Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Bus Report #1032

This morning I was early to the bus stop, but so was Paul so we got to talking.
He'd been nervous about passing his driver's test the other day, though he has licenses in several other countries. This was his third try.
"Good morning, how are you?" he asked.
"I'm fine, the question is, how are YOU?" I said, grinning.
He made a face. "Ah, yes, the test. I am.... I am great!"
"Yes!" I smiled and punched the air. "That's good news."

We talked about driving (he was shocked I don't have my license), and then he wondered what earthquakes were like, so we talked about those, too.

Time passed. Too much time. Another semi-regular, the kid with the skateboard, got fed up and got a Lyft.

A moment later, Annie pulled up in the 33, her only passenger the rude Russian woman.

At the next stop we picked up a handful of regulars, including the mom with the two sons. The older boy has to be almost 13 but he is still sweet with his mom and his younger brother, who is still one of the most beautiful kids I've ever seen. Beautiful and getting too big for his stroller. What will they do when he outgrows it?

By St. Mary's we took on a wheelchair passenger, a woman wearing a very long, very matted, auburn wig. She couldn't figure out how to set the chair brakes so Annie had to get up and help her. The woman proceeded to start brushing the very tangled wig as though it were real hair. a cloud of red hair already clogged the bristles.

It became obvious that the earlier bus had simply never shown up, as we took on more and more passengers. The giant genie.other regulars. In front of our bus, I saw one of the women who gets on by the old fire station hop into a Lyft.

The bus turned the corner onto Market and just as we straightened out, the little boy's stroller tipped and fell over sideways. Everyone - and I really mean everyone - gasped and three men rushed to help the mom pick the stroller back up. Annie pulled over.

The little boy wailed - it seemed to be more from shock than pain - and the mom and big brother checked to see if he was okay.

Annie came over, asking in English and then in Spanish if he was okay, if the mom wanted her to call an ambulance. The mom said he was okay.
"Segura?" Annie asked.
The mom nodded. "Yes, yes." She comforted her son, stroked his cheeks and hands and whispered to him as we continued on our way.
She looked up an I smiled at her. We've got you, I wanted to say. All of us, any time, we've got you.

Bus Report #1031

Monday morning I turned the corner and there was Olga waiting in our bus stop. She waved her cane at me and pointed down Arguello. "Three three," she said, and sure enough the number 33 bus was arriving, early.

We greeted each other in our mixture of Russian, English and French and got on board.

"Dosvedanya," I said as she got out at her stop. She waved and said the same.
In the back of the bus, the Russian woman who always skypes her son leaned forward and cut her eyes at me, accusatory and rude as usual, no reason, just her personality. I doubt my accent was convincing enough for her to think I understood her marathon conversations with her son, but I'll keep her guessing.

That afternoon, I caught a different 22 Fillmore coming home. It was a driver I have occasionally. He grinned and said, "Hey, have you been cheating on me with that other bus?"
I laughed. "It's not you, it's me," I told him.

Tuesday morning, just me and the Frenchman (what are we calling him? Paul?) waiting at the stop. We ended up chatting as we always do, about his school, weekend plans, the differences between San Francisco and the other places he has lived. It's nice, talking to other people while waiting. It makes the time go faster. Which is especially important when the bus is running late.

After work on Friday I had plans to meet S. in North Beach, so I headed out to catch the 10, which was already running behind schedule. I waited, and waited, long enough to watch two 22 Fillmores roll past.
One was driven by the driver I call Keith. He opened the door and said, "Where you going tonight?"
"To North Beach, if the 10 ever shows up."
He nodded. "That's a decent bus, it should be here soon."
"I hope so," I said. Two people were running down the hill at breakneck speed. "You've got a couple people coming, hang on," I told him.
He waited, and the two runners slowed their pace as they approached the bus. They got on, Keith waved, and they were off.

Five minutes later I was on a crowded 10, headed towards North Beach and S.