Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Bus Report #998

Happy New Year, one and all.

Here are some bits and pieces from the past few weeks.

Right before the holiday break, I gave my early morning driver on the 33 a coffee card to say thanks, as I do.

"Thank you," he said, lovely, bright smile on his face. He held out his hand. "I'm Andres."
"Great to finally meet you, Andres," I said. "I'm Rachel."

Christmas Eve, heading to the Zam Zam, we had 10 minutes to get to the 33. I was surprised we made it - even if it meant C. running to make sure it didn't take off without us.

Later, we took a circuitous Muni path towards home, and as we waited for the 44 I caught sight of one of my former 22 drivers operating a 6 Parnassus bus. He opened the door and wished me some Christmas greetings. I warmly wished him the same.

Several days later, I waited for the 38 on a cold and overcast afternoon. There were at least 25 other people waiting. It did not look good. I had just come from Trader Joe's and as I shifted my bag to my other shoulder, one of my former 38 Geary morning regulars joined me in the bus stop.
We were glad to see each other and immediately began chatting. We realized that even after so many years 'knowing' each other on the bus, we'd never actually introduced ourselves.

"I'm June," she said. We shook hands.
"Rachel," I replied. "I have a friend named June, but she wasn't born in June."
"Ah, but I was," June replied. We chatted about Christmas, and the bus, and her cats. She got on a very crowded 38R and I waited for the next 38.
"Bye, Rachel!" she called back as she ran to cram into the back door.
"See you around," I said.

Last night, on a crowded 38. I had my headphones on, spacing out the window as we crawled up Geary. At Masonic the bus grew crowded.  A big guy with long salt-and-pepper hair, fading tattooed sleeves and way, way too many shopping bags crowded into the seat beside me. I shifted over as much as I could.

I had my music on but heard him ask me how I was at tying knots. I took off my headphones.
"What's that?" I asked.
He held up his plastic shopping bag from Target. The handles were torn. Ah.
I reached over and tied the handle back together for him. It seemed sturdy but I said, "I can't guarantee that's going to hold."
"Well you have to guarantee it," he joked. "You can sign something to make it all official."
"In that case, I'm Jane Doe and we've never met," I joked back.
The person sitting behind us laughed.