It was 7 PM, and like on most days, I was pretty ecstatic to step away from my laptop and stop myself from becoming a cross eyed office robot.
And, as on most days, I ran out of the office and made an awkward mad dash for my train. I’m convinced Muni has schizophrenia, or maybe moderate-severe bipolar disorder. On good days, Muni is like Danny Tanner – reliable, caring, and I can imagine him reassuring me that I WILL get home in under an hour just in time to watch the Bachelor, as soft interludes play in the background. On other days – most days – Muni more closely resembles Danny’s alter ego and true self, Bob Saget. He’s crass, inconsiderate, smells like pot and garbage, and would leave my ass on the street any day.
And he often does.
This day wasn’t unlike any other. Anticipating a Bob Saget-esque Muni day, I forced myself on a packed L train and took a moment to celebrate my mini victory of squeezing into a minuscule standing spot right beneath a very tall man’s armpit. I had made it.
But there was a problem. I looked to my right and immediately became concerned. Tongue. LOTS of tongue. Tongue everywhere. #Lengua! is what I would have exclaimed if I happened to be at a taco truck instead of on the bus. Two 15-year-olds, clad in their Invisalign retainers and clear braces, were furiously making out. Both of their tongues were inches – no, mere centimeters from my cheek – the moving, oblong, petri dishes of germs approaching my comfort threshold all too quickly. It was like I had walked into a slimy sea cucumber sword fight, and I could feel a panic attack rising.
As Muni approached Van Ness station, I finally got some room to move. Yay!. But, as I turned to move closer to the open door, I was stopped in my tracks by a homeless woman wearing a velour sweatshirt tied around her head like Erykah Badu. We made eye contact. She asked for a dollar. I said I didn’t have one. She had crazy eyes. I mumbled something inaudible while I shuffled toward the other end of the car. She held my gaze, and then laughed. Cackled, really. She pointed at me, and then cackled some more. I was creeped out, but also increasingly concerned that there was leftover guacamole on my face.
The train became packed again. My new crazy eyed friend found her way next to me on the crowded train and leaned right up against me, her entire back and hair completely superglued to my body. Awesome. Periodically, she would crane her neck around to look at me, sense my fear, and keep laughing to herself. I made awkward, pleading eyes with my fellow passengers in hopes that someone would help Not even the horn dogs making out next to me batted an eye.
After a period of time elapsed that felt almost as long as watching Titanic back to back 3 times in a bikram yoga studio, we arrived at my stop. My new cackling, crazy-eyed friend turned around, pointed and laughed at me one more time, and then gave me a massive bear hug right before I elbowed my way off the bus.
And that was Tuesday.