The Evolution of a Single Ride

I can almost see this becoming a recurring theme here on Muni Diaries: Rides that are so long, and traverse so many neighborhoods and socio-economic levels, they have time to … not mature, per se, but to change course dramatically in their demographic makeup.

Case in point: Yesterday, around 6 p.m., I boarded the 30 on Third and Harrison. There was a Giants game earlier in the day, but it ended around 4. Still, there was one couple sitting toward the back of the bus who had clearly left the game a little late, he borderline passed out, she leaning over his lap. The only coherent thing I heard from them the entire time was a plea from him: “No, PG-13, baby, PG-13.” I didn’t dare look.

Somewhere in the lower Fi-Di (and by that I mean not too far from Market), a human bathroom boarded the bus. I didn’t see this person get on, but rather, we were introduced by eau de feces and urine. Throw in some BO, for good measure.

At first, the olfactory offender sat two seats from me, so that we had a buffer, another passenger, between us. The offender wasn’t the unruly type, which made it hard for me to hate him. Rather, he looked downtrodden, totally outcast, and old. I kinda felt sorry for him, but also for my own sense of smell.

A few stops later, after I gave up on trying to read a magazine or breathe normally, he got up and sat down on the seat directly in front of mine. Pretty sure the Fates had him do this, so that the breeze coming in what windows had been opened could blow over his fragrance, and deliver unto me an early Christmas present. Thank you, God.

As the bus kept going, and I got to the point where ambient Muni particles made me not even want to touch myself, I repositioned myself closer to the back door. Finally, I could breathe somewhat less-particulated air.

But for the remainder of my ride, through North Beach and Russian Hill, and into Cow Hollow, I was treated to a trio (male, male, female) of ghetto-ized teenagers. It’s still funny to me how kids of all economic levels, from some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the wealthiest cities, talk like kids and people from some of the poorest.

These kids also talked fast as hell. I tried to follow their “conversation,” and am pretty sure most of it involved hitting people.

I got off and headed to a restaurant, wanting a hot shower and to dry-clean my clothes.

In all, it was about a 35-40-minute ride, and I was left completely traumatized, and in dire need of margaritas, which I got promptly. But that’s another story … – Jeff

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