So today on the bus...
visual: chiller weather allowed for the emergence of my new, amazing dark brown UGG boots with the pockets on the side and zipper up the other side! An impulse purchase allowed for the emergence of my purple lululemon backpack that for some odd reason makes me feel younger and back in school. Pink, plaid over-sized sunglasses and the blackberry in hand...I await for bus 720.
I had a great attitude getting on the bus today. My bus driver was chuckling and friendly, there were available seats and damn, I was in a great mood. I had decided that morning it was going to be an amazing day. I take towards the middle of the bus. That piece that connects the front to the back - almost like you are sitting in the middle of the musical instrument, the accordion. Oh you are not familiar? Well, there is no stability, some circle is drawn underneath your feet that actually moves in crazy circles, and if the bus literally cracks in half, I am a goner. I live on the edge with that seat.
So, I sit there. Alone. All 4 seats are empty. Obviously, no one wants to die on the LA Metro Bus. Still in good mood.
A couple more stops and here come some characters. A couple gentlemen sit in the higher seats in front of me. They are hilarious. One of them is all smiles and talking on the phone with his son about his dinner that evening, "tacos? I love tacos! Tomatoes still good? or what about dem French Fries?"...I was all ears with that one.
Then comes this cute little 4 year old boy in overalls who treats the bus like a rollercoaster. He is just adorable. Bumping around and giggling. My heart broke when his mother almost passed out due to whatever concoction she had consumed before that day started. But the youngster was an absolute joy. It is so amazing that he can love the LA Metro Bus so much. I tried to envision it like a roller coaster for me...almost raised my arms. But, I couldn't get there like that little 4 year old could!
Lastly, slowly but surely, came my bus treat for the day. This elder gentleman scuffles on with a fedora tipped a little bit to the side, eyebrows literally grown out down to his sagging cheek bones, and an amazing herringbone jacket. He was dressed to kill. I wonder if he had some hot, elder woman dressing up for him for the earlybird senior rate dinner. I pretended he did. We shared smiles a couple times. My heart melted for this one. Had to be pushing 85 years old. Shorter, almost stocky. Not from the United States, just smiling at the young boy...as I was.
Finally, we exchanged a couple warm conversations. I could not understand a word he said, so I just smiled at first. Then, I removed my sunglasses and looked him straight in the eyes. I went for that authentic connection. Asking him how he was, telling him how lovely I thought he looked today...actually telling him he was dressed to kill. He blushed and returned conversation. He said he did not speak great English, which I reminded him - "we communicate just fine and as well as we can". He took my hand and I gave it a squeeze. He was so pleasant. I wanted to take him out for tea and crumpets!
We exchanged how the little boy was so cute, yet we felt so sad for him, as his caretaker was in the midst of some drug-induced unconsciousness. He then asked me if I had a husband and if I was going to Beverly Hills to go shopping. Hilarious you amazing old man, everything you say! I am going to work for those quarters the bus just ate, and husband schusband...so, not yet.
I was gleaming. I have been waiting for a great bus experience, and here it was in my old man friend in his gold rings and fedora! My stop was approaching and I got almost sad.
I stand up with my new, purple backpack to rush off the bus before the doors close on me (I know one day they are actually going to). I throw my sunglasses back on. I turn back to my dear friend, lean down to hug him and he kisses my cheek with a shaking demeanor due to old age, or maybe just sheer delight. Hell, I might have been shaking, too. Again, I remove those big sunglasses and thank him.
I did not even get his name. But, he literally made the rest of my day. I stroll in to work with a little extra step in my boots. He set the pace for my entire rest of the day. I chose the scariest seat on the bus, and it ended up being the best seat in the house!
I hope to run into him again.
Just for those 12 minutes, he almost un-snobbed me. Almost.