Photo by christine.ricks
Jesse told a two-minute version of this story at Muni Diaries Live! two Fridays ago, and there was no question that he was the crowd favorite of the evening. People couldn’t get enough of Jesse so we asked him to write his story in full here for you.
I was heading home from work, a task that takes about 45 minutes and one transfer. In the afternoons, I prefer to take the 1-California, as it has consistently proven to be the gentler, cleaner, more Asian cousin of the consistently troubling 38-Geary. Little did I know that this was to be no ordinary ride home. This was a bus ride that, even years later, is still burned into the memory portions of my brain (those are somewhere in the upper middle, right?). When dealing with Muni, I suppose one should always expect the unexpected.
As I approached the bus shelter, I heard a loud, angry voice taking someone to task for being a “Lazy-Assed Cracker.” Soon it was revealed that the man attached to the voice was a tall fellow who would sporadically refer to himself in the third person. His name was Leroy. Leroy seemed to be pushing 60, though I suppose he could have been younger. One thing was for sure; Leroy was not new to the streets. He was crusty in a way that is almost special. It seemed that Leroy had maintained a long and devout abstinence to water, since Y2K was a genuine threat. Leroy’s hands were swollen, coated in years and layers of sedimentary funky junk and it dawned on me that Leroy’s claws have quite possibly touched many of the same public surfaces that mine have over the years (I resolved at once to stop biting my nails). His T-shirt advertised the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics and was so timeworn that maintaining its structure must have been accomplished through ancient magic long since forgotten.