Friday, January 31, 2014

Bus Report #789

This morning on the 22 Fillmore:

Mr. Fantastic's outfit - dark purple skinny jeans and a black and white leopard print shirt. Neon yellow wristlet, flattop haircut, Clark Kent glasses.
Hot damn.
No one else could have pulled it off.

That is all.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Bus Report #788

I waited for the bus the other night with a couple of regulars - A dad and his daughter. I hadn't seen them in a while. The dad smiled at me and said, "Haven't seen you in a long time."
I took off my headphones. "I guess I've been on an earlier bus. Or maybe a later one," I said.
The dad is a short, round-faced man with wire-rimmed glasses and his daughter is a stocky little kid with a long, long black braid in her hair that runs all the way down her back.

I can't remember what we got to talking about, but soon the dad and I were chatting.
The little daughter swung her backpack around and put on a pair of sparkly earmuffs.
The dad laughed. "We're going to her gymnastics class, so hopefully the bus will come soon."
I nodded, looked at my watch. Late, of course.

I asked the daughter if she liked her gymnastics class and she said yes. She asked her dad if he had any snacks. He laughed and said, "Snacks? Where would I be hiding them?"
I laughed. The little girl danced off to the corner, and then back.

"She has a lot of energy," her dad said. "It is good. Her doctor says she should move around a lot, so that she will grow up, and not out." He looked down and rubbed his big belly.

The dad held out his hand. "I am Julian, by the way, and she is Aurelia."
I shook his hand. "I'm Rachel, nice to meet you two."

The bus soon arrived, a 10 Townsend, fine for me but not what Julian and Aurelia were waiting for.
"Have a good afternoon Julian, Aurelia," I said.
"You too, Rachel," Julian said.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bus Report #787

I had a late meeting the other night, caught the 22  a few hours later than usual.
The driver saw me, raised his eyebrows. "You're late," he said, smiling.
I sat down next to a kid who was talking to the couple sitting behind us. I couldn't figure out how they knew each other, but they'd all spent time in Manila and also in the Netherlands, so the three of them chatted about it until we got to Mission and 16th.
"You guys want to join us for a burrito?" my seatmate asked his two new friends.
They did.
The three of them got out and headed off for some food.

The Man Who Looks Familiar From the Back got on the bus. He wore his usual jacket and cap, smiled at no one, sat down and took off his cap. I hadn't seen him in months. And while I still can't figure out why he looks so familiar from the back, I was glad to see him.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Bus Report #786

The other night I took the 5 Fulton home from downtown.
At Divisadero, a trio of dirty, beery 20-somethings got on the bus. One of the boys looked like a grubby skater, one looked like a Sid Vicious wannabe, his pants falling off his flabby ass, and the girl had thick spiky hair and a green purse. She'd scribbled stuff on her purse with a Sharpie, but all I could see were the swastikas.

The three of them jostled each other and pushed their way back to near where I was sitting. Sid swilled beer from a tall can. The skater dropped his board and it hit the floor with a loud thud. The girl stood at the side of my seat.

I stared and tried not to stare at the girl's purse. Wanted to rip it from her shoulder and throw it out the window. Wanted her and her nasty friends to get off the bus.

They probably weren't watching me but I thought they were - thought they might steal my bag or grab my necklace as they got out of the bus.

Sid and the skater decided they should get out by Albertson's, and the girl agreed. I suppressed the urge to trip her down the stairs as they left. It would have been so easy. Just stretch my leg out at the exact moment she stepped to the back door. Shoot my foot out and catch her torn Keds. Watch her fall out the bus on her face. It would serve her right.

But I didn't. I couldn't.

The three of them sat on the low stone wall by the bus shelter and emptied their pockets onto the ledge. Lighters and cigarettes, bits of paper, wadded up cash, coins.

The bus pulled away as they sifted through their trash.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Bus Report #785

Early morning on the 22 Fillmore. The usual cast of characters: The mom with the wiggly worm baby, who has to be about a year old at this point, the teenage girl with the sweet smile, the 80s lady, the construction workers, and Mr. Fantastic, with his neon yellow wristlet and his flattop haircut.

The 80s lady (Reeboks, puffy ski parka, sheer tights. short black skirt, heavy makeup) gets out at Herman Street, Mr. Fantastic a  block later at Duboce.

Church and Market and who gets on the bus but Tennis Club guy. Tennis Club guy always wears tennis whites that are a few washes away from being truly white. He wears black socks with dock shoes. He has leathery tanned skin and greasy long hair. He always carries a tennis racket with him, but never a gym bag or anything like that.

And then it hits me, watching him sit in the front of the bus where the 80s lady was sitting just a few minutes earlier.

Let's get these two together, and let the magic happen.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Bus Report #784

On my way home last night on the 22, after dinner with S., I slid into a seat in the back half of the bus.
My seatmate was a sleepy-eyed girl who looked like the character Bella from one of my favorite films, Croupier.
She smiled and said, "I'm getting out at Haight."
"Okay," I replied. I wasn't sure why she was telling me this.
"If I fall asleep, can you wake me up when we get there?" she asked.
Ah. Now I understood.
"Of course," I said.
The bus rattled on, with people crowding in at one stop, and pouring out at the next.
My seatmate was soon napping. Her glasses slid down her nose as the bus stopped short at Duboce.
As we rounded the corner and turned onto Fillmore I gently nudged the girl's elbow.
She awoke, stretched her arms out in front of her and pushed her glasses back into position.
"Thanks," she said, and then the bus stopped and she disembarked, and headed off down the street.