The driver hustled us onto the bus. “Step up! Step up!,” he bellowed. The three of us sat our stilettos down all in a row, fishing in our purses for the required $1.50 each. Emily, sitting in the middle, got up to pay for all of us. As she did, what could only be described as a crazy man boarded. He sat down smack in the middle of me and Tricia, even though there were a bizillion empty seats on the bus. Tricia, not a frequent rider of MUNI and having not encountered many crazy people in her life, spoke to him. “Excuse me, excuse me, sir.” He looked at her. “That seat is taken. Our friend is sitting there.” He immediately jumped up. “Whoa! I sat on your friend?!?!”
He moved across from us. Emily returned to her seat and began texting a message, head down, concentrating intently.
He pointed at me, then at Emily. “Hey! You must be roommates. She got her boots, then you got all jealous and had to go out and buy you a pair. Yeah! She must be a teacher, ’cause she’s a teachin’ you how to wear some boots!”
Emily continued texting; I tried not to snicker. It was funny. I turned my head towards the back of the bus to avoid eye contact.
Tricia, not familiar with the rules of avoiding crazies, caught his eye. “Hey! Does she have a sister named Barb?” I was sending my strongest mental telepathy to Tricia — Don’t talk to the crazies… Don’t talk to the crazies…. The message must have bounced off Emily, who was still texting. “No, she only has brothers.” The crazy man thought for a moment, “Well, does she have a brother that looks like Barb?”