The end of the day at the bike messenger job

I remember this one time, it must have been around 1978. It was quitting time, well after 6PM and I passed my old dispatcher Charlie hanging out on the sidewalk in front of the Rocket Messenger building on 5th and Folsom with a couple of co-workers. They all had cans of Budweiser in their hands. Charlie looked weepy like he was going to start crying. Which was uncharacteristic. Usually Charlie was wise-alecky and cocky.

“I guess you heard what happened today.” said Charlie.

“No,” I said. “What happened?”

“It was her first day on the job,” said Charlie. “She was riding down Market along side a Muni bus. And she bumped into the side of the bus and was knocked off her bike. And she fell under the bus. The bus dragged her for 3 or 4 blocks before the bus driver even knew she was under there.”

“Holy geez,” I said. “What happened to her.”

“We’re gonna send her back to her family in Kentucky in a box.”

Charlie took a big hit off of his can of beer. And I continued walking down Folsom Street.


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