Bus Report #741
My sweet seatmate gets out at Church and Market (after jotting down the name of the newest Ben Katchor book, at my recommendation) and I get a new seatmate, a laid-back, maybe a little tipsy guy, who smiles and says hi and then leans back and closes his eyes.
There's something going on with the bus, but no one can tell what. Maybe we're stuck behind something, or the electricity is out for the overhead wires? No idea. And our driver doesn't say anything, just tries to pull forward and around whatever the problem is.
A few people get out, then a few more, until it is down to a handful of us, including my seatmate.
He says, "What's going on?"
And I reply, "Not sure... But I can't walk where I'm going from here, so I'm just gonna trust that this driver will get us going soon."
My seatmate looks skeptical.
"I trust this driver," I tell him. "He's the real deal. I've known him for years."
At this, my seatmate warms up. "Oh yeah? Are you from here?"
"No," I say, "But this guy is cool. Trust me."
We talk. My seatmate wants to run home (somewhere on Turk) before heading to Oakland. He keeps looking at his watch - will he make it? Is it even worth it? And eventually, just as our bus starts to lurch forward another few feet to pick up the waiting passengers, he decides he's got to go straight downtown, no side trips.
I wish him luck and he gets out the bus as the passengers who had gotten out ten minutes earlier stream back on.
We slowly make our way up Church, to Hermann, then on to Fillmore. People who got out earlier keep climbing back on. They greet their friends, we all commiserate, it's like old home week.