Three for Thursday...
This morning, stepping off the 33 and crossing 16th, what do I see tucked away beside a concrete building column?
A gorgeous-looking chocolate cake with a smooth ganache, with sprinkles. On a plate, with toothpicks on top to help tent the plastic wrap on top of it (which was partially torn, leaving the cake exposed to the elements).
A cake left out in the rain, folks.
Last night, rain, and Muni once again unable to handle it. The 10 Townsend never arrived so I crowded on to the 22 Fillmore, which was late.
I got the last seat on the bus, next to a man who said, "That's the most coveted seat on the bus."
We chatted a little. He was from L.A. and was not bothered by the rain at all. "We need it," he said. "At least there aren't any mudslides here like in southern Cal."
More people crowded on, their umbrellas dripping everywhere, their backpacks bumping people.
Kids from the middle school up the street, talking about how one of their brother's just got a gun.
I hope it was just bragging/bravado and not the truth, though I suspect it was the truth.
Slow commute down Fillmore and I missed the 5 Fulton by a minute, watched it drive off while I ran to catch it. NextBus unhelpfully said the next bus would be in 10 minutes and 23 minutes, or 11 minutes and 13 minutes if I wanted the 5L.
Luckily, (well, unluckily, I guess), the NextBus sign was wrong and a 5 pulled up a couple minutes later.
I stood on the bus near the door, next to a woman who looked angry, or worried, or both. I hope her night only got better.
And Tuesday night, another overcrowded, dripping wet 22 Fillmore bus. A man got on at Mission and I recognized his jacket, immediately.
Because it used to be mine, and I gave it to Goodwill a couple months ago.
It was my jacket, I just know it - blue zip-up with a white stripe running around it horizontally. It was always too big for me and not waterproof, and I hadn't worn it in over twelve years when I donated it. It was still in good shape and I knew someone else would really like it. It had been a men's jacket to begin with, from a store back in Boston before I moved out west.
The man stood in front of me and I could not stop staring. At him wearing my jacket. At the odds of seeing my jacket on someone else. At how the jacket, still not waterproof, was soaked through almost all of the way.
And I pictured myself in that jacket, newly arrived in San Francisco, a sweatshirt underneath the too-big, boxy blue jacket. My hands shoved in the pockets, wandering the Lower Haight and the Mission, looking for my first apartment during another long ago housing crunch, staying out all night to avoid going back to where I was staying those first few weeks in the city.
Pictured myself going to my first temp job here, in my only shoes (blue Dr. Martens), my only decent pants (black slacks) and my only decent shirt (a grey early fleece v-neck, already growing threadbare by that time). No one in that corporate environment saying anything about my bad clothes. Spending my first check on another pair pants, on cheap Community Thrift shoes, still searching for a place, still hoping to make San Francisco work for me.
I stopped staring at the man before he noticed and stared back.
I hope he gets a lot of good use out of that jacket.