Friday, October 20, 2017

Bus Report #995

Last night, a crowded 19 Polk, headed inbound to my ceramics class at Fort Mason.
Our sweet bus driver smiled and said hello as I got on. Throughout the duration of the commute she called out all the stops and transfer points. Nice of her.

The bus was already full of kids from the school up the street, so I pressed my shoulder and hip up against the Plexiglas near the back door, my bag and legs almost smushed against an older, well dressed man sitting in a single seat.
He looked up and smiled. I tried not to stand too close to him, as Muni etiquette dictates.

As these things go, though, more people got in and soon my bag was pressed into his arm and my torso was almost grazing his shoulder.
All the way down 7th Street I was overly conscious of how close my body was to this stranger, the strap from my bag tugging my already low-cut shirt down even further, and it was an odd feeling.

Usually, I don't care - crowded buses mean everyone crushed up together - but there was something about the way he kept glancing up at me that was unnerving. You can tell when someone is eyeing you up and down. Appraising.
As we approached Mission, someone elbowed me from behind, catching me off guard.
I almost stumbled against the man.
I apologized, saying, "Sorry about that, I'm trying not to fall on you."
He raised his eyebrows, said, "I'm not bothered. I wouldn't mind.  I'm not complaining, about it."
Then he winked.
"Are you complaining about it?" he asked.

And for the millionth time in my life, I couldn't think of a decent answer.
Just stood there, my face hot, knowing I was probably blushing beet red and that even the blindest person on the bus could tell. Blushing more from my inability to say something back to him than from anything he'd said.
Because really, as women know, as everyone else is learning, this stuff happens all the time and it doesn't matter if you're in tight jeans and a revealing shirt or if you're buttoned up to the neck. You can be ten years old, or well in to your eighties. Our bodies and our style choices are, sadly, not ours to a lot of people.

We hit Market Street, and he asked if I was getting out. I said no, but moved so he could stand and get out. He smiled again as he left.
I slid in to his seat and stared out the window for the rest of the ride.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've got two reactions, really:

1) This kind of stuff sucks. I really wish more men would stop putting their desire to flirt over the comfort level of their fellow passengers.

2) It's kind of hard to take you seriously when you, presumably an adult woman, refer to yourself as a "girl."

11:16 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Fair enough. I never remember it says 'girl' up in the heading, maybe I'll change it one of these days.
Thanks for commenting!

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be helpful if you reviewed and updated the link to other related sites. The ones I checked were dead or not active.

10:29 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Thanks, Anon - I've been meaning to do that.
One of these days I'll find the time.
Thanks for reading!

1:32 PM  
Blogger bagpuss said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:39 PM  
Blogger bagpuss said...

Only 5 more posts and you hit the magic number...
Awesome blog. For me.. like a modern (MUNI) Tales of The City.
Thank you Rachael :-)

9:41 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Thanks, Bagpuss! Yes, I plan to have a party for post 1k, I'll figure out where and when and let everyone know. We'll have fun!
I take that as a huge compliment, by the way. Love Tales of the City!

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Synne said...

Oh, I know how you feel! I've recently started a new job in a wine bar, where I get comments like this now and then, and I never quite know how to handle them.
I like your style, by the way! All the best from Norway!

6:01 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Thanks, Synne!
It is much appreciated. You came by way of Hei Astrid, didn't you? Welcome!

3:16 PM  

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