Monday, September 26, 2011

Bus Report #643

Late afternoon waiting with Carmen for the 38 Geary.
A very agitated man in shorts and a baseball hat started pacing in the street, oblivious to the oncoming traffic.
"All the crazies are always around here," I said.
Carmen said, "My niece says the only guys who ask for her number are the crazy ones."
We had a good laugh, then got on the 38 and walked to the back of the bus. We sat next to a woman who was on the phone, across from a couple of zoned out High School students and three rows away from one man who stared at us as we walked by.
As usual we talked in Spanglish, more gossip about her recent vacation and her family.
The man who had been staring at us twisted in his seat. He was tall and gangly, with a beige cap and a blue windbreaker. There was something about him that made me feel uncomfortable. The way he was looking at us, maybe? Smiling while his eyes bore into us, two strangers he didn't know, sitting far enough away that he shouldn't have paid us any attention.
"Tu muy bonitas," he said.
We didn't realize he was talking to us until he repeated himself, louder.
We looked over and I think Carmen said thanks.
She turned to me and asked me, "Is he talking to you, or to me?"
"You," I teased her. "Your new crazy boyfriend."
"I think he's talking to you," she replied.
She said, "Let me show you a photo of my niña," and she started scrolling through pictures on her phone, looking for a snap of her daughter.
"Can I see a photo of your niña?" asked the creepy man.
I can't imagine anyone would show him anyone's photo, especially not when he asked that way. It made my skin crawl.
We ignored him, to the best of our ability.
"I know you don't know me," he said, "But I'd really like to see it."
I couldn't help it, I snapped at him. "No, you can't."
For the rest of the ride he watched us.
I almost didn't get out at my stop, worried he'd follow me. Irrational? Probably. But his stare was just so intense, it made me nervous.
I hesitated when the bus got to my stop. "This is you, right?" Carmen said.
"Yeah," I said. I hurried out of the bus with a group of teenagers.
"Que te vayas bien," Carmen called after me.
"Nos vemos," I called back.
I walked down the street, fast, and did not look back.


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