Monday, April 30, 2012

Bus Report #685

This morning, on the 38 Geary, headed downtown:

Two Gummi Bears, one red, one yellow, stuck high up on the wall across from where I sat.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Bus Report #684

I have become that which I really, really don't like.

The 22 was really crowded the other day, but I caught a glimpse of Carmen sitting towards the front of the bus.
A few stops later she saw me, and waved.
There was a mass exodus of passengers at Church and Duboce and the seat next to mine became empty. I slid my bag over onto the seat and called out, "Carmen! Carmen!" and she got up and came over.
But I broke my own Muni rules of decorum...Not only had I sort of seat hogged with my bag, but man, the yelling.
But you know what? In the moment I didn't care, because it meant I could chat and catch up with an old friend.

I promise I won't make a habit of it.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bus Report #683

It was old home day on the 2 Clement the other night.

I saw the friendly Texan, the well-dressed older woman who works somewhere near me, my nutjob neighbor, the girl with the Penguin Books tote bag (the bag is great, even greater is that she is always reading something good, and it makes me want to say something to her about her choices, but I never do), the man who always has a bag of Peet's Coffee with him, and several other neighborhood people I hadn't seen in a while.

I said hi to the friendly Texan, hi to the well-dressed older woman. My nutty neighbor just stared at me with a concerned look in her eyes.

In the back of the bus, four people stared down at their phones, oblivious to what was going on around them.
The girl with the Penguin Books bag was reading a vintage copy of Ulysses. The man with the Peet's Coffee was reading a library book, but I couldn't see the title.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bus Report #682

As seen this morning:

Half a dozen pigeons eating tortilla chips on the sidewalk at Fillmore, out of a greasy paper bag. One of the birds managed to peck a hole in the side of the bag and pulled out chip after chip.

A bright peach sunrise over Geary.

The 80's lady, in her Reeboks and her acid washed jeans, her heavy makeup.

My favorite driver going the opposite way on Fillmore.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bus Report #681

Had a late meeting at work the other night, so instead of waiting for the 22 on a dark and empty block of 17th I made my way up to the Potrero Center and waited in front of Boston Market (or Boston Chicken, as I remember it from my Boston Childhood) for the 22 or the 33, whichever showed up first.

Twenty minutes later and I was still waiting, leaning against the side of the bus shelter and squinting into the dark to see if anything was coming. A petite woman sat in the tiny space under the stairs behind the bus shelter, listening to music on her phone. Two twenty-somethings (CCA students, I gathered - the Art school, not the Culinary) talked about the upcoming film festival and volunteer opportunities.
A woman in a suit paced the block, chatting loudly about her job, or a job interview, through a blue tooth headset.

A 33 turned the corner and pulled in to the stop, but it was only going to Haight. I watched everyone else get into the already packed bus.

Two minutes later, another 33 pulled up, empty except for one passenger. I got on and sat down.
The other passenger talked with (well, I guess she talked at) the driver.
"I saved her life," she said, loudly. "Actually, I saved both their lives, because she coulda drowned in the bath and her son coulda died too. That's what I was there for. I had to choose, you know, because there were two kinds of DNA? And she was a diabetic, so you know, it was important."

Hmmm. Interesting, but I tuned her out and started listening to an old episode of Radio Lab.

At the next stop, two middle-aged guys got on. They seemed to know each other, though not well. They sat in the front of the bus and talked a little, in Spanish.
Then the younger of the two guys, who did not seem at all drunk or chemically influenced, burst in to song and serenaded his friend with a Beatles song - "And I Love Her."
It was touching, it was sweet, and it was a little strange since they didn't seem to be anything more than friends, and the man seemed to be singing it entirely phonetically. Brilliant.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bus Report #680

Last night I caught the 2 Clement home, and once again there was my very strange neighbor.
It was raining but as usual she was umbrella-and-jacketless, in her short sleeves and her spandex. This time, her bobby pins were silver and she also had the same kind of silver clips I remember my grandmother kept in an old wig box.
We both got out at our stop (me - waiting patiently for the stop, her - standing up, looking out the window, sitting down, checking in with the driver, looking around) and I walked home to get out of the rain.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Bus Report #679

Monday, from my window seat on the 22 Fillmore, I noticed the same flier taped to light poles all up and down 16th Street, from the Mission to Potrero Hill.

I got out of the bus at my usual stop and walked up to the first flier I saw, on a streetlight by the bus stop.

It was a MISSING poster for a woman named Amanda Guevara. [UPDATE - Amanda has been found!]

I've been thinking about her all week and hoping that she turns up, or calls home, lets someone know she is all right.

And then I wonder about other missing people.

Jerry Tang disappeared years ago. A faded flier still hangs in the window of the old Busvans building on Clement Street, pleading for his return.

A young man, I can't recall his name, a blond boy smiling in the photo on his MISSING poster, in the window of a cafe on California Street.
Last seen on his way to the bridge.

I look for them in crowds, on the bus, and hope for them, because that's all I can do.