Bus Report #698
I get on the 10 Townsend so I can meet friends for dinner last night - giving myself an hour, though it shouldn't take more than 15 minutes to get up to Mission Street.
The ball game's been over for about an hour, but there's something else going on, and traffic is not moving.
My fellow passengers are getting restless- one woman keeps checking her phone, a kid in the back of the bus is singing while his friend curses the bus driver and says, "this is bullshit man, bullshit."
A woman in an awful blonde wig and platform sandals toddles over to the driver and asks, "is it always like this?"
I check my watch. We've been at a standstill for fifteen minutes. There is a very good possibility I am going to be late, instead of my usual chronically early.
If I stay on the 10, I'll never get to my destination tonight.
When the bus finally pulls in to the stop at 4th and Townsend I get out and start walking.
There is a steady flow of people walking down 4th to Cal Train, just a handful of us heading up 4th toward downtown.
The clock is ticking as I cross Bryant, skirting construction beneath the overpass. Folsom. Harrison.
Howard Street, and the Merry-Go-Round.
With five minutes to spare, I hurry down Mission.
By the bus stop at Mission and 5th a woman crouches on the sidewalk and I'm not sure what she's doing, until I see a big, white rat scurry up her arm and into her sleeve. Jesus. She pets the rat. I keep walking. I've got to tell the guys about this, I think.
I get to the restaurant a minute or two late, everything's cool, and soon we're sitting down.
S. says, "I was on my over and I saw this woman down the block, playing with a hamster or a mouse or something."
I look at him and grin. "It was a rat," I say.