Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Bus Report #1035

Yesterday morning I went to Safeway in the morning, in the rain.
Emerged with a container of milk and an ice cream cake for an office birthday, too ungainly for me to carry the rest of the way to work.
I crossed the street and got on a 22 Fillmore - one operator instructing another new guy about the route.
"Hey, hey, it's been a while," said the instructing operator as I got on. It was James, who used to drive the 33 in the mornings.
I smiled and said, "How's it going?"
We chatted in between his instructions to the new driver.
I hopped out at Connecticut and hoped they both had a good day. As I turned the corner, another 22 Fillmore pulled up, this one piloted by a waving and honking Leon.

In the afternoon Keith helmed our 22 Fillmore - no nonsense as people shoved in, blocking the doors, everyone else just generally being weird or creepy or both. My seatmate had been drinking and he kept dozing off, the weight of his body sagging against me. I didn't mind until we were going down a hill and gravity pushed him right up close, tight to my side.

Across from us sat a man I see from time to time, vacant eyes, open mouth, trying to sell people drawings he made with sharpies on regular copier paper. No takers.

Geary and we missed the 38R, no big deal, the Hemulen was at the wheel of the 38 right behind it.

I was back in the neighborhood 20 minutes later.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Bus Report #1034

This morning, walking to the bus, I passed A. who was walking on the other side of the street in the opposite direction. We waved.

Approaching the bus stop but still a block away I saw the bus pull up and then peel off again. I slowed my pace - no need to rush now - and glanced in the window of the clothing boutique near the corner. Pretty summer stuff, I might check it out one of these days.

My bus arrived shortly, no other passengers besides me.

We rode in silence for quite a while, until we picked up a few regulars in the Haight.

On the corner by Hobson's Choice, a homeless woman stood surrounded by bags of stuff. She looked confused, her mouth open, a saucepan overturned on her head instead of a hat.
It was odd, though not the oddest thing I've seen on someones head before. That would be the person on the 22 Fillmore last year who looked to be wearing a jaunty sailor's cap, but it was actually a paper hot dog container, leaking food onto their hair.

I stopped at the store for some fruit and kept walking down 16th to work.
Exchanged "good morning" waves with the guys at the garage.

A bus honked behind me and I turned around to see Leon piloting a 22 Fillmore, honking and waving at me as he passed by. He pulled in to the next bus stop and I hurried to get on.
"I've been looking for you now I'm back on the 22, but I think you're earlier than I am usually," he said, grinning.
"It's good to see you," I replied. "How've you been?"
We caught up on the past few months, joked and laughed until we got to my stop.
"Have a great day and stay dry," I told him.
"You too, see you later," he said.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Bus Report #1033

Early mornings at the bus stop with the Frenchman (Paul?) and with Olga.
She can spot a bus from a mile away - her knees may not work anymore but those eyes, sharp.
Paul asks me questions about this country that I am at a loss to answer. Why so many guns? Why so much racism? I wish I could answer him. But I just don't know.

Twice last week, in less than 13 hours, I ran in to people who used to work in my building. J., who I haven't seen in over three years, and A. who I haven't seen in almost four years. A. still lives in my neighborhood and since last week we've taken to saying hi in the mornings as we both cross paths by the donut place.
J. I saw in the Castro. He's always friendly, always seems on the verge of saying something profound, but then he just smiles and ducks his head and wanders off.

In the afternoon I ride Kevin's bus, then catch the 38 driven by a man who reminds me of a children's book character,  the Hemulen from the Tove Jansson books.