11AM on x-town bus
Wo bist DU
I walked into my dying city for the express bus and on the whole saw three years of slow death on my route to Powell and Geary. I sit heading to Kaiser for my X ray. My bus stop is the X-Finity store. Pre Covid this stop was transit cop hub. Once 3 years ago the 38 Rapid out of the Urban grid was a necessary transit artery. Transit cops built like linebackers wearing protective gear swarmed the designated stop to issue the $50 ticket for refusing fare. The favorite, and most useful tactic was to jam into all doors of the bus and leave a thin three cops on the pad as mop up in case a zealous fare evader with triplets and stroller smite her way free with fists feet and teeth. Today anyway you look at it no one cares. Time marches onwards as this city sheds skin frequently and populations come and go. Stores open to close. Families born to end in divorce.
Since 1849 cheating destiny by fleeing here from there and drinking the future now in the alley revolutionary cafe with the 100 year old player piano and 200 year old performer who nimbly worked the keys or out Caged Cage drinking and smoking in the crowded scene. A cafe of many lives. Filled by very different people. A cafe that long ago had been a theater and then a card den hiding the speakeasy and today due to several redevelopments ill resembled anything one could recognize outside of an archeological dig for the legendary stranded Galleon that swam up the then deep ship capable Mission canal. This time thanks to Tree from the Peat Moss Theater of upper Louisiana digging was done and soils could work with a 21st century foundation.
Leaving the past and waiting for the endless line of people in radiology to leave so my turn illuminated comes quickly I grimace in my mask at all the masked and socially distant people..Only in the elevator jammed with the masked and hurried do I have dismay. The huffing and puffing staggering machine doing service for three broken ones concerns me as we crawl floor by floor but here in Kaiser I know I am very safe. If the elevator smashed into the shaft medical treatment could begin as soon as Covid-19 test results come in.