Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bus Report #547

This morning I took an empty 38 Geary down to Fillmore.
Sometimes it's faster in the mornings to catch the 38 than to catch the 38L, and today was one of those days.
We got to Fillmore in less than 10 minutes.
I waited for the 22 with a man who kept darting into the street to see if the bus was coming, and a woman who seemed resigned to wait: she sat on the bench and closed her eyes.
Across the street, in the opposite bus stop, a young man was helping a tiny old woman with a cane figure out when the bus was coming. He showed her where she should stand, and she reached out with her cane to test how close she was to the curb. If she wasn't blind, she was at least very short-sighted.
Our bus came, and the friendly driver stopped the bus right in front of me. I got in and said "Good morning," and he smiled and said, "You too, sweetie."
I walked past the older nurse, the big guy, the coffee cup girl, and the woman who always has her little white dog with her in a mesh duffel bag.
I saw a familiar face a few rows back.
It was Carmen, back at school after her summer break.
She smiled and made room for me to slide in to the window seat, and we chatted the rest of her commute, catching up on things, and laughing and joking.
She got out at her stop and I kept going.
I got out at my usual stop with Shirley and her friend, the big guy, the postal workers who always stand in the step well and a girl I only recognize as a regular because she has an unusual backpack.
In the coffee shop, one of the workers had good news: he has found a new job as an upholsterer, so today was his last day. I wish him a lot of luck in his new profession.
A woman came in and bought a gallon of coffee to go. She was in a hurry, and forgot her keys.
An older man in a baseball cap and denim jacket scooped up the keys and called after her, "Ma'am,ma'am," and she eventually turned around to see what was going on.
"Your keys, ma'am," he said, gently, tossing them underhand for her to catch. She thanked him and went on her way.
"You saved her day," I said, smiling.
"I've been there myself," he said. "Getting locked out is no fun." He was a lovely man, with a warm, open manner and a slight stutter. We talked for a few minutes, then I had to go.
"You take care, now," he said.
"I will, you too, sir," I said. "Don't get locked out!"
He laughed. "Not today," he said.


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