March 30, 2007

The Commute

Thursday evening, Our heroine waits at a bus stop on Van Ness and Geary. She has on a small backpack and is carrying a large full duffel bag. A very crowded 49 bus arrives. Immediately in front of our heroine, a man talking on his cell phone boards the bus. Immediately behind her, an impatient woman boards. Our heroine attempts to move toward the back of the bus, following Man on Cell. Man on Cell is distracted and moves very slowly.

Impatient Woman (trying to move through solid wall of humans): EXCUSE ME!

Our Heroine: (blocked by Man on Cell and wall of human flesh) I can’t move yet.

They maneuver about 1/3 into the bus. Impatient woman shoves Our Heroine trying to pass (which is impossible).

Impatient Woman: EXCUSE ME!

Our Heroine (resigned, monotone): I. Cant. Move. Yet.

Impatient Woman shoves against Our Heroine again.

Our Heroine (resigned, monotone): PLEASE. Do. Not. Shove. Me.

Man on Cell finally forces himself into the back portion of the bus, stopping short in the middle of the aisle. Our Heroine must force her way around him, with her large duffel pummeling those near. She makes it to a stepwell and moves out of the aisle so that Impatient Woman can finally pass, which she does. Also in the stepwell is a Fat Stinky Bum. Our Heroine distracts herself from the stench of Fat Stinky Bum by turning up the music in hear headphones.

Fat Stinky Bum: Do you have the time?

Our Heroine (taking out an earphone): What? I’ll have to check. (She reaches for her cell phone, moving her large duffel out of her way precariously) 5:25.

Fat Stinky Bum: Thanks (he continues to talk unintelligibly, but Our Heroine has replaced the earphone. He may or may not be touching himself inappropriately.)

At the next stop many people disembark and Our Heroine moves farther toward the back of the bus. A man stands and offers his seat.

Our Heroine: (With disbelief) Uh… thanks.

She sits in the aisle seat. There is another Bum in the seat next to her.

Bum #2: I kinda stink (he gestures at his open tallboy of St. Ides and at himself, covered in malt liquor).

Our Heroine: OK.

Bum #2: Just thought you might want to know, I kinda smell!

Our Heroine: Yah. That’s fine. So does that guy. (She points to Fat Stinky Bum).

Bum #2: (Offended) Don’t compare me to him!

Our Heroine: Look, it’s the bus, everyone stinks.

Bum #2: Well I just wanted to warn you!

Our Heroine: Yes. I don’t care.

Fat Stinky Bum makes his way toward Our Heroine and Bum #2; he points at Bum #2 and attempts to engage him in conversation about male liquor. Fat Stinky Bum and Bum #2 begin having an argument over Our Heroine and other passengers. Finally at Market Street, both bums disembark. Our Heroine sighs with relief, and an unassuming Asian Man takes the vacated seat next to her.


Posted by allison at March 30, 2007 12:57 PM