Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Nevermind. LA Can't Be Crazier Than This.

i do not take a pretty bus line to work on the days i take public transportation to get to my job.

instead, the bus line i take rolls right through the heart of the Tenderloin. now, for those of you who do not know, all of san francisco is divided into various neighborhoods and they each have their own plusses and minuses. except the 'Loin has decidedly more "minuses" than "plusses" in that it's pretty much the slummiest part of the city, and is rife with the smell of urine and drunk. its plusses are mainly the number of good, cheap restaurants (mostly thai*), bars, and apartments (not that you really want to be living there) (though both Ish and i live fairly 'Loin-Adjacent).

anyway. as you might well imagine, the bus i take picks up some very interesting characters in the morning. some are people like me, clearly on their way to their office jobs. then there are those nice folks who clearly aren't going to an "office," but who don't look homeless or deathly ill, so i am appreciative of their presence.

then you have the rest, who -- and don't think i am not sensitive to the plight of the poor -- are just uncomfortable to have to sit near, for many reasons. like the person who coughs and hacks without covering his mouth and then openly spits. or the person who mutters mostly incoherent but very angry things incessantly. or the one who yells at other passengers.

or the guy who gets on the bus and smokes a bowl. just right there. on the bus. with closed windows. this morning.

party people, do not think i am big on harshing anyone's buzz.

but you have to agree that seeing a very large man in a very large coat (that may or may not be housing much of his earthly posessions beneath it) and big winter hat with white hair protruding everywhere, who just gets on the bus reeeeeeeeking of pot is not maybe the wake-up you want on your morning commute.

and then to see him actually smoking?

a couple people opened some bus windows. a couple people moved away from him. otherwise, no one really did anything or said anything, except for the older woman sitting near me, who was incensed.

"THAT MAN IS SMOKING MARIJUANA!" she announced, in case anyone had missed it. "You know, I have been to places where they allow marijuana like HOLLAND but they don't let you just smoke it ON THE BUS. Why doesn't someone tell the bus driver?" she then asked, not realizing that probably no one was doing anything about it for the same reason she wasn't. "Oh my god, we are all going to show up at work a little high today!"

i got off a stop early to try and avoid showing up at work smelling like a bong hit.

and then i descended the escalator to get on the BART and passed my favorite BART station musician, The Voilinist.

most mornings The Violinist is there, poised in front of his music stand, playing complex, up-tempo modernist pieces on his trusty violin.

except.

it is very clear that this man has no idea how to play the violin.

what is not clear, however, is if this man knows he does not know how to play the violin. i mean, i can't tell (and won't be asking) if he is completely crazy, and thinks he is, actually, playing something legitimate...or if he knows he isn't but thinks none of us will notice.

and so goes my morning commute.

at least now i feel like a real city person because i know where the BART station is and don't get lost and actually often travel with an air of superiority since i recently learned that the monthly adult MUNI pass (the "fast pass") ALSO works as a BART ticket when traveling within the city, all the way from the Embarcadero to the Balboa Park station. cool, huh?


*haha, Whinger.

20 comments:

  1. You said

    both Ish and i live fairly 'Loin-Adjacent

    Hahahahahaha

    Sorry. At times the 12-year old within takes control of my commenting activities.

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  2. *blushes furiously*

    i didn't even GET why you were laughing at first. now i do and am all embarrassed...

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  3. Haha! I didn't get it at first either!

    Nothing says "I'm a professional" like showing up to work smelling like weed.

    Oh, MUNI stories. You never get old. And there are so many of you.

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  4. Ha! Devil that's hilarious. I love riding the 22 just for fun/self-torture sometimes. Talk about an "eclectic" group of people! From the Marina Yaht Club thru Fillmore thru Lower Haight thru Castro thru Mission thru Pot Hill and on to the projects!

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  5. I have my favorite crazy person on my bus ride. I worry if he's not there.

    And I smile at him when no one is looking.

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  6. Is the guy playing violin also wearing a Darth Vader outfit? Cause I saw that awhile ago and I liked it ...

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  7. oh, i thought i'd seen it all on muni... but i've never witnessed this.

    a co-worker once sat next to a gentleman who decided to relieve himself in his seat. during the morning commute. nice, eh?

    and rest assured, since just about each muni route encompasses wildly different neighborhoods, there's an "adventure" to be had on each bus or train.

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  8. I've been on the J-church with a man matching Pot-Guy's description. And yes, he smoked a bowl. Which was notable to me because he didn't offer to share (the fucker!)

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  9. I've gotten on the one of the K, headed outbound at Van Ness and watched a guy roll a spliff. He used a $1 bill and executed the whole process one-handed. It was decidedly impressive. I was just hoping he wouldn't light up until after we'd passed Forrest Hill. Who wants to be hotboxed in the tunnel?

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  10. I realize that this was in the Haight and not on the bus, but walking from my bus to my apartment one evening I watched two kids proceed to light up and pass a joint back and forth right there on the sidewalk.

    Now, this would not have been so notable if one of them hadn't been leaning against a cop car and if the cops in question hadn't been standing about four feet away, also leaning on their car.

    I mean, whatever, right? Smoke away. Still, however dumb a law it might be, it is technically still illegal and it was technically still a cop car and they were still technically cops. With bigger fish to fry, I guess.

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  11. I was on the bus in Philly once, and a guy standing in front of me (I was sitting in one of the sideways seats) asked, "Do you mind?" as he put down his gallon of milk by my feet. He did not, however, ask me if I minded as he rolled a blunt. My stop came before I could find out if he'd smoke it or not.

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  12. Ah yes, the 19-Polk! That's the same bus where I got career advice from a meth head about a month ago.

    http://theoriginalpawnsofcomedy.blogspot.com/2006/03/blog-dump.html

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  13. there is certainly good blogging matrial to be had by using public transportation. it never ceases to amaze me when i see folks waking and baking on public transportation.

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  14. This makes me want to blog about the New Brunswick buses and the weirdos I encounter.

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  15. Hmmmm... a bong for breakfast. I hadn't thought of that!

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  16. All I get during my morning commute is drunks and other foul smelling folks.

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  17. party people, do not think i am big on harshing anyone's buzz.

    This has to be my all time favorite sentence, ever.

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  18. i've smelled the reek of weed on bus passengers' clothes, walked through a cloud of the reefer smoke at many a bus stop, but never have i seen someone spark up on a bus. that's bowlsy!

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  19. party people, do not think i am big on harshing anyone's buzz.

    This has to be my all time favorite sentence, ever.


    me too, el_g... me too!

    i discovered this post tonight, and it was much like an unnoticed holiday gift: a great surprise!

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