Sunday, November 8, 2009

Storytelling on the LA Metro

So today on the bus....

visual: Waiting for my 720 RUSH bus, I stare over the back of the bus bench longingly at the 711 wishing they carried Barq's Root Beer in their fountain machine. I chat with my dad via Blackberry while sporting my weeks-worn-in UGG boots with the snap pockets on the sides, indigo blue lululemon shorts (made for running - not bus riding), and a lime green jacket. No sunglasses today, as I cannot find them and I guess, cannot hide today.

So, I wait for the bus today for work, curious as to who I will meet today. I give my audience a once over; skinny, homely girl does not make eye contact, lanky bearded man with dark shades and leather jacket has that scary appeal, and short dude leaning up against the pole with his over-gelled hair seems too cool for school.

The bus arrives right on time. I jump on and take a seat in the front seats. They are wide open and invite me in. Lo and behold, bearded man with leather jacket sits right across from me. He is seriously wearing eight layers - as if we are in the middle of a snow New York. Scarf and all, carrying his drumsticks.

So, he engages in conversation with me in a half Pirate half English accent. Asking me how I am and where I was going? Sharing where he has been and asking for direction to the Greyhound Station in Union Square. In my head I am thinking, this guy really thinks he is in New York! So I get out the Blackberry and check out the Greyhound station via Google. I offer my new friend directions and hoping that is all he needs.

Well, it definitely was not all he needed. And little did I know, I was sitting across from a young and soon-to-be rich genius. This gentleman told me that he had become a doctor at the young age of 24 and had gone to teach as a professor at Berkeley. "The name's Dr. Ryan, he said". Nice to meet you. He continues, he left teaching a couple years later to pursue his real passions in the fine arts, showcasing his aforementioned drumsticks. He confides in me, leaning a bit closer off the seat, that he had played with the likes of 'Blood, Sweat and Tears', Sting, and Mick Jagger. Nodding and reminicing within this story, he claims he has a bundle of money coming in from overseas.

I, well, I am flabbergasted. I feel as if he is awaiting that starstruck reaction. I try to muster up the wide-eyed attention he deserved, but I was so distracted by the missing teeth on his bottom row and the grey pants that were nearing the color of charcoal due to lack of laundry visits.

Playing along, I shared how amazing it was that he followed his passions and dreams for the fine arts and really made a career for himself. He had really made it. He smiled and agreed in that weird Pirate Brit accent.

Approaching my stop, I thought about the story I had just heard. That is this man, Dr. Ryan's reality. But that is who he thought he was. On the LA bus, in dirty clothing - he was Mick Jagger's drummer and was once a professor at Berkeley.

I depart and give the man a good bye, "Good luck Doc!".

In all reality, he was just like me....and you. Telling his story while I live mine. I ride the bus because I go green to better our earth, and because times got tough and a car payment wasn't in the cards....errr or bank statement. I am going to change the world. And, I am a possibility of love for everyone in any capacity, whether they need directions to Union Square in Los Angeles, goal setting to creat a future, someone to just listen, or a necessary hug.

And, that's who I am. That is my story.

So, go ahead bus riders of Los Angeles. Tell me a story today....

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