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So, I was minding my own business, taking the bus home from a doctor’s appointment. I prefer public transportation to driving in the city, and not just so I can feel smug and superior for being environmentally conscious. Finding parking is stressful, plus I have to go home to get the car in the first place. And taking an unfamiliar bus sometimes feels like an adventure.

Last night was the exception that proves the rule (or some other cliché). I was transferring from the Divisadero to the Haight line, waiting to board. An older man was standing next to the door, letting people ahead. I couldn’t tell if he was just being polite so I gave him a quizzical look. My mistake. When he saw me make a face, his face turned furiously angry and he lunged at me brandishing something pointy. It wasn’t a knife but could have been a syringe or maybe even a pen–I just couldn’t tell. I tried to shrug it off and move around him. He lunged again, this time more violently, so I instinctively jumped back, toppling into a couple of older women waiting behind me.

Okay, so the guy is clearly crazy. At this point, I have no idea why he’s targeting me and he’s saying nothing but he continues to give me an evil “I dare you” glare. He boarded the bus and I thought I’d give it one more chance, following well behind. He swiveled around, running toward me again down the length of the bus. I backed off, exchanged looks with the driver thinking “um, are you going to do anything?” He wasn’t. I backed off to the curb.

“He’s attacking me!” I said somewhat pointlessly to the driver. The driver clearly did not want the wrath of the crazy man.

Should have I done more to defend myself or at least my pride? Dunno. Clearly the guy was on drugs and a physical mess, but it wouldn’t have been particularly heroic to kick some old man’s ass and, to be honest, my only impulse was flight, not fight. Standing on the street with the two old ladies, I waved the bus on and took my chances with the next bus.

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