AUTHOR: linda TITLE: Sliding Doors: Adventures on MUNI and the Streets of San Francisco DATE: 10:21:00 AM ----- BODY:

In the glum silence of commute-hour, squashed among earbuds, cellphones, paperback books, and pink plastic shopping bags, a striking woman dressed in a proper school-girl skirt, crisp collared shirt and a friendly crop of braids, seats herself next to me for the 33-minute rail ride.

We talk about world travels and young secretaries who think themselves too good to wipe down the office kitchen, and mystery novels... and since she has my same commute, I promised to lend her the first of Bonnie Hearn Hill's newspaper thriller series.

Sure enough, the week I put "If it Bleeds" in my bag for Antione, the kind-hearted Brit, I ran into her. But then for weeks after that, no sign of the pleated skirt and friendly braids. I had no way of contacting her other than MUNI, but I felt sure we'd run into one another again someday.

Then, on a Tuesday morning, as my commute took me up Sansome Street past Mr. Two Twenty and we exchanged a familiar wave, I spotted Antione walking the opposite direction right in front of me and the Two Twenty building.

"Why -- hello!"

And with an excited exchange like old friends under the green awning, about missing one another with no way of contact, writing down phone numbers and such things, Andre himself emerged from between the glass doors to say that he'd the story I wrote about him and how it touched his heart.

It was a real-world vortex of story!

I promptly thanked him, and turned to introduce Andre to Antione, who reflected kind energy to one another with a polite handshake.


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