Monday, May 05, 2014

Bus Report #813

A couple weeks ago The Teacher's Pet told me she'd seen the Alien Donut Man at the donut shop, late at night after she and the Ghost left my place.
I was excited, though at the same time I thought they might have seen another kind of alien - another lonely, elderly man who trembles a lot and always has his mouth open, often moving his lips so that he looks like a fish.

I didn't say anything, didn't want to break the spell, but in my heart I just knew the Alien Donut Man had been recalled to his home galaxy. I hadn't seen him in months and it just made me sad to think of him disappearing and being gone for good.


Tonight, on a crowded 38 Geary, I sat in the window seat in the back of the bus listening to an old episode of This American Life and generally spacing out, staring out the window.

At Geary and Larkin we stopped in front of the saddest laundromat I know of, with its graffitied, dirty windows and the defeated looking people waiting for their washes to be finished.
Out the window I saw a familiar figure.
It was the Alien Donut Man, walking in his shuffly, pained way, no parka or scarf on, just a blue button down shirt buttoned all the way up to his chin. He stared down at his feet as he walked. His white, wispy hair looked thinner, still floated around his head in the wind.
I smiled and sat back in my seat, happy.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Bus Report #812

Tonight, on a smelly and crowded 38 Geary.
An impossibly tall man sat beside me, all elbows and knees, folded into the seat, almost birdlike.

Behind us, a man with an enormous trash bag full of glass bottles. How do I know they were glass? He smashed them on the way into the bus, smashed them even more on the way out of the bus. Loudly. So that I thought he'd end up with a sack of pulverized glass by the time he reached his destination.

In front of me, a woman in a tank top had a tattoo in cursive across her shoulders, "La vida es una belleza", which didn't make a lot of sense to me, and the 'z' in belleza was weird looking, as though someone had misspelled the tattoo and then gone over it again trying to correct it.
Maybe she felt me looking at it because she soon wrapped a gauzy pink scarf around her neck and tugged it down so all that was readable was the 'la vida' part.

I hurried off the bus at my stop, into the strangely warm evening, and headed home.

Bus Report #811

Had to run to catch the 22 this morning, and caught it just before the light changed.
The smiley teen was already on the bus, and when she saw me, she smiled and waved and I waved back.

The bus smelled bad, like fish and sweat. I opened all the windows I could reach and then sat down.
A few stops later a handful of people got out. The driver swung open the Plexiglas door next to his seat and stood up. He turned around and, wrinkling his nose, sprayed the newly vacated seats with air freshener.
The smiley teen and the woman sitting across from her grinned at each other.