Monday, December 24, 2012

Bus Report #724

Christmas Eve morning and the rain has finally stopped.
Thank goodness, as my coat is still damp and I can't stop thinking about the leaky skylight at work - hopefully the roof hasn't fallen in.

With the buses on a Saturday schedule the 38 Geary is crowded - a handful of us headed for work, but most people have suitcases and frame packs and look as though they are headed out of town for the holidays.

A young man in muddy jeans and flannel pulls the signal cord, and then tugs it another couple of times, almost knocking a girl and her boyfriend in the head as he does so. The girl and her boyfriend exchange looks, shrug. The man pushes through the door at Divisadero.

One of the Russian ladies is reading a novel, in Russian, with the English title in large cap letters on the spine - A SCANDALOUS AFFAIR.

Fillmore street is cold and still dark, and I wait in the bus stop with two semi-regulars - homeless or marginally housed guys who tend to pace the bus stop and twitch and sometimes make me nervous.
This morning, though, one of them stands at the far end of the stop rolling and re-rolling his sleeping bag and the other man hunkers down on a bench to smoke.
Once done with his cigarette he tosses the butt away and stands up.
He takes a toothbrush from his pocket and a moment later I can smell minty toothpaste as he vigorously brushes his teeth, spitting the foam onto the sidewalk just a foot or so away from me. And it is a quiet enough morning that I can hear the bristles swish against his teeth.

The bus comes, we get on, and we slowly, slowly move up Fillmore. Most stops are empty. One of the vet techs from the SPCA gets on, and then an old man in a 49ers jacket, and then a mom and her two beaming little girls.
When I get out it is still dark but the sun is peeking out from behind pink-grey clouds. The cafe is quiet, just a few cops and some regulars, no sign of the friendly cabbie or the maintenance guys who always say hello.
16th Street is silent, it is so unusual but I like it.
All the shops near my office are closed, though a couple of trucks are dropping off bread and uniforms at one of the restaurants. I wave to the delivery guys and walk up the hill, stepping on brilliant red and orange leaves as I make my way to the office.
A woman with green curly hair stands out front the building, making a phone call.

Fog City Notes wishes you a great Christmas if you celebrate, a fantastic New Year, and enjoy today's sun... Oh how I've missed it.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Bus Report #723

Apparently it is crazies week on Fog City Notes.
Tuesday afternoon I caught the 22 at my usual stop, and zoned out while riding toward home.
At Church Street a man got on. He was babbling and shouting, not to anyone in particular, and he slid in to a seat in the front of the bus, and kept yelling and gesticulating wildly at the passengers nearby. He had bulging eyes and thick curly hair, and dangly plastic earrings.
Most people ignored him and left an empty seat on either side of him.
At McAllister an old man and a middle-aged woman got on. The woman had a Clipper card and the man had cash, so she stepped in front of him to tag her card.
The old man yelled at her for doing so. "You are rude!" he screamed at her.
He sat down beside the babbling man and continued to berate the woman.
She apologized several times and I thought that would be the end of it. I would have just moved to the back of the bus, but she didn't - instead, she sat down right next to the old man, and continued to respond to his ever-louder, ever-scarier accusations.
The driver didn't do anything, not at first.
But as the man's voice grew louder, and as the babbling man started shouting, too, the driver told the two of them to quiet down.
It was useless.
The woman tried apologizing again, and then said, "I really don't see what the problem is."
At that, the old man raised his umbrella and threatened to hit her with it.
Everyone froze for a moment.
The driver yelled back to them to cut it out.
The old man slowly lowered his arm and put down the umbrella.
The babbler laughed, babbled some more.
The woman just sat there.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Bus Report #722

Early morning on Fillmore, waiting for the 22, just me, my thoughts, and a man across the street who danced his way up Fillmore, completely uninhibited. He would do a little jig, and stop, and throw his arms up, and then shimmy another few steps, twirl, and then let loose with some more fancy footwork.

To be fair, he seemed probably crazy or fucked up on drugs, but you know what? With my headphones on and music blasting in my ears, I was a candidate for Fillmore dancing, too.
Maybe one of these days.