hope he doesn't see his shadow."
"Have a good night, and take care."
Super lady, just super.

My seat mate for the duration was the older man with the briefcase who is often on my bus in the mornings. He smiled at me and asked me where my dog was.
"Oh, I don't have a dog," I told him. "But I know who you mean, and yeah, her dog is really cute."
He apologized, but there was no need to.


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