If there's anything people in San Francisco complain about more than the weather, it's Muni. I was lucky enough to snag a ride to work today and skip my usual journey on our city's fine public transit, and it made my morning. I watched the bus pull away from my front door without me on it and looked in at all those poor saps hanging like moss on the railings and plastic seats. Ha! Suckers, I thought.
Really though? If I'm being honest? I kind of like Muni. Don't tell anyone that lives here, but a part of me enjoys moving through the streets in that tangled knot of civilization, just a tiny red blood cell in the arteries of the city. Sure, it gets crowded and people are rude. People are loud, take up too much space and are often creepy. People smell. But when it comes down to it these are the people that make up this place that I live in. These people, strange as they may be, are the reason I am here. I wouldn't live in a metropolis if I didn't want to be stirred in with the rest of humanity. The rest of the weird, the inexplicable, the mysterious. The rest of the working, the thinking, the living.
There was a woman on the bus recently who, standing near the door, danced for at least 10 or 15 blocks. I watched her, moving so exuberantly and wondered what must be going on in her head for her to dance in silence like this, everyone around her morose, staring at their hands. Then suddenly the music in my own head stopped. Headphones on, carefully blocking out the rest of the world like a good Muni rider, I hadn't realized that this woman wasn't actually dancing in silence, that some hip hop was coming out of someone's speakers and she saw no reason not enjoy it fully. She was probably a drug addict. But still, I thought, we ought to never assume we know what someone is hearing, what's making them move. We should never assume that just because we can't hear it, there isn't music to dance to.
And speaking of Muni! The Bold Italic (of which I am a huge fan) just published a hilarious guide to good bus-riding in San Francisco (or more accurately, what kind of freaks to look out for). Check out The Bus Stops Here to get an idea of the kind of weirdness you will only see on dear ol' Muni.
|Image found at The Bold Italic, one and only.|