Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bus Report #574

I had a meeting downtown tonight, so I got on the 10 Townsend and sat by the back door.
In the front of the bus there was a young girl, I'm guessing mid-teens, trying to wrangle a sweet little baby who was climbing around on the seats.
The girl had her stroller parked next to her, but the movement of the bus made it shift and tilt and almost fall.
The girl tried to grab her wiggly daughter and the stroller rolled away from her.
I got up and quickly went to sit across from her, grabbing the stroller and steadying it so it wouldn't zoom away.
The girl, who was now on the phone trying to find someone to pick her up at BART in the east bay, mouthed a 'thank you' to me and I nodded.
She eventually got the brakes down. She flashed me a thumbs' up and I went back to my original seat.

Later, after the meeting, I got on the 38 Geary downtown. The bus wasn't very crowded, but it was slow because we were right behind a couple of electric buses for a few blocks.
In Union Square a pair of twitchy, trash bag and duffel bag carrying guys got on the bus. One of them pushed his way to an empty seat in the back of the bus. He called out to his friend to "Stay up there."
His friend, perhaps his brother (they were both tall and skinny, with greasy, stringy blond hair), was in bad shape. He didn't seem to have any teeth, he might have been mute (he didn't make a sound at all, instead he waved and mouthed things to the other guy), and he couldn't sit still. He flapped his hands and picked at the scabs on his face.
It was very sad. I wondered if he was autistic or delayed in some way, on top of what must have been a long, hard relationship with hard drugs and tough living.
From the back of the bus, the man's friend occasionally yelled up to him to stay seated. The man would look up and try to see his friend through the crowd, then he would wave and flap and pick and retreat back in to his own world.
They got out at Third Ave. and camped out in the bus shelter. Last I saw them, they were lighting cigarettes and sitting on the uncomfortable bus shelter bench.


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