Discussing Foot Hygiene on the 71-Noriega at 10:00 p.m. on a Monday Night

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Good Evening:

The smallest of the three women stood about five foot nine and weighed about 175 pounds.

The mid-sized women stood about six feet tall and weighed about 200 pounds.

The big one? Six foot two, maybe 225.

Now she was gorgeous.

The three women (all in their twenties) did not board the rear of the 71-Noriega last night at 10:00, they stormed it, arm in arm in arm, with laughter even bigger than themselves. The little one wore a black hoodie and sweatpants, the mid-sized one favored a black leather motorcycle jacket and blue jeans, whilst the big one still wore her downtown Financial District work clothes, white-collar professional jacket with matching skirt and a white blouse. But it was 10:00, and they had nothing else to do, and nothing they wanted to do more, than enjoy the fact that they had each other and lived in a city where people barely pay attention when three big beautiful women madly in love with each other can show the world how madly they are with each other, and even better, they have zero body image issues, in fact, if anything they have fewer than zero body image issues. To me, that kind of confidence, pride and self-esteem is real beauty, so yes, it makes perfect sense to me that three women with an average weight of 200 pounds could look so good, and the bigger the woman, the more beautiful she looked to me.

I think they wanted to mess with my head.

Obviously, they didn’t know me.

They briefly stopped joking and laughing to look at me, glanced at each other, and winked. Then they commandeered three seats immediately across from me and started necking with each other. I’ve terrified an English soccer hooligan into fleeing a 6-Parnassus bus by using my Hannibal Lecter imitation, so three big beautiful lesbians madly in love, groping and tonguing each other hardly ranks among even the slightly interesting encounters during my 32 year career of riding San Francisco public transit.

The chess game I was studying looked more intriguing.

I must have disappointed them because the mid-sized woman, who was good-looking, but not so much as the big one, began to deliver a dissertation upon the subject of the abject perils threatening the feet of the big woman because she wore fancy dress shoes that cramped her toes. The small woman did nothing but laugh at their conversation. She pulled on the cord to indicate that the next bus stop was hers, then said, “S—, this isn’t my bus stop, it’s the wrong one.”

“Listen you have got to stop wearing those shoes!”

“You think it’s f—ing easy to find shoes that f—ing fit me that I can afford?!”

“Those shoes are doing s—ty s— to your toes!”

“What s—ty s— to my toes?!”

“They’re like cramping your toes, making them all sweaty and wet and s—, and bacteria and germs will grow, and you’ll get bunions on your toes-”

“Oh, like you care, you’ll just want to nibble them off!”

The small woman laughed even harder, and pulled the cord to indicate that the next bus stop was hers, then said, “S—, this isn’t my bus stop, it’s the wrong one.”

The mid-sized woman continued, “I’m serious, bunions on your toes, they’ll warp your feet and cripple you, and another thing, all that bacteria and germ s— will give you athlete’s feet and you won’t sleep because your feet will itch all night, and then! And then you’ll get cankers and infections and you’ll end up with gangrene and they’ll have to amputate your feet and you’ll wish you had listened to me-”

The big woman shouted, “You are so full of s—!”

“I am not joking, listen to me! Know what you gotta do to protect your feet? Do you? Huh? I’ll tell you. You have to pee on your feet.”

“WHAT?!”

“I am serious! When you’re taking a shower, you need to pee on your feet, because your pee is a natural disinfectant-”

“GROSS!”

“It is! It is! I’m telling you, peeing on your feet is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body-”

“BULLS—!”

“-and you can wash it off so it doesn’t leave a smell.”

The small woman laughed even harder, and pulled the cord a third time to indicate that the next bus stop was hers, then said, “S—, this isn’t my bus stop, it’s the wrong one.”

As I wrote above, none of this bothered me; I was too busy trying to commit as much of the conversation as possible to memory so I could later share it with you, gentle reader. But I was not the only person riding in the back of the 71 bus. One of the other two women was an extremely small, extremely aged Asian woman who stared out the window, looking as if she pretended she didn’t understand a word of English.

The other definitely understood English.

This woman met the standards of beauty that other men unfairly impose upon women; long slender build, long dark hair, clear fair skin, soft facial features, slightly pointed chin, all in all a very fine example of the delicate feminine beauty some described as an “English Rose.” She didn’t move at all, except that she leaned forward a little bit more as the conversation got raunchier, and her eyes grew a little wider. Probably hetero, probably new to San Francisco.

The mid-sized woman said, “Look you can ask your doctor, she’ll tell you that peeing on your feet is good for you. Just ask your gynecologist.”

The big woman said, “My what?!”

“You don’t know what a f—— gynecologist is?!”

“I know what that is, I don’t f—— have one!”

“You don’t have a f—— gynecologist?!”

“No I do not have a g– d— f—— Guy-No-Aloe-Collie-Melancholy-ollie ollie ollie-gism-ologist-whatever!”

The small woman laughed even harder, and pulled the cord a fourth time to indicate that the next bus stop was hers, then said, “S—, this isn’t my bus stop, either, it’s still the wrong one.”

The bus driver yelled out, “WILL YOU PLEASE STOP FOOLING WITH THE CORD?!!”

The three women laughed even harder, the big one said, “Come on girls, next stop, we’re off!” and they soon departed. Arm in arm in arm again, joking and laughing all the way.

The Asian woman continued to stare out the window, but she smiled, so I think she really did understand English.

The English Rose bent forward even more, blinking her eye frequently. She took a deep breath and shook her head as if that would shake the conversation out of her brain.

I continued to study the chess game (if memory serves, Blackmar-Wurm 1882).

Why not? It was just another San Francisco bus ride at 10:00 p.m. on a Monday night.

Vonn Scott Bair

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