Friday, December 27, 2013

Bus Report #783

Dear guy from the 2 Clement who I haven't seen in a while,

It was nice to see you on the street this evening, but next time you want to talk to me, please don't turn around and follow me half way down my block before you stop and say hi.
I promise next time I'll be less flustered and frightened if you call out to me on Geary or Clement.

Thanks, and I hope you have a lovely night.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bus Report #782

Last night, on the 19 Polk...

A gorgeous sunset blanketed the city as I rode from Potrero Hill out to Polk Street. The sky was orange and pink with stripes of grey blue, each color shot through with thin fluffy clouds.

A girl, her boyfriend and their dog got on the bus at 7th and Market. The dog was a tiny Chihuahua mix, a friendly brown pup wearing a pink camo dog jacket.
As the girl and the dog followed the boyfriend to the back of the bus, the driver called back, "you got a muzzle for that animal?"
The girl seemed startled, then said, "uh, she's a service animal, and they don't need to be muzzled."
The dog was no service animal, but even I thought it was a ridiculous question. And I am, most of the time, not a fan of dogs on the bus. But this one was harmless.
I wondered if the driver would have asked her about it if the dog had been bigger and scarier, or if the girl had been bigger, scarier. 
I looked down at the cute little wiggly dog and said to the girl, "You sure your dog isn't vicious?" and I smiled.
She laughed and said, "oh, yeah, she's a killer all right."
A man sitting behind me said, "Come on now, why the driver even gonna bother with it?"
The girl's boyfriend scooped the little dog into his arms and said, "you'd never hurt a fly, wouldja, Panda?"
All of us in the back of the bus had a good laugh.

City Hall glowed green and red as we drove by, and it was pretty with the electric orange sky behind it.

A man got on and stood in front of me. He carried a model ship in a plastic grocery sack. It had delicate masts and many, many sails.

At the coffee shop on Polk where my friends meet up on Tuesday, I greeted another regular, the Spanish teacher, and caught up with the barista, after not seeing him for a few months.

It was a beautiful night.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Bus Report #781

Thursday night, supper with S. on Church and Market. As we paid our bill we checked to see if our buses were on their way, and mine was just pulling into the stop across the street.
We said good night quickly and I dashed out of the restaurant, cramming my card and receipt into my pocket as I ran for the 22.

The bus was crowded but I squished in next to a very large man and his crumpled grocery bags.

At Geary I crossed the street to catch the 38. Not a lot of people in the stop, just me and a couple of kids, and a pair of short, stocky drunks weaving their way down the block from Steiner.

The drunks swayed closer and one of them brushed past me on the left.
I can understand walking into someone by accident, I can even understand if he did it on purpose.
But grabbing the right side of my ass as he passed by? Come on now.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Bus Report #780

Early, early in the morning, and cold.
As I trudged up my street I saw my 38 Geary approaching and knew I'd miss it, ah well, there would be another one along soon.
But wait! The driver slowed down and pulled in to my stop, caught my eye from across the street and smiled.
I smiled back, then looked both ways and dashed across Geary. I shouldn't jaywalk but I didn't think Officer Mustache would be around to bust me again, and he wasn't.
I got on the bus and said, "Thanks, I really appreciate it," and the driver nodded and said, "no problem."

Later, the 22 Fillmore pulled in to the stop at 16th and Church and there were about two dozen of the white-and-blue-habited young nuns (apologies if they are called something else) I often see waiting for the J Church there. They were all gathered together, their prayer books open and held up in front of their faces. They sang, or perhaps it was more like chanted prayer, and we watched them while the bus idled at the light. I remembered hearing somewhere that today was the Feast of Our Lady of Guadelupe. That must be why they were there this morning, huddled together in the chilly darkness.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Bus Report #779

Last night on the 22 Fillmore, I sat squeezed into the window seat beside a man who works down the street from me. He always wears a leather fedora and a long leather coat, tie-dye shirts with vaguely Central American Indian hand-knit pullovers on top, the sweaters stretched precariously over his belly. He favors bell-bottom jeans and earth shoes.

Our bus rolled slowly down 16th Street. Right before we hit 16th and Mission, a Two Gallants song came on my ipod - their song 16th St. Dozens. A strange synchronicity, but appreciated.

In the front of the bus I caught sight of a familiar gold-hued paperback book - Jhumpa Lahiri's debut collection, Interpreter of Maladies. Such a wonderful book, I hope the reader enjoys it.