Friday, July 28, 2017

Bus Report #985

This morning as we began to make the hair-pin turn onto Market Street, the sun was a white-gold spot popping through thick bands of grey fog.

Summer time and my commutes have been... uneventful.

They've been busy, and crowded, annoying at times, but for the most part, a snooze-fest.

Last night on the 38R, I sat facing a cute blonde couple. They chatted and laughed for the duration of the ride, eyes only for each other.

I had a series of quiet, stoic seatmates - young women in college sweatshirts, all of them sitting statue-still. No fumbling with phones. No nothing.

Two different, heavily bearded men with bright red eyes. One of them had a CITY YEAR patch on his backpack. I thought of my sister back when she did CITY YEAR. Just out of high school with no idea what she was doing with her life. Oversized jacket, khakis, heavy work boots. She loved it all. And now? She's the best of us.

Van Ness and Geary. Raucous shouting and laughing outside. I was not the only passenger looking around to see what was happening. Two women in stretched-out off-the-shoulder shirts and busted-up heels grabbed at each other's arms and laughed, both smiling as they stumbled down the block.

At Fillmore our bus emptied out. Someone jammed the back door - the driver had to get out of the bus and walk back to fix it.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Bus Report #984

Summer time, which means so many of the Muni regulars are on vacation.
The rest of us greet each other sleepily in the mornings, and, I suppose, sleepily in the evenings.
The dad with the extra adorable toddler.
The pretty older woman with the dark sunglasses.
Mauricio, who always saves me a seat, or waves to me if my bus passes him at 16th and Mission.
The woman who is always running to catch her 38R. Yesterday morning, she told me, as she ran past, that she hasn't missed her bus in weeks.
The big guy who sits sprawled out in an aisle seat on the 22 in the afternoons, who won't look me in the face but who always makes room for me to take the window seat.
The nurse who works at St. Mary's, who is only on my 33 when she's running late.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Bus Report #983

Yesterday morning a man got on our 33, swinging three backpacks and juggling several cans of soup in his arms. He sat down in the front of the bus and rolled the soups between his hands, mumbling all the while,  for the duration of his ride.

He stumbled from the bus in the Upper Haight, and in doing so dropped one of his backpacks on the bus. He started walking away, and the driver shut the door, so I said, "excuse me, driver, his backpack's still here."
She opened the door and I called over to him. "Sir, your backpack, do you want me to throw it over to you?"
He looked confused, smiled and then shrugged. "No."
"You don't want your backpack? Are you sure?"
"No, no." And he walked away.

In the mirror, the driver and I exchanged glances, both of us confused and wary at the same time.
"Do you want me to throw it off the bus or something?" I asked her.
She shook her head. "Leave it. Someone else will do something with it along the route."
Well, okay.

For the rest of the ride, people stepped around the backpack, or stared at it, or tried to locate its owner sitting elsewhere on the bus. It was old and raggedy, obviously a second or third hand backpack. But it had belonged to the man just a few minutes earlier.

When it was my turn to get out, the bag was still there.