A large, dreadlocked man boards at 19th Street. He stands by the far doors, rocking back and forth and sneezing intermittently over the heads of the people seated adjacent. These are drugged-out, full-body sneezes that jolt his entire frame, send his dreads spinning like the cords of a wrung-out mop; he flings his arms sideways, then recoils and hugs himself tight.
With downcast eyes, the other passengers standing by the exits start to back away into the aisles. The man opposite me is incensed. He turns to his friend:
That’s one thing I hate about BART, mang, them crazy people. That, or somebody sick and pass they germs to me! That stuff drive me crazy, mang, that don’t make no sense. Sneezin’ all on that lady, man, it make no sense! Don’t you got no manners, sneezin’ all up on that lady? I’d rather walk! What if he got TB or something like that, mang? He sneezin’ right up on her head!
I badly want him to be hired for a joint CDC/BART PSA. BART, if you’re listening, the ad series would be call “Enemies to Transit” and would also profile those who hold the doors, consume fish products, stand on the left side of the escalator, and conduct cell phone conversations in excess of 90 seconds.