Friday, August 25, 2017

Bus Report #990

We're getting dangerously close to my 1,000 bus report, friends. Keep checking back in for info on a celebration I am planning, to which you will all be invited.

Meanwhile, back on the bus after a short vacation...

Last night, everyone (well, not everyone, but several people) on the 38R were either nodding out standing up, or sitting down. It was incredibly odd considering it was normal commute time. I stood out of the way and watched as a couple almost fell down several times. The woman sitting in front of me kept a loose hold on her unlit cigarette as she bobbed forward, lurched back, bobbed forward again.

The bus was packed the entire commute. Other than the folks nodding off, there were students in their new back to school clothes, tourists, out-of-towners. The strap of my bag pulled at my coat and sweater, exposing my star of David and my hamsa necklace. The people standing around me were probably just zoning out into space like I was, but for the first time in a long while, I felt a little uneasy. I can honestly say that before the most recent inauguration, I've never felt like a real target in my own country before. But I do now. After a few minutes, I pulled the neck of my sweater up. 

Several hours later, on another 38, an adorably sleepy, chubby baby flopped on his mama's lap, blinking at me in the harsh Muni light. Too cute.

This morning on the 33, the giant genie reappeared after his summer off. A little tanner, a little leaner. But he's still got his routine. Lotion, beard and mustache wax, dandy comb. A routine I can get behind.

At Mission and 16th, our driver honked at the woman who sells tamales on the corner and held up her fingers, two tamales, please. The woman stepped up on the bus and swapped a paper bag of food for a few dollars.

Around the corner Mauricio waited for the 55. He caught my eye through the window, grinned, and waved. I waved back.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Bus Report #989

This morning, quiet on the 33.
When we got to Castro and 18th, I could see flashing lights up ahead. More than one set. Uh oh.
We drove slowly down the street. At Church and 18th, the corner closest to Dolores Park was taped off with yellow CAUTION tape, and there were several emergency vehicles and first responders clustered around someone who was flat on their back on the sidewalk.
The paramedics were doing chest compressions on the person, cops milling around, rubberneckers standing right up against the tape.
I hoped the person would be okay. It was scary to watch.

In the front of our bus, most people were face down in their phones, oblivious.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Bus Report #988

The bus was late or early today, depending on which bus you were waiting for. I was waiting for my usual, which was on time, but a handful of other semi-regulars had been waiting for the earlier bus, which was a no show.
I smiled, nodded at the nurse and at the axe body spray guy.
We got on and our bus sailed off down Arguello.

Haight Street was emptier than I've ever seen it, except for a flock of birds eating a huge mound of compost near Whole Foods. Not a person in sight.

Later, somewhere between 16th and Mission and my stop, a homeless man in the front of the bus carefully put on a wool cap, and then a turquoise baseball hat over it, and then a beige baseball hat over that.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Bus Report #987

Odds and ends.

Last night, on the 10 Townsend:

A woman reading The Marriage Plot - I wanted to intervention her right then and there, but she only had a few pages left, so I didn't. I wanted to implore her to read anything else - especially anything else by Eugenides. Despite my deep dislike of the book, I still wanted to dissect the story and characters with her. She got out by Caltrain. An older woman carrying a beautiful bouquet of orange flowers took her seat.

We passed a cafe on 2nd Street that I thought offered enigmatic coffee, but it turned out I'd just read the sign wrong. It served organic coffee.

This morning a creepy guy got on my 33 at Castro. He stood in the doorway and stared at the driver, then shrugged his shoulders as if to say, I am riding this bus, even though I don't have bus fare. The driver let him on.

He planted himself in the aisle, hovering above my seat and the seat behind me. It was unnerving. He chewed ice cubes from a plastic cup, and stared at me and the people behind me.

I tightened my grip on my bag. I did that thing you do (because public transit riders do this, don't we?) where you put on your ugliest, most disinterested face. I squished against the window and tried to make myself disappear.

Of course, he decided to sit next to me, still shaking ice cubes into his mouth, and hunching forward, and occasionally shooting a glance over at me. I watched him out of the corner of my eye. If he tried anything - made a grab for my bag, or touched me - I was ready to give him hell.

He lurched forward, sideways. He ate more ice cubes. At Mission Street he thrust his hand out, his fingers grazing my arm, and then he hopped off the bus. Ugh.

When I got off the bus and crossed the street, I ran in to Frank from the garage. We chatted for a minute, the usual pleasantries, and how's your summer going, and the conversation fixed me right up. Creepy creeper on the bus, completely sloughed off.

A few blocks later, a 22 Fillmore sailed past me as I walked to work. The Roche Bobois guy sat in a window seat, and we waved at each other.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Bus Report #986

Clement Street has gone to the birds, again.

The neighborhood crows shriek like insane babies. They strut down the street, or chase the seagulls, or they stare at me from their perches atop recycle bins and storefront awnings.

The seagulls shout back. They're out of their element away from the water, but food is food and they fight the crows, the pigeons, the little black birds for the compost and trash strewn around the street.

There are young pigeons, too. Newly hatched with perfectly intact, bright red feet. fluffy feathers on their heads where you can still sometimes see a pinfeather or two. They are unafraid of me as I walk to the bus stop. They haven't learned to fear people yet.

Near the bus stop someone has put out a bag of old clothes. For Goodwill? For recycling or trash? Because it's all trash now. A man empties the bag onto the sidewalk and begins sorting through it. I don't think any of the old cardigans and thigh-high boots will fit him. None of my business, though.

The bus arrives on time, our humorless new driver almost - ALMOST! cracking a smile.