Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bus Report #757

Sunday night I was on my way home from the movies, having seen I'm So Excited! downtown with S.
The movie was funny, though not an Almodóvar film I would add to my movie library (but it did make me want to go home and have an Almodóvar movie marathon!).
The 38 Geary was crowded. I sat by the window, a kid eating a fast food meal behind me and a tall, well-dressed young guy sitting in front of me. I figured him for a downtown financial suit, so I was surprised when a moment later another extremely well dressed guy came up to him and asked if he was still working at Nordstrom. 
The newcomer wore a grey suit with an orange pocket square and orange tie, and grey wingtip shoes. He took off his Ray Bans and shook the other man's hand. "I'm at Saks now," said orange tie guy. "I only lasted a couple weeks at Nordstrom, until that bitch had me canned."
The seated man said, "What are you up to right now? I'm going to go home, go for a run, but then I'm free."
Orange tie guy replied, "Actually I was gonna see if you wanted to smoke some weed. I guess that's like, the opposite of going for a run."
They both laughed.
Orange tie took out his phone. "Dude, give me your number, we can hang out some other time."
The seated man punched his number into orange tie's phone. Orange tie said, "My IPhone got jacked last week... Right in my neighborhood, which is why I'm back to using this thing."
Number exchange complete, orange tie guy gestured to the seated man that he was going to go sit in the back of the bus.
"Catch you later," said the seated man.
"Yeah, dude," said orange tie.

Back in my neighborhood the streets were quiet, many of the stores already shut for the night. It was cool and foggy, one of those perfect San Francisco nights where you just want to go home and wrap yourself up in a blanket.
Which is exactly what I did when I got home.

Bus Report #756

This morning, the Fillmore and Geary intersection smelled like a butcher shop that could use a good cleaning.
It had that sour, rotten smell of old meat, and the smell of old, dried blood.
I tried my best not to breathe through my nose.

The construction worker and his buddy showed up, and the construction worker tried to tell me something, but as usual I had no idea what he said. I just said something non-committal like, "oh, yeah," and nodded my head, and smiled.

This morning's ride was smooth, uneventful, and as I walked to work from the coffee shop I saw our driver making her return trip. She saw me, and waved, and I waved back.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Bus Report #755

Early last week I was waiting for the 22, not paying attention to anything, when out of the corner of my eye I noticed a petite figure shuffling towards me.
Even without his bright yellow crossing guard uniform, I recognized Mr. Henry Taylor, the world's oldest school crossing guard.
He smiled and gave me one of his trademark slow waves. And then there he was, in a green bomber jacket and a black watch cap.
Standing up, he was even shorter than I'd always thought. Maybe an inch or two shorter than me, and I'll never reach the shelf above my stove without a stretch.

"Rachel," he said, in his deep yet also fragile sounding voice. "Hello!"
I took off my headphones and grinned at him. "Mr. Taylor, good morning," I said. "Are you on summer vacation?"
He nodded and said, "I just got back, from St. Louis. I've got another few weeks, then school starts again."
He told me all about his trip, a family reunion. He hadn't seen his family all together for years.
"My baby brother's getting up there, he's almost eighty," Mr. Taylor said. "My sister too." He laughed, throwing his head back. "I'm not getting any younger, myself."

In that moment, I wanted to wrap him in bubble wrap, wanted to give him a gentle hug. Talking to him, I missed my grandfathers immensely.

"Sounds like you had a great time," I said.
"Oh, yes," Mr. Taylor said. "You know, who can say when I'll see any of them again?"
We chatted a little more. He asked about Lacey.
"She got a new job," I said. "Started the other day, or so I've heard."
"Yes, she told me she was hoping for a promotion, too bad we missed each other," he said.

We were still chatting when the construction worker I can never understand walked up. He nodded to us both, and then Mr. Taylor gave him a hearty hello, and the construction worker said hello and turned his attention to trying to see the bus coming down over the hill.

"Well, I should be on my way," Mr. Taylor said. "Nice to see you, Rachel."
"Likewise, sir," I said.

He shuffled off.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Bus Report #754

Yesterday morning on the 22...

Mr. Fantastic got on at Hayes, his neon yellow wristlet dangling from his wrist.
He's got a new hairdo - a cross between a fade and a bouffant. It makes his head look bigger - as though he's got a longer forehead.
He wore a white and black striped shirt and a necklace made of shellacked kukui nuts. On him, it looked good - on anyone else, it would look stupid.

The 80's woman was there, too. She wore thick black tights and black shoes with squared heels and big pilgrim buckles. Her stretchy skirt rode up a little in the front. She sat down next to another one of the early-morning regulars, a nurse.

The bus stopped for a wheelchair passenger. It took forever to load the wheelchair, and when the man was safely on board he stood up and walked around behind the chair, and pushed it into the wheelchair spot.

Happy 4th of July, San Francisco!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Bus Report #753

So far this week, I am not in love with Muni's "Summer Schedule".
What? You haven't heard about it? I am not surprised. The schedule announcement is buried on the SFMTA website, in the news section. If not for our friends at Muni Diaries, I would probably be wondering why the 22 is off schedule, even more than usual.
Basically, SFMTA decided to give several lines amended schedules for the summer. They claim that ridership is down on those lines, but I don't believe it. The 22 is always packed, same for the 14. I don't ride most of the other lines, but I'd put them in the same category as the 22 and the 14.
So the 22 is on an amended schedule during morning and evening commute time. I don't get it, I really don't.
I left my apartment 10 minutes early yesterday, and got down to work 20 minutes later than usual. The bulk of the riders I see during my commutes work in the summer, just like I do. I am sure they don't love the schedule change, either.
One fellow passenger who rides the 22 with me most mornings shook her head and said, "I don't know, maybe I have my husband drive me tomorrow."
Instead, she was waiting at the McAllister stop when our bus arrived this morning, both of us having left home even earlier than usual to catch an earlier bus.