Monday, January 14, 2008

20 Years

This morning, the 22 Fillmore made its usual stop at Sacramento and
Fillmore. I was sitting on the bench outside of Noah's bagels, half a
block away. Since I was waiting for the 3, I paid little attention.
Every so often I looked up and noticed the bus was still there.
Finally, it pulled away. I heard shouting from the covered bus
shelter, whooping and hollering. A man was inside, thrashing wildly.
He had a few bags with him and sounded upset and angrily incoherent.

A woman came up to me. She was middle aged, neat and clean, dressed
like many other pacific heights women of semi-leisure, in workout
clothes and running shoes.

"I worked in a psychiatric ward for twenty years," she said. "What's
happening over there?"

"I think he got kicked off the bus," I said. "He's having an outburst."

The man yelled and flailed and stepped into the street without looking.

"Maybe someone should call." She stood and watched. "I worked in
psychiatric care. Up the hill from here. For twenty years."

The man grabbed his three or four duffle bags and walked with agitated
limbs away from us.

We watched quietly for a little while, then she walked leisurely away
in the directuon the shouter was moving. He was ahead of her by a few
doorways when she stopped to glance at the books on display outside
Browser's. Then she turned back a few steps, opened the door to Peet's
coffee and went inside.

\t : iPhone->you'd

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You've captured this kind of moment well. I know it, too. I'll tag along and see if I can be of help -- either to the crazy or one of his possible victims -- but then, ah well, why do anything?