Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bus Report #672

This morning when I got on the bus, my favorite driver smiled and said, "Good morning, dear," and then before I could go find a seat he held up a piece of paper and said, "Look at this. See, this is when I'm supposed to get to this stop."
The paper was his schedule, I realized, with major stops underlined twice in green pen. He pointed to one line which read 6:47. "See?" he said.
"So you're a little early?" I guessed, unsure what time it was.
He smiled again and shook his head. "Nope, I'm right on time!"
"That's great," I said. I patted him on the shoulder and went to sit down.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bus Report #671

Three for a Thursday.

Approaching the bus stop I see the three ladies that often wait with me.
One has a new perm, one wears a hat with a houndstooth print, and one wears gaudy gold jewelry. These ladies are all friendly and chatty and while I don't know their names and they don't know mine, we are friends for a few minutes a day as we wait for the 22.
"Afternoon, ladies," I call, and they wave and say 'hi' back.

On the sidewalk by the church, the concrete lettering says MARIROSA instead of MARIPOSA.

For the first time in months I see Ramon waiting for the bus - the 19 instead of the 22. He has a new haircut.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bus Report #670

Last Wednesday, 6:45 am, the 22 Fillmore headed toward Potrero Hill.
Mr. Fantastic got on at Hayes. He is a young guy, probably in his late twenties to mid-thirties, average height/weight, thick black glasses and close cropped curly black hair. Put him in a puffy jacket and pair of Nikes and he'd be unmemorable - but this is not his style.

On Wednesday he got on the bus and took his Clipper card out of his neon yellow wristlet, and tapped it against the Clipper reader.
He sat down across from where I sat next to Coffee Cup girl.
Mr. Fantastic looked amazing: he wore a light pink button down shirt, a beige bow tie, dark-wash Levi's rolled just so above his argyle socks and his freshly polished black shoes.
He completed the outfit by wearing thin pleather suspenders, the kind old bankers or card dealers wear - the ones that go around the back. Only these suspenders were neon yellow, to match his wristlet.
Coffee cup girl and I exchanged a look that said, this dude looks sharp, neither of us saying a word.
He got out at Church Street, and we watched him walk down to the Muni Metro station.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bus Report #669

Tonight my 22 Fillmore driver handed a lollipop to every little kid who got on the bus.
It was cute - a little boy in a school uniform sat across from me with his mom, quietly sucking on his candy.
Smart driver.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Bus Report #668

It was spectacularly foggy this morning - grey and thick, the kind of fog that feels like a blanket set down over the city.

I waited by myself down on Fillmore and Geary and watched the sky turn from grey to moss green.
Right on schedule, my favorite driver, dark glasses and white teeth and sharp cap, drove up and stopped right in front of me. I climbed on board.
"Morning," I said, and started walking toward the back of the bus.
"Dear," said the driver, "would you mind getting me a coffee when we get to Starbucks?"
He smiled and pressed $20 into my hand.
"Of course," I said. "How do you take it?"

He stopped the bus in front of Starbucks and I hopped down.
"I'll wait for you across the street," he said, and pointed to the bus stop up ahead.
I bought him his coffee - black with two sugars - pocketed his change and walked back out into the fog to meet the bus.
"Here you go, sir," I said, handing him his coffee, change, and napkins.
"Thanks, my dear," he said.
"You're welcome," I told him.

It felt strange and routine at the same time, an errand for a friend who's name I don't know. A $20 test of trust.
I hope the coffee kept him warm and focused on this damp, foggy morning.