The Accidental Cupid on the 21-Hayes

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Good Evening:

It happens sometimes.

I become your Accidental Cupid.

In 1999, a friend of mine was directing a play and asked me if I knew any stage managers. At the time, I had a strong interest in an impeccably cute Italian-American young lady who was looking to start a career in the theater, and I wanted to impress her by getting her a job, so I recommended her to him.

They’re still happily married, complete with the house, two kids, and most important, the dog.

In 2000 or 2001, I needed a rough, tough, macho looking guy to play a rough, tough, macho looking guy role in a stage reading of a one-act play in development. Since I had performed in a cowboy comedy called Lariats of Fire with a bunch of rough, tough macho looking guys, I cast one of them in my one-act. One of the playwrights in the audience, a mousey-looking woman all of five feet tall with a pointed nose and eyeglasses with almost half-inch thick lenses, stared and I mean STARED at him during the entire reading, and when it ended, cornered and I mean CORNERED him, placing her right palm on the wall next to his left shoulder and her left palm on the wall next to his right.

She basically told him that he was her next boyfriend, and that relationship lasted over three years.

In 2005, another one-act play of mine received a world premiere in a major San Francisco Bay Area theater festival. I had in mind a young woman for the lead role of a blind aspiring cellist, not a woman in whom I had any particular romantic interest, but a woman whom I knew could beautifully deliver my extremely long “arias” (monologues for women over three minutes long) and who could perform with aplomb a role that kept her onstage for virtually the entire play. After a bit of a dispute, the director finally relented and cast her in the play, but he chose to give her the other female role. She did so well in that play that the director soon cast her in another play.

They’re still happily married.

I’m a rare Accidental Cupid, but I’m a good one.

So there I stood in a hopelessly overcrowded 21-Hayes bus at 5:05 p.m. last Friday afternoon, with a foreign couple, tourists, screaming at the bus driver because they were convinced he had no idea where he was going, while the bus driver screamed back at them that he lived in San Francisco all his life and knew d— well where he was going, while an elderly woman screamed at a 20-ish woman sitting on one of the seats reserved for the elderly and handicapped to stand up and let her sit, while the 20-ish woman screamed back at her that she had an injury, while a tall man in his seventies with silver hair and a walker screamed at everyone to get out of his way so he could get off the bus, when a very short young woman wearing a backpack thicker than herself boarded the bus, squeezed through a few people, and got twisted around in such a way that her backpack molested my butt.

I mean really molested my butt. I thought someone was grabbing me.

I turned around to confront the “person” grabbing my derriere, but to do that, a short young man with dark hair had to squeeze out of my way, causing him to stumble against a tall young man with dark hair fumbling with his sunglasses. The squeezing and stumbling caused him to drop his shades.

“Oh, f—, there goes $200.”

“I see them,” said the short young man, who bent over to pick them up, literally butting me into the backpack that had been butting into me. The short young woman who belonged to the backpack and I apologized to each other, and she miraculously found a seat that had become available. This gave me enough room to give the short young man enough room to fetch the tall young man’s sunglasses and return them to him, and yes, San Francisco bus riding is the only sport that combines ballet, hockey, mixed martial arts, and that puzzle where you have to manipulate fifteen square tiles on a sixteen square grid.

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

The tall young man’s hand rested upon the short young man’s hand holding his shades.

“Hello.”

“Hello.”

The tall young man placed his sunglasses in his shirt pocket.

“Riding the bus is always so dramatic, isn’t it?”

“Oh, yes,” replied the short young man. “Who needs theater?”

They laughed, and I thought, well, I need theater, but never mind.

“You never know who you’ll run into.”

“More like bump into.”

“Or butt into.”

They laughed again.

The tall young man said, “So what’s your name?”

And I thought, I’ve done it again. Should have given them my card. You know, so they could invite me to the wedding.

Vonn Scott Bair

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