Friday, July 09, 2010

Bus Report #524

More Muni suckage, without many bright spots.

Yesterday morning I got down to Fillmore at my usual time. The rude construction workers were already there, smoking and chatting, loudly. The older nurse was there, reading the paper, and the woman who always needs to stand shoulder to shoulder with me showed up a few minutes later, and while there was still plenty of room for her to stand elsewhere, she planted herself right beside me.
We waited, all of us, and waited, and waited.
The older nurse shook her head. "It's their payday," she said. Meaning the drivers. According to her, they call out sick on payday.
We've had this discussion several times. I nodded. "Yep, I was thinking about that. It's a shame," I said.
A man who had been sitting on one of the benches got up and went out into the street, squatted and squinted over the hill to see if the bus was coming. He stood up and shook his head at the rest of us. He threw up his hands and flicked his wrists back and forth, then sighed loudly and returned to the bench.
Another few minutes passed.
Finally, the bus showed up and we all crowded on, filling the last of the open seats.
The man sitting in front of me smelled like dirty clothes and old beer. I cracked open the window.
He cracked open a bottle of cough syrup and chugged some of it.
The bus filled up as we moved down Fillmore.
At Mission, people could barely get out, as more passengers pushed their way into the bus. A pair of Muni drivers got on through the back door and stationed themselves in the stair well. A man started yelling, "Move back, everyone, move on back. Tell your friends."
But even if they told their friends, there was no where for anyone to go.
I knew I'd be able to get out at my stop, because the big guy who gets out at my stop was sitting two rows ahead of me, as were the makeup slatherer, the older ladies who must work nearby, and the elderly lady with the cane who works out at the gym near the cafe.
At my stop, we all pushed towards the door. Most people made way for us, except the two Muni drivers, who didn't bother to move (I was surprised by this, thought they'd have to, fleetingly thought they must be violating some sort of Muni employee code or something).
Outside, I turned to the big guy and said, "That was something, huh?"
"Oh, yeah," he said, grinning his big grin. "Interesting morning."
"It sure was," I agreed. "You have a good day."

In the cafe, the makeup slatherer smiled at me and said, "girlfriend, that was quite a bus ride, wasn't it?"
I laughed.

And then later, on my way home: I caught a 38 Geary from the Kearny and Geary stop. The bus was mostly empty. I moved to the back of the bus and sat down near the back door. The bus stank of cigarettes, and I couldn't figure it out.
Until I looked back and saw a boy sitting in the last row of the bus, puffing away on a cigarette. The smoke actually billowed, I swear. Ugh.
I opened a few windows and sat back down. The kid eventually finished, and then he fell asleep. I hoped he missed his stop, ended up down at the beach.
We slowly made our way up Geary. Tourists climbed on at Union Square, dressed unseasonably for our weather in shorts and T-shirts. A few old ladies got on with pink plastic shopping bags. They took up several of the seats in the front of the bus, and spent the rest of the ride yelling to each other over the rest of the passengers.


Post a Comment

<< Home