Monday, August 05, 2013
I took Muni to BART on Sunday, heading to Oakland to catch a ride up to Sacramento with a friend of R.’s.
On the 38 I sat next to a woman who spent the ride chatting on her cellphone. She had the same name as my mother, and I wondered if they spelled it the same way.
At Fillmore, a kid sitting nearby caught sight of one of the lifelike statues currently scattered around the neighborhood.
“Whoa, I thought that was real,” he said.
I laughed and said I’d had a similar reaction when I first saw it. “There are a few more around the corner, in the plaza,” I said.
“I’ll have to check them out when I come back,” he said.
The older man sitting across from us took off his headphones. “There are a couple more further down Fillmore,” he said.
I jogged down the stairs into the BART station and waited on the virtually empty platform for my train.
Eventually my train arrived, one of the newer BART trains with the plastic seats instead of fabric upholstery. I settled into my seat, a forward-facing seat with a man in the rear-facing seat across from me.
He wore a T-shirt emblazoned with musical notes, musical note dangly earrings, and silver rings on each finger. He had a handlebar mustache that looked like an afterthought compared to the rest of his music-themed outfit. He spent the ride working on a crossword puzzle.
That night when I made my way home, several people walked up to me on the MacArthur BART platform and asked me for directions. I stood there, holding my shallow box of fresh figs and said, “Sorry, I don’t know where you need to be, maybe check downstairs?”
I must have looked approachable – that woman won’t harm you, her hands are full, she looks tired. Or something.
Back in San Francisco I chose the right exit at Montgomery, the exit that spits you out on the corner of Montgomery and Market. This is the exit I always want, but it is rarely the exit I get.
As I got to the top of the stairs I heard the sound of bus brakes and I dashed around the corner and on to a 38, just before the doors closed.
Sitting across from me was a heavily tattooed boy – arm sleeves, tattoos peeking out from the collar of his shirt. One of them was a map of Hawaii, the islands scattered across the side of his neck, from ear to chin. Another speedy ride to my destination. I made it home from Oakland in a little less than 45 minutes.