Sunday, November 22, 2009

Men on Wheels, Part I

Part I

So today on the bus....

visual: Sustainable coffee mug in hand full to the brim with a seasonal favorite, peppermint mocha, larger than life pink plaid sunglasses, bright ocean blue headband, Princess Leah buns, hot pink lululemon cozy micro-fleece pullover I scored in Vancouver under my favorite purple backpack, atop full length lululemon pants with fancy snaps up the side and bright green and navy Nikes wait for the bus today. I am dressed for a winter wonderland, obviously.

I stayed up way too late last night and stumbled out of my cozy Brentwood apartment early this morning in just enough time to hit up Coffee Bean on the way to my bus stop. Moving slower than normal, I kick the Nikes in high gear and get to speed walking, wondering what the bus back in the good ol' U S of A will bring today.

As I cross the street to my normal bus spot in front of the convenient 711, there are a couple people waiting at the bus stop. I always take that as a good sign. When no one is waiting there, I figure I just missed the bus. So, off to a good start and still on time.

I approach the bench and there is a character rolling around in his wheelchair circling the bus stop. He is a total dude with longer hair, tan skin and a bum leg wrapped up in what looked like an old, dirty turquoise sheet. He throws me that 'hang ten' sign that only true dudes can pull off and a head nod.

Now, don't let the 'dude' label throw you. He probably hadn't showered in like two (2) weeks and I immediately labeled him in the homeless category. They seem to congregate around the 711, I never know what that is about. 711 is not cheap, they charge for that convenience piece. With that being said, I immediately figure this dude is going to hit me up for some money. He says hello, I say hi and smile while looking further down the street for my bus.

He introduces himself as Jared. I respond and tell him it is nice to meet you. I do believe it is nice to meet people and know their name.

He then asks me to remove my sunglasses. I oblige and he proceeds to tell me I look like a Penelope. Weird. Engaging further, calling me Penelope, we talk about what's in a name. Like a modern day Romeo and the bus stop. What a name means and why some are popular. I explain to him that the Subway Jared has really stolen his thunder these days. However, I remind him that Jared Leto was a huge heart-throb years back. He smiles, agrees. He does that surfer dude hair flick, informing me my real name is ya know...okay. Ha ha, thanks.

My bus 720 arrives and I begin to walk towards the entrance bidding Jared a wave good bye. Thinking to myself, here comes the money request - he glances back up at me from his wheelchair, smiles, and reminds me to have a really beautiful day and rolls the opposite direction.

SLAP! Right across my snobby face. He was just wanting a smile and great conversation. And the whole time I am thinking he was going to ask for my beloved quarters. I scoff at myself on the bus and shake my head in disappointment.

Its like the good side and the snobby side of me play Hide & Seek. Some times, the good side is hiding in the best hiding spot ever, where my snobby side just cannot find her. And other times, my good side prevails and I am this possibility of love and world change. Hugging strangers, saving the world while running and smiling, or spreading holiday cheer.

Jared did teach me a radical and old lesson today. And do note: I did treat him nicely. We laughed and shared a great conversation. I was friendly. Its that inner voice of fear and annoyance if he was going to beg me for money that bugs me the most. Who I was being while we were conversing? Judging a book by its cover. I could have been present to the fact that he is a human being. Sharing his life. Really, only begging for time. For those three (3) minutes I had to spare. And in the three minute conversation, he won me over. Changed my life view. And ultimately inspired me to greatness today.

Thanks dude Jared.

Who have you misjudged today? Who did you not talk to because they could potentially appear to be something they are NOT even close to at all? Let a dude rock your world today.

Be love to

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