Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bus Report #529

Maybe I am a horrible person, but when I saw my neighbor Dennis getting on my 22 Fillmore this afternoon, all I wanted was for him to not see me and to sit in the front of the bus instead.
The bus was slightly torturous to begin with. Instead of being an electric bus, this one was diesel, and our driver was not very familiar driving this kind of bus.
At Bryant Street I heard another driver tell him, "Make sure you don't forget there are two levers for the doors. You gotta make sure you close the back door before you start moving."
It was quickly apparent that he was having trouble. The bus lurched to and from each stop. The driver missed every green light, and he couldn't remember the back door was on a separate lever.
We were at Market when Dennis got on. He is an older guy, the kind of slightly shlubby guy you see in the laundromat or the corner store, greet with a nod and go on your way.
Somehow, and this must have been a couple of years ago, we got to talking in the laundromat. I'm not a volunteer-er of information, but somehow Dennis knows my name and which building I live in. He also is under the (mistaken) impression that I am some sort of musician, or publicist, or music writer.
He always greets me with a "how's the rock and roll scene going?" or, "what's new in your rock and roll life?" It's nice, I guess, a little funny, and confusing.
I hadn't seen him for a while and I started to worry, the way I worry about the Alien Donut man when I haven't seen him around.
Turns out Dennis lost his job and had some family troubles, but he got back into town a few months ago and it was back to questions about my supposedly glamorous life fairly quickly.
Fast forward to tonight.
Dennis spotted me sitting in the back of the bus. He waved.
"Hello, neighbor," he said, and slid in to the empty seat next to me.
"Hello," I replied.
He smiled. "Are you coming from visiting some rock and roll icons up in the Haight?" he asked.
I shook my head. "Coming from my glamorous job, actually," I said.
He kept the conversation flowing for the ride, telling me how hard it was looking for work, how he had spent the morning trying to get a new Fast Pass, and where he was headed on his errands.
It was a good way to pass the time, but the closer we got to my stop, the more like a jerk I felt.
Because I had planned to let him get out at my usual stop, and then I would ride to the next stop and catch a different bus. I just didn't want to end up walking up our street together, and have him see exactly which mailbox was mine, which apartment was mine.
I didn't have to worry. He mentioned having an errand to run in the Marina. Excellent.
We said our goodbyes and I got out to wait for the 38.


Blogger Jessica said...

Not related to this post, but related to public transit. Thought you might like it.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Cool, Jessie. Thanks!

7:33 AM  

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