Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bus Report #721

I dragged myself out of bed this morning, tired and trying not to think about how little sleep I  got, just back from a quick trip east for Thanksgiving.
After a large mug of tea (and reading a few birthday cards that arrived while I was gone), I was ready to face the day.

Walked out to the bus stop and yawned a good morning to a couple regulars.
There is one elderly woman who always has several tote bags with her. I think she's a teacher, maybe at a Catholic school because she's always reading these small magazines about Jesus, with pictures of saints on the cover. She is petite and polite, and everyone always lets her on the bus first, no matter how many people are waiting.

The bus came and our driver asked each of us how we were doing, as he always does. He is a nice guy and one of these days I will get his name, and thank him. Because someone needs to be friendly and sweet so early in the morning, and it is generally not me.

Twenty minutes later, down on Fillmore, the 22 pulled up and the friendly driver grinned and said good morning. She wore a baseball hat and I noticed that she's got braces. I think they must be a new addition to her pretty smile.
I asked her, "Did you have a nice holiday?" and she said yes, but it was too bad we were back to the daily grind again. I agreed and went to sit down.
There were a few regulars on the bus this morning: The girls from the Christian school, with their matching fleeces and backpacks, the boy in his early teens who always greets this driver with a big smile and a hug, and a mom with her two little kids, the three of them laughing at a shared joke.

I got out at my usual stop and went for coffee. My buddy, the older gentleman, James, was in the cafe and he waved me over while I waited for my drink. I hadn't seen him in awhile, so we caught up a little. My coffee arrived and I said goodbye, shaking his hand and wishing him a good week.

As I crossed the parking lot, the cabbie who always takes his break in front of the bank called out to me.
"You want a free ride to your office?" he asked.
I smiled, said, "That's so generous, but I need the walk... I'm half asleep!" I thanked him and he waved as I walked down 16th Street.

It was the best kind of welcome-back-to-San-Francisco morning I could have had today.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bus Report #720

This morning I must have been a few minutes early leaving my house, because I ended up on an earlier 38, and then managed to catch an earlier 22 Fillmore, too, by running fast fast to catch it.

The 80s woman was on the bus, and a couple of the young teachers, and a creepy couple who sat in the back of the bus and talked loudly, to everyone and no one, threatening to kill us all.

A few blocks later when the bus stopped to let passengers on at Haight, I noticed a spastic, whirling, out of control of his body, skinny kid standing in the bus stop.
He looked cold in his ratty v-neck T-shirt, and his arms and chest were covered in bruises.
He whirled his way onto the bus, ping-ponged between a few seats before flinging himself into a seat near the creepy couple.
Twice more during our mutual commute he spun down the aisle and slid from seat to seat, before following the creepy couple out the door at Church and Market.
He ran in to the street three times as our bus tried to cross Market, and I worried he'd get hit by a car.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bus Report #719

This morning I ran out to catch the 38, and saw a familiar face at the bus stop.
It was Mr. Polite. I hadn't seen him in forever, maybe as long as a year.
He smiled and said hi, said, "It's been a long time."
I said, "Yep, nice to see you, how've you been?"
He said, "The same old same." He said, "You know, Muni."
"Oh yeah," I said. "We'll be riding the bus forever, won't we?"
"I'll always be a renter here, always ride public transit," he said. "That's just how it goes in the city."
The bus came and Mr. Polite stepped back and gestured for me to get on the bus before him.
"Thanks," I said.
"Have a great day," he said.

He is always just so polite.