Routine Traveler, Expanded

Every day I ride BART between the East Bay and San Francisco, and every day I tweet my commute at @routinetraveler. Sometimes I write more, whether in poetry form at @ohheygreat or in email to my reader. Everyone has a story, even when they don’t know they’re telling it.


8:57 am, BART


5 April 2013

On the gently sloping cement ramp heading down into the station I slip and fall to one knee, bracing myself with my hand. It is less surprising to me than you might think. The ground is wet from rain and I am walking quickly. In my head, as I approached the station, I thought to myself it was entirely possible I might fall and so I should be careful…


Two women, 9:00 am, BART


5 March 2013

A woman stands, reading what appears to be The New Yorker. She wears a beautiful grey marled coat with slim shoulders and a vent to shape the back. It balloons out slightly before tapering back in, gently. The collar stands up straight beneath her chin and and around an azure scarf she has wrapped securely around her neck. She has high…


Two lovely women


sit side by side. Both blonde, although one much blonder than the
other, by a hairdresser's hand. Each wears her hair up. The woman on
the left wears a beautiful blue and white coat that makes me wish I
were better at recognizing patterns and identifying them by designer
and place in history, or at least period. It appears to be fruit,
large apples or pears, with leaves on…


I just want somewhere to set down my bags


10:12 am, BART, 17 Dec 2012:

There is a woman on my train who was also at my station. Which, by the way, is Ashby.

She is an older black woman. I normally never say what ethnicity someone is in my descriptions unless I allude to it in skin tone. I want to see what assumptions people make about who I see, about…


Outside Ashby BART, 8:45 am


12 Feb 2013

A Ford wagon is stopped, idling on Woolsey at the corner of Adeline near the east station entrance. Not the main entrance with the parking lot but the entrance near the campus -- for the blind, or differently able.

A woman opens the hatch and a young man unfolds himself. For a second it appears as if he is emerging…


From Civic Center on a Friday


1 Feb 2013

The platform at Civic Center always has a more varied populace than Embarcadero or Montgomery or even Powell, with fewer business people and shoppers, more non-profit staffers and government workers along with anyone availing themselves of the city resources and offices. On a Friday night the station is livelier than usual and the…


Civic Center BART, 9:51 am, 17 Jan 13


Two women


across from me on BART, 9:08. 20 Dec 2012.

A younger to the left, an older to the right. They must be headed to San Francisco airport, as each has a bag. The older is somewhat thinner, the younger plumper, but they are clearly related. The shapes of their faces are the same, as are the shapes of their mouths. Plump lower lip beneath an arching bow. The older woman's…


In the corner


of the seat by the connecting doors of the car on my BART train is a woman. She was curled up asleep, curled into the tiniest ball, head tucked like a child. She was asleep when I got on, six stops ago. Just now, as we reached Montgomery — my stop in San Francisco before our office moved last week — she woke up, a surprised smile on her face, her heavily lined lids blinking as she stretched.

Routine Traveler, Expanded
Routine Traveler, Expanded

Every day I ride BART between the East Bay and San Francisco, and every day I tweet my commute at @routinetraveler. Sometimes I write more, whether in poetry form at @ohheygreat or in email to my reader. Everyone has a story, even when they don’t know they’re telling it.

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