3 January 2008 – 7:58pm PST, Outbound by West Portal Station
As we rolled into the West Portal Station stop, I was listening to M. Doughty talk about how we are all, in some way or another, going to Reseda. His argument I had heard before, but was zoning out the window trying to find some tender bits I had not yet chewed. Sight was thoroughly ignored until some biker who appeared to be cursing at me entered the frame.
Clad in a broken leather jacket, the angry person had face lines that sunk with topography as sharp as Norwegian fjords. Undoubtedly cut by the glacial effects of drugs and rock and roll, the practiced scowl all urban dwellers keep plastered on their faces certainly didn’t crack as the biker continued walking alongside me, gesturing wildly at the glass.
I was surprised to discover however the gender of my would-be assailant as the police came running up to do their thing. That chick looked older than my grandma and more masculine than Vincent Price.
9 January 2008 – 9:03am PST, Inbound between Van Ness and Powell
Nothing gets a packed train’s attention quite like the phrase, “You know, when I finally got out of prison…”
The ex-con was lugging around a full size leopard skin suitcase and wearing some weird outfit combination that was somewhere between Boy George and Richard Simmons circa Sweatin’ to the Oldies. He had poorly applied mascara caked on like the frosting on a freshman Home Ec student’s first birthday cake. A dash of rouge and two missing lower incisors had this androgynous meth addict pegged as a person to avoid. And so it was as he regaled some poor bastard in a three piece about what the judge had told him at his last hearing.
Evidently the fellow with the neon pants was promised a spot in a training camp with the US Marshals, and he wasn’t shy about telling anyone about it. Though it is admittedly Hollywood inspired, my mental picture of the folks that serve our country in this capacity doesn’t include a blaze orange fanny pack.
16 January 2008 - 8:45pm PST, Outbound approaching Sunset Boulevard
“This happens every fucking night!” the man screamed at the driver, banging against the glass with a double fisted flip off.
The lady had gotten on the horn announcing that there was an accident on Taraval and we wouldn’t be continuing all the way to the zoo. This announcement ensured at least a six block hike for the couple dozen passengers still on board. A shuttle would be along soon enough, maybe a 15 minute wait at the most. As I walked away over the din of my noise isolated ear buds I could hear the beast of a woman this man had awakened. I’m didn’t know two hundred pounds could get out of a driver’s seat that quickly.
18 January 2008 – 8:30am PST, Inbound on 14th between Taraval and Ulloa
Pluto is a planet. This controversial statement was being piped into my head in the early morn on Friday courtesy of my Shure 110s and 2 Skinnee J’s. Oblivious to any sound other than Eddie Eyeball’s tasty groove underneath this declaration, when the guy in front of me wrinkled his nose, I thought for sure someone had unleashed a gnarly fart on an unsuspecting bus. I covered my nose defensively and watching him wrestle with what I was sure was pure nasty ass gas.
However, as he put away his paper and started puffing up his chest, it was clear he was entering some sort of aggressive posture. Excited for some morning entertainment, I clicked off the iPod and pulled my plugs, to find that a crackhead was harassing a lady down the car from me. The guy in front of me was dressed like an architect or something; a skinny little nerd without an intimidating bone in his body. This was not a job for a guy with a briefcase and a cardigan. This was a job for half foot hair and a penchant for pissing people off.
Damned that I was going to let anyone beat me to an opportunity for physical confrontation, particularly this early in the morning, I handed my bag to the woman next to me and carved in front of the doeish woman being badgered by the crackhead. The crackhead was wearing Salvation army glasses given out to LASIK patients, the rose covered kind that look ridiculous and wrap all around one’s head.
Inserting myself forcibly between him and the woman, he took them off in an attempt to be intimidating. “What the fuck are you doing?”
“This is your stop,” I replied simply.
“No, no, no it’s not,” as he began making a scene.
The door opened as I grabbed his elderly frame by the shoulders, “Yup it is.”
After the guy who was fixing to go Galahad first started to assist, his resistance faded.
In usual California fashion, the woman we assisted offered no gratitude. I guess the princess was in another castle.