Monday, January 23, 2012

Bus Report #667

This morning I waited for the 22 down on Fillmore, in the dark and in the rain, alone.
I stood all the way back between the benches - mostly so I'd stay dry and also because I've noticed if I stand under the overhang but don't back up, people walk by and pretend not to see me there, and they either walk right in to me, or they give me dirty looks and try to get me to move out of the way. Strange, but it happens all the time so I guess it's the thing to do.

Several people walked by on their way to the 38.
Then the street was quiet again, no cars and no people. For a moment I wondered if it was Sunday and I'd gotten up early by accident.

A man approached from around the corner and walked straight towards me.
He wore cowboy boots, madras shorts, a leather jacket, NASA baseball cap and a red knit cap on top of it. His face was square and his eyes were narrowed into almost invisible slits. His mustache was thick and black and needed a trim. He clutched a crumpled lottery ticket in his hands and fidgeted with it, all the while staring at me and trying to catch my eye.

There was something about him that unnerved me. I hoped he'd keep walking.

The man stood right in front of me at the curb and at first, because it was still so dark out, I did not notice that he was still staring at me.
It was as though he was issuing a silent challenge for me to acknowledge him.
Honestly, if he hadn't seemed so creepy, I would have wished him a good morning, or something, but the way he stared, the way his face was set, I was actually frightened.

And I've waited in worse places at worst times, and never felt that way before.

The bus should have arrived already but it didn't. The man kept staring.

Finally, though I hated to give in, I moved over a few feet to the left.
The second I'd vacated my spot, he was there, tucked between the benches, playing with his lottery ticket.

The bus did arrive then, zooming right up in front of me, and it was my favorite morning driver, sunglasses and beret and white white teeth, good morning darling it's nice to see you, and we were off.


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