Friday, April 15, 2011

Bus Report #601

This morning I caught my usual 38 Geary, empty except for me, the man who wears two jackets (one puffy jacket under a black windbreaker - every day, despite the weather), and a woman who wears the most awful perfume (I always have to open some windows.)
At Fillmore I waited by myself (waved to the man driving the street sweeper, who always waves to me) for the 22 Fillmore.
It arrived and I got on, sat a row behind the coffee cup girl.
Everything was fine until we got to McAllister, when the poles came down off the wire and the driver couldn't fix them.
After five minutes she got back on the bus and announced, too cheerfully, "This coach is going out of service."
Of course it was, I thought, following the coffee cup girl out the back door.
NextBus said the next 22 would be along in 7 minutes. I decided to start walking instead. It was a nice morning, not too cold, sunny, the kind of morning you don't mind walking to work.
I hiked up the steep hill on Fillmore, turning around every few minutes to see if a bus was coming.
At my old bus stop at Oak and Fillmore I saw the man who always sits next to me on the 22 (he has bad cologne, too, and also necessitates an open window). He saw me walking and said, "No?" as in, no bus?
I shook my head. "It broke down," I said, my hands mimicking the bus poles, one hand falling over the other, then I swept both hands in the air. I hoped he got the picture.
He nodded and made the same motion with his hands. "No," he said.
"Sorry," I said, and I kept walking.
He caught up with me and said something I really could not understand. Either he was speaking to me in Cantonese, or his English was really, really unintelligible.
I just shrugged and pointed at the bus stop at Haight and Fillmore. "Maybe NextBus will say something," I said.
NextBus had nothing to tell us. There were two women waiting at the stop, Laverne's friend and a girl with wild black hair and a bright orange tote bag.
I walked on.
I was about to cross Church and Market when I saw a 22 Fillmore coming around the corner.
While I could have kept walking I decided to take the bus, since it would be faster.
The bus sped towards us and I recognized our driver: It was my favorite 22 Fillmore driver. As usual, despite the fifteen or so folks who had been waiting for him before I got to the stop, he pulled up right in front of me and opened the door.
"Morning dear," He said, grinning his friendly, warm smile.
"Morning, it's great to see you," I said.
I sat by the back door for the rest of the ride.


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