Missing the Muni madness that connected us all
Though the city’s charms were sometimes “charms” on the wrong day or in the wrong moment, we knew what we signed up for. For me, anyway, that includes the normalcy of playing standing Twister on a packed bus that only got fuller with every stop. Indeed, in the not-so-distant past, the Muni Metro platform looked like this and manspreading earned you a ticket to hell.
Amanda Staight, stalwart San Franciscan and Muni fan, put her thoughts on the matter into verse for the podcast. Amanda is also a great friend of Muni Diaries, a lover of neighborhoods, communities and casual conversations. Her favorite seat on the bus is next to the rear door, up the little steps in the back—I kinda like that one, too.
Hear Amanda’s piece here:
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Transcript of Amanda Staight’s “I Miss the Bus.”
Pic by yours truly @roopisonfire
I miss the bus.
My darkest days in Shelter in Place have been when my world became small.
When the water flowed around me and made no ripples. I felt alone.
These alone days made me miss the bus in ways I didn’t imagine I would.
Squeezing myself into the third 1 that has come by already late to my meeting on the Embarcadero.
But then once on the bus, I look around and see that it’s filled with children
in massive purple t-shirts piled two to a seat also heading to the waterfront.
Running for a 1 heading in the other direction.
The driver congratulating me as I climb in,
“You made it. You can relax now.”
Narrowly making my connection between the 47 and the 30 when I worked in the Marina.
And the days when I had just enough time to get a coffee, a breakfast sandwich
and share a good morning with the owner.
Making eye contact with a senior on the 19.
Miming a pointing motion down at my seat.
And then standing up and feeling like I was a part of the world and making the world better.
The bus got me where I was going, and it also took me where I needed to go.
On the bus I was out there in all of my ups and downs.
On the days that I had something to give and the days I needed something to keep me going.
The ebb and the flow that wouldn’t let me forget how connected I am.
The world is still out there of course.
And the power of people to make change and have ripple effects has never felt more tangible.
And the buses keep going,
traversing the distances that some people are now just beginning to understand.
I took my first ride on the 49 in my mask recently
with my fellow riders at a greater distance than a regular bus rider has ever considered.
And dammit, I loved every awkward second.
When I ride the bus, I feel like I’m part of the water.
Thank you buses and drivers for being there through all of this
for the people who don’t mostly click keys in front of a screen.
And thanks for being there for me.
Even though you’re a little different than you were when I left you, I’ll see you again soon.