Last night immediately after the show, I was struck by how it is human nature to have certain habits and routines.

The pit musicians have a space downstairs in the Golden Gate Theatre to store instruments and change clothes. We call it “The Bandroom”.

There are three separate spaces: the smallest room has cubbyholes and shelves to store the instruments. The middle space is the largest, where people usually congregate, eat or relax. This is where the main entrance to the bandroom is located. The third space on the opposite also has its own entrance, and is midway in size between the other two rooms.

As this run of South Pacific has progressed, each musician has designated his or her own “territory”, so to speak. I always put my knapsack, hat and coat in the same spot, on a high bass stool nearest the clothes rack in the largest, middle room.

Then I put my horn case in the smallest room with the cubbyholes, and have taken over a certain one which is big enough to store my particular instrument.

The third space is currently being used as the women’s dressing room, as the 25 musicians are evently divided between the sexes. The other two spaces have been taken over by the men.

Last night after the show, I was packing up my horn in the instrument storage room as usual, and was just about to store the case in the cubbyhole I’ve always used — when the flute player quickly shoved her case in it!

She must have sensed my faint annoyance because she asked, “Oh, did I take your spot?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“I’m sorry,” she said, on her way out of the room.

“No you’re NOT,” I rejoined, and we both laughed — as she continued to walk away.

So we tend to be creatures of habit, but can be adaptable when routines are disrupted.

I was in this frame of mind when I arrived at the BART station a few moments later.

I always catch the same train, so I have come to recognize a few of the regular riders who have a similar work schedule to mine.

One man always stands at the same black tile strip where the train doors open; there is a series of them along the track. I always stand at the adjacent strip next to him, because this particular door of the train opens immediately opposite the staircase at my destination.

Another man always waits for his train (a later one than mine; he never gets on when I do) at the foot of the nearby stairway which has a bannister made of stainless steel, which is wide enough to serve as a counter. He reads or plays with his PDA there.

I’ve also figured out that the Staircase Man is an usher for one of the theatres. He always wears black slacks, white shirt with a long black tie. The other night, he had two narrow, tall empty cardboard boxes marked “PLAYBILL” (the name of the show programs used in all the theatres around the country). So this made me realize that he’s an usher.

One night, my train was about to emerge from the tunnel at the end of the station. There is always a high wind which the trains push ahead of them, marking their imminent arrival. This wind is so strong that I have to hang onto my hat. It was also strong enough to blow those empty cardboard boxes marked “PLAYBILL” away from Staircase Man and rapidly towards me, standing right by the tracks.

I had to react quickly to save the boxes from tumbling down onto the tracks, recessed nearly five feet below me. I grabbed them and handed them back to Staircase Man, who smiled and thanked me. I didn’t have time to ask him which theatre he ushers — it’s either the Orpheum where a long-running production of “Wicked” is playing, or at the Golden Gate where “South Pacific” has a six-week run — because I had to get on my train.

It was interesting that the theme of “creatures of habit” came to me so vividly last night. But there are always variations, such as the flute player taking my cubbyhole and Staircase Man’s boxes blowing away.