PTSD and the tourists on the F-Market

F Market 1060
Photo by Keoki Seu

For a locals-driven site, Muni Diaries has an arguably unusual amount of F-Market/Wharves posts and tweets. This is partly because I ride it twice almost every workday. Another reason is that the F is just plain-old cute when you’re not in a hurry. I loves me some retro streetcars.

But on this cute streetcar, less-cute things can happen.

My afternoon F was packed to the gills, as usual. It was a back-boarding streetcar. An elderly man in a baseball cap who boarded before me started talking almost immediately, seemingly to himself at some points, seemingly to the operator at others. “Veteran.” “Berets.” “Fought for this country.” “Bullshit.” The operator laughed him off and shook his head. I zoned out for a few, though his growls got through my head-fog a couple times; including when he started fighting with a woman probably in her twenties.

I have no idea what started it. But I snapped out of the fog to hear him threaten to fight her and her threaten to take him up on his offer. He noted that he “didn’t care about that race shit.” (He was white, she was black.) That’s when the operator told the guy to stop, multiple times, even after the woman stopped responding to him. She continued tapping into her phone and said, “OH LORD where is my stop??” which prompted a couple laughs. She got off, but I’m convinced that the guy was angry enough to beat her up right then and there.

He got off in a huff at the Ferry Building, and some nearby tourists still on the streetcar seemed to feel sorry for “that veteran with PTSD threatening that woman.” They then proceeded to remark at how “it’s a shame to see so many young people here sleeping on the sidewalk” as we rolled past a hidden corner of Justin Herman Plaza.

2 comments

  • JimmyD

    I ride the Historic F Train every morning (M-F). It’s cooler (temperature wise) than going underground and the traffic is not heavy enough to hinder the speed.
    This morning, while we were at a stop and the door was open, a tall guy dashed on the train, grabbed a hand full of transfers, and darted away in a matter of seconds.
    It was annoying yet kinda funny.
    I see all kinds of weird riding the F.

  • BK

    Go San Francisco! Represent!

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