Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bus Report #538

Hot as hell edition!

Well, today's commute was a scorcher, but I don't have to tell any of you that!
I knew we were in for something big when the woman who always has to stand right next to me sat down in the empty seat next to me. I noticed that she was wearing a light sweatshirt instead of her usual winter coat with the fur trim on the hood. I wasn't wearing my usual jacket either, just a thin cotton jacket the Professor gave me a few years ago.
She and I were both ready for a hot day.
By the time our bus got to Mission, the sun was already looming above us, blazing.
At my usual stop, I waited until Michele, Shirley, the big guy with the friendly attitude and the guy with the huge headphones got out.
I stepped down from our bus and went straight to get some coffee.
Walking the rest of the way to work the temperature seemed to rise and the sun got even brighter. I had to shield my eyes and squint through my sunglasses to make sure the person standing across the street waving at me was actually someone I knew. It was M., and we walked the rest of the way to work together.

This afternoon I left the office right on time to catch the first of 3 projected 22 Fillmores (NextBus had them arriving in 15 minutes, 15 minutes and 17 minutes). A diesel bus pulled up and I got on. The bus was hot and humid, even with all the windows open.
I asked a woman if I could sit where her bag was. She didn't love the idea, but grudgingly moved her bag so I could sit down. Of course, she didn't move her body an inch, so she ended up getting my bag and my ass in her face.

The bus was phenomenally hot and disgusting. Everyone seemed to be just as worn out and tired as I felt.
I amused myself by checking out the San Francisco summer weather attire people were wearing. Lots of pale, exposed skin, lots of too-small tank tops, boys with their shirts off, sunburns.
My seatmate got out at Potrero and a new woman sat next to me. She was trying to get to Fillmore.
"Where on Fillmore," I asked her, trying to be helpful.
"Oh, just Fillmore, where it turns," she replied. "Or Geary, whichever comes first."
"You've got a way to go," I told her.
I don't know how anyone made it the whole length of our commutes today. I know I felt disgusting, totally drenched in sweat, and filthy. The 22 was like a sauna, without the freshness or the perceived health benefit.
At Geary my seatmate and I got out. I managed a quick sprint across the street, and caught a 38. The bus wasn't very crowded, but almost all the seats were taken.
A couple of teenage girls were sitting in a three-seat bench, and I asked if I could sit in their empty seat.
They ignored me, so I asked again.
The girl sitting closest to me sighed, sucked her teeth and moved her hand so I could sit.
The seat was a little wet (sweat? water? other?) so I sat perched on the edge.
At Presidio, the girls saw a pair of fare inspectors outside. One of them decided to make a run for it. Bad idea.
She got busted by the inspectors, who asked for her transfer, and then when she said she lost it, her ID.
A man standing in the stairwell watched the fare inspectors and the girl. When the bus lurched into traffic, he stumbled a little, then regained his balance.

The pet store across from the Brazilian block of Geary* at Collins looks to be going out of business. Too bad. I wonder if they'll still take my store credit for $1.75?
As we passed the Brazilian clothing store with all the bright bikinis, sarongs and flip-flops, I had a quick vision of everyone in the neighborhood rushing the place to outfit themselves for this week's heatwave.

*I call the Brazilian cafe and the store next door Little Brazil, but I don't think anyone else does.


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