Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Religion, Voodoo & Time Travel

"Characters: Hispanic woman (W), White man (M), Homeless Dude (HD)

M: I don't really want to barge into your conversation, but do you go to church?
W: No, but I am spiritual.
M: Then, you should go to Lakewood Church.
W: Oh, yeah, I watch their sermons on television!
She gets up and sits next to the guy.
I love his sermons. He makes it easy to understand and to apply. It helps a lot.

(Homeless dude behind me enters the conversation.)

HD: It doesn't help the homeless.

(The two in front of me ignore him.)

M: Yes, I think his sermons help a lot too. It dissipates all the negativity and makes you feel better about yourself. It helps you get a better life.
W: More people should listen to him. There wouldn't be so much misery in the world if they did.
HD: Yeah, I wish I had a better life. I wish I had a Mercedes too.

(M & W ignore HD.)" - Francois Luong - SF, CA.

"Coming home from work, I'm about to get on the 15 heading downtown from bay view. The construction on 3rd street makes it a miserably rocky ride. The jackhammers, and the clunky thump of a bus rattling over the ugly terrain is unpleasant. I get on, and the driver, a big hairy holdover from the 60's maybe, is in a heated conversation with a passenger in the nearest passenger seat. The discussion isn't actually heated, it's friendly, but passionate, with both men looking frequently at one another while the driver drives. They are talking about God. The driver is a Jew and the passenger, a Christian, and they are talking loudly about God with reverence, respect, and something like love. They say He is like this, or He is like that, and I silently remember what He was like when we used to hang. Then in me something stirs, a fondness, a memory of one once close to me, but one I haven't seen (or believed in ) in ages. But the whole bus, I notice is sunny, bright and it feels cozy and safe. Nestled in the tone of their conversation, I tried to remember God." - Ken Lo - SF, CA.

"A guy tried to put a hex on me on the bus in Chicago..." - Lucas - SF, CA.

"Muni / Sunday / Carnival / Double Dutch – On the 22 in the back of the bus with Lauren and Leslie. About 16th and Mission he gets on; a homeless man with two large bags. He has trouble getting a seat and makes his way to the back. He sits one seat up to the left of us. He turns to me and begins to talk about genocide in Africa. He expresses concern and is confused why people would do this to other people. He asks me if I heard the news. I ask him if he’s speaking of Rwanda. He says yes and tells me he just heard it on the news earlier today. The genocide in Rwanda happened 13 years ago. I wonder for a moment if we have gone back in time. For a moment I believe we have. Our stop comes. I tell him to take care. He says 'may the force be with you' I answer, 'and also with you.'” - David Patrelli - SF, CA.

“the bus is a myth” - Anonymous - SF, CA.

"around the holidays in 1999 I wrote 50 thank you cards and gave them to the bus drivers on all the lines I rode most often. I got a lot of confused looking faces. They were probably wondering what the hell I was giving them” - Anonymous - SF, CA.

"#5 Fulton. When I ride the bus I am either face down in a book or playing sudoku so that I don’t’ have to deal with anyone. So this time I was playing sudoku and I just looked up and looked over and I see this Nun sitting in the front which is just always suprizing to see a Nun out in the real world. And then I had almost sat next to this guy and I was greatful I didn’t because he was 'the obnoxious guy on the cell phone' really loud and then finally he gets off but I mean they’re just brodcasting their personal business – so I am back playing sudoku and then a cell phone goes off and it’s the most obnoxious ring you could ever hear and it doesn’t stop for some reason the person is just not getting their phone. And I look up and it was the Nun’s cell phone and she was just so flustered by it – she couldn’t find it. And then she finally found it and was having this normal person converstation about things she’s doing. It s like a reality check like, ‘oh yeah Nun’s are real people too'” - Andi Clegg - SF, CA.

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