Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bus Report #566

Last night the 22 was late, but when it came I recognized the driver: in the mornings he is a passenger on my bus down to Potrero Hill.
He stopped the bus in front of me and I got on, eventually sitting beside a girl who had many shopping bags with her.
"Sorry," she said as she made room for me to slide in to the window seat.
"That's okay," I told her. "I'm not getting out for a while so you can put your stuff near my feet if you want."
A row behind us and across the aisle there was a very drunk, very belligerent man who kept mumbling to himself unless someone accidentally brushed against him. When that happened, he was quick to jump up and start threatening them. It didn't matter who it was - he did this to an older woman, several teens, and a couple of young guys. Everyone ignored him, but still.
By the time we got to the San Jose/Vermont stop, the bus was packed. At Potrero, the driver came over the PA system and said he was going to go express to Mission Street and if you wanted any stops in between you should get out.
Only a few people did this. A half-dozen other folks did not and spent the next few minutes frantically tugging the signal cord.
The bus emptied out a bit at Mission.
The drunk managed to scare a few more people. A young girl and her son got out the bus and the girl, who had been telling her son he better not grow up to be like the drunk, started hurling insults at him.
"You're a motherfucker," she yelled, with her kid right there next to her. "You shouldn't be on this bus."
"Aw, shut up bitch," he slurred back.
And so on and so forth, the two of them yelling back and forth as she and her boy made their way to the door. I felt bad for the kid. Nice role model!
At Haight, the bus started to smell horrible, like someone was smoking on the bus.
We coughed, looked around. I opened a window. Then another.
I couldn't locate the smoker, but part of me thought, it's the drunk guy.
A few blocks later and the bus was really stinking.
At Hayes the driver parked the bus. He got out through the front door and climbed in through the back. He looked straight at the drunk and said, "Look, man, I can smell the smoke all the way at the front of the bus. You can't smoke on the bus. If you can't wait til your stop, maybe you should just get out here, you understand?"
The drunk didn't say anything.
"Sir?" said the driver. "You gotta put that thing out."
The drunk opened the window and tossed his cigarette out onto the curb.
"There you go," said the driver.
He went back to the front of the bus and we continued down Fillmore.
The driver passed a few more stops.
We finally made it to Geary and I got out, glad for fresh air. I waved to the driver and said, "thanks," then I crossed the street to catch a 38.


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