Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bus Report #733

I caught an early 38 this morning and sat squished between two women who smelled, alternately, like mothballs and buttery danish cookies, the kind in the blue tin.
I got out at Fillmore and waited for the 22 by myself, watching birds fly around overhead until they settled on the wires across the street.
Eventually one of the construction workers joined me. I hadn't seen him for a while. I said good morning, he said good morning, and then he stepped into the middle of the street to look and see if the bus was on its way.
He smiled and nodded, said, "Bus coming."
Then he said, "I was on vacation."
"Oh, really? Where did you go?" I asked. So far, this was the longest conversation we'd ever had.
"China," he said. "China. Just got back, last night."
"What! Aren't you exhausted?" I asked, grinning.
He nodded. "Yes," he said. "Very tired."
He had been there for Lunar New Year, for a couple of weeks, and just as the bus arrived I said, "Well, happy new year and welcome back."
He laughed and wished me a happy new year, too, and we got on the bus.
Lacey greeted me with a "Hey, Ray-Chal!" and the world's oldest school crossing guard raised his hand in a silent hello.
I greeted them both and sat down.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bus Report #732

The 22 arrived, just barely missing getting hit by a couple dudes in a bright red sports car.
The driver opened the door and shook his head as I stepped up into the bus.
"You see those guys? We could've had an accident," he said. "They should have waited for me to pass."
"Guess they didn't get the memo," I replied, and made my way back to a seat near the rear door.

The bus filled up and when we got to Bryant the driver asked everyone to move out of the way for a wheelchair passenger.
The woman got on the bus, scooting her chair backwards with her heels, hollering, "Move! Move your feet! Watch your feet!"
Suddenly, a little girl in the front of the bus started shrieking and crying. The woman in the wheelchair said, "Well, I SAID everyone needs to move their feet. Why is she crying? Can't she understand directions?"
Someone piped up, "She's hurt, and she wants her mommy."
The woman in the wheelchair replied, "Well, her mommy should have told her, in whatever language they speak, to move her damn feet."
The woman in the wheelchair continued to badmouth the kid, her mother, other people on the bus, and 'The Man', until we got to Mission and she got out.
I don't know what happened to the kid.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Bus Report #731

I left work a few minutes later than usual the other night, and when the bus arrived it was crowded, but helmed by my favorite driver, in his dark shades and his black cap.
"Hey, sweetheart," he said.
"Hey," I replied. "Nice to see you."
I worked my way to the back of the bus. The only open seat was next to a kid who was sprawled out on the double seat, dozing.
I sat down next to him and he  woke up, grudgingly moved his leg and scooted over a couple inches.
He turned his face to the window and dozed off again.
He'd had his elbow resting on the back of the seat and it still sort of was, except that his hand kept brushing my shoulder.
The bus emptied out at Mission. Half a dozen college kids got on. One of the girls wore a child's cat ear hat. Another girl perched on her girlfriend's lap.
In the front of the bus a woman sat with her puppy zipped into her jacket. Two little boys sitting near her kept pointing at the dog until their mother patted the empty seat next to her and the boys got up to sit nearer to their mom.
At Church and Market a young twenty-something Scottish man waited for the light to change. He wore a full kilt, sporran, high white socks, the whole thing. He carried a metal briefcase with a sticker of the Scottish flag stuck on the corner. He cracked a joke with a canvasser and laughed at their reply.

I know I wasn't the only person watching him until the lights changed and he crossed the street, and the bus moved on, to much less exciting scenery.