So today on the bus....
visual: I am bright one on the 6:05pm rush bus number 720 back into Beverly Hills. Overstuffed purple lululemon backpack complements my lululemon navy hip pants with a flattering flare feature over my blue Asics, gray seamless tech top and HOT PINK ear warmers that match my HOT PINK arm warmers that propel my leap through the inviting double doors of the bus.
I rarely ride the bus in the evenings. However, with daylight savings and a new motivation to go to the lululemon run club, the fast approaching black sky and crescent moon catch up with me today. I head to the bus at 6:00pm in the dark and breezy air. I think to myself, prime time for the people leaving a long day's work and heading home. Should be an interesting ride.
I was right. The bus was packed. I had to stand by the exit door for the first couple of stops. A full house! Slower traffic stresses me out - I might actually miss this run club due to LA drama I wouldn't be too upset. Nonetheless, I distract myself with the sleepy passengers, crazy homeless guy in the back yelling, and the absolutely terrible TrasitTV blaring educational information, asking questions such as: What is the bone detached from any other bones in the human body? What does the German word stumphhose mean? And lastly, what is the World's largest seed? (Answers: Hyoid in the throat, tights, and the Coco de Mer, or a double coconut). Does anyone on the bus want to know that?
Anyways, I keep looking around. You know, for someone to inspire me. Shock me. Talk to me. Scare me, even.
We make a third stop on my route and quite a few depart. I snag a seat right up front before the oncoming traffic of more sleepy passengers, homeless people, and obnoxious cell phone users pile in. I smile at an older man who sits in the next row of seats by me. My seat is actually one of those that faces the aisle versus the front of the bus. I see all the oncoming passengers and you know they see hot pink me. Now, my smile quickly fades as I notice that this man now perpendicular to me is BLOCKING anyone to sit by him in the open seat. He is sitting on the outside seat as to have two (2) seats for his ride. I say to myself, hey, this is not an airplane, dude! It is the LA Metro! I immediately shun him. Share brother!
As I avert my attention, more people continue to sluggishly gather on the bus. Another older gentleman enters the bus, much older than the seat-blocker next to me. He has that elderly lean where his body is permanently bending forwards. He is wearing the most amazing brown holiday zip-up jacket made of old school polyester and a tweed Beret atop his little head. He comes in for the seat next to me and begins the strategy of his seat-taking process: hand on rail, foot towards seat, 180 circle, about to fall in butt first....
I reach for his wrinkled and surprisingly very warm hand and guide him in to the seat next to me.
He gets comfortable with a couple squirming movements and looks over at me with these eyes, crystal clear blue on the outside and hazel towards the pupil. Against his tan skin, I bet this bent over man was quite the looker at my age. Before he can thank me, I tell him that I really love the retro jacket. I deem him "trendy and hip". He smiles and thanks me, telling me in a thick accent that he has had it for quite some time - probably long enough for it to be in style, out of style, and now back in style. Funny guy. He then tells me out of the blue, "I wish you health, wealth, beauty, happiness and all you desire in life. I do". So profound, yet random. So many great adjectives he just bestowed upon me. I am touched.
I move my pink ear warmers up and off my ears, lean down, way way down, to peek under his Beret and get on his level. I tell him thanks and wish him the very exact same in his life.
We proceed in conversation. He asks about my cultural descent, my degree in school, my current job situation, if I am a movie star, if I am happy? He reminds me how lucky I am to have a job and be making money, that I am a nice girl, and that if I become a movie star, he will be sure to see my movies.
I laughed a bit, especially at the movie star part. I did notice that in answering all his inquiring questions, I smiled the entire time. Mostly speaking to him my wonderful life and how I am very happy. Which, I am.
I find out his name is Enrique. He is from some country I definitely could not understand from his accent. Somewhere in the Middle East, South of Russia, I am going to guess he claimed Armenia. I had already asked him twice and was uncomfortable going for the third clarification, so I do the nod and smile thing. I notice that he also nods his head quite a bit, and I begin to wonder if he even understands me? While I literally have to lean down and in to hear anything he is saying, I figure the smiles can be our common language when we find these communication barriers.
After a few sentence exchanges, he came out again with, "I wish you health, wealth, life, movie star, and all that you desire".
This I understand and I thank him again and pull the bus string for my approaching exit. "Stop Requested" shouts the recorded bus woman's voice. I'm getting good now. Conversations, a night bus ride and my own stop requests, who would have ever thought? Not me!
And then again as my bus begins to slam on the brakes, same lines as before: "I wish you health, wealth, gorgeous, money, movie star, happiness...." I think he could have gone on and on with the mix of heartfelt adjectives and nouns, but I had to cut him off. I leaned over, hugged his very bony shoulders hiding under the trendsetter polyester jacket and air kissed while cheek to cheek a good bye. Wishing him a beautiful life, I jumped to the rear exit waving another good bye to all the onlookers who had silently joined our lovely conversation through not-so-secret observation.
As I hustle out and into the 90210 streets, I hear old man Enrique tell the other passengers, "She kissed me, she kissed me!".
I smile. Amazing.
I do not know what the deal is as of late, but these old gentlemen of Los Angeles are really throwing me for a loop these days. Enrique had kind eyes and three times wished upon me greatness. He also promised to support me if I ever was on the big screen and left me in the best of spirits for my evening jog.
And yes, I made it to my run club on time. Ran my hot pink heart out and decided that I am so happy with these chance encounters that really touch, move and inspire me. These old, dear and deep souls....showing and sharing a very unique and open type of love I have never seen, much less experienced before. Is it luck? Is it God? Is it just nothing?
I realize that in my life now, I get on a bus, go for a walk, get a coffee, go for a run, go to work.... and I am actually out looking for that greatness. For that wonderful and amazing. For inspiring and heart-strings-pulling. And, I find it. In my life. Just because I am seeking them out. Demanding them to get on my crazy ride.
And lately, the amazing and inspiring, wonderful and empowering, breathtaking-right-when- you-don't-expect-it-beautiful-life in your face ... usually appears in the form of a gentleman between the ages of 74 and 82 on my bus.
On my life bus.
What do you find on your life bus?
Are you even looking for them?