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.