Muni Ride

   When I was 23 I lived and worked in San Francisco, and I commuted on the Muni bus. I rode popular lines at popular times so I didn’t always get a seat. I’ll never forget the rainy Wednesday I boarded a 38 Geary to go home.

I got a little excited as I moved toward the rear of the bus that ride and spotted my favorite seat, the one right behind the rear door, empty.

As soon as I saw the actual sitting-down part, I understood why it was available. The unupholstered bench was covered in rain water, because the window above it, the little one at the very top of the bus wall, was broken. Drat. I took my standing position near it as the bus headed west.

It was obvious that rain had been invading for awhile, there was so much water on the seat. I wondered how the window got broken as we rode.

When the bus neared my stop I made my way to the front. Normally I exited by the rear door – I like the flow when passengers board in front and leave through the back – but that time I decided to speak to the driver.

“Excuse me, ” I said to him as the bus approached the curb, “I’m sure you know that window is broken, but are you aware how much water has gotten in?”

“Window? What window?” was the driver’s response. He stopped the bus, looked at me, looked toward the back. “Where?”

“The one over the seat just behind the rear door,” I answered. “You mean nobody’s told you?”

“Jeesh,” sputtered the driver. “No. You’re the first to mention it. Damn …”

I was amazed. That’s why I’m telling the story now. It just goes to show you: don’t assume that someone before you has spoken up about something. And don’t take anyone’s scoffing when they tell you you’re repeating. Duplication is better than omission.

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