Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bus Report #609

This morning when I left the house it was raining out, the kind of dewy spray that hits you from every direction so that you are damp all over.
The bus was about to pass my stop and I was still across the street, but the driver, one of the 38 Geary morning regulars, pulled over and waited for me to race across the street and get on.
The bus was empty except for three of us quietly letting the start and stop motion of the bus lull us into, if not sleep, a feeling of clammy warmth, and calm.

I got out at Fillmore and waited under the overhang for the 22.
A man wandered up to the stop, a tall, hefty man with bright blue sneakers. He set down a torn plastic bag and a leather zip up file case on the bench near where I was standing. He paced the length of the stop, talking to himself, not unusual for San Francisco, not even unusual for this bus stop (in fact, another whacked-out regular, in grey sweats and no shoes, walked by and yelled something at the big guy, before walking out into traffic).
The big guy picked tape off of the glass installation behind us. He mumbled something else, then crouched down to see if the bus was coming.
"It's right here," he said, looking directly at me.
I nodded, said thanks.
When the bus pulled up we all got in. I sat behind a man who looked like Groucho Marx, glasses, nose, mustache, the whole thing.
I watched the big guy, who sat a couple rows ahead of me.
He took two crumpled pieces of paper out of his plastic bag and smoothed them on his knee. He still had the bits of tape he had peeled off of the glass, and now he stuck the tape on the edges of the papers.
I didn't pay him any more attention until he got out at Hayes, hesitating in the step well for a moment before exiting the bus.
He had hung up his papers on either side of the step well: two faded, overly copied ads for facial plastic surgery, each featuring a woman in profile, her shoulders bare, her eyes almost invisible after so many copies.


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