Thursday, December 3, 2009

Art with a Heart driving my Dream Ride with a Dude on the Bus

So today on the bus....

visual: A smile underneath a bright blue satin headband holding back one long day's worth of what once was a clean ponytail, bounces above the high collared avocado lululemon jacket with the neon orange tank top peeking over the knit gray leggings steps on the evening bus today in worn out VANS slip-on checkerboard sneakers (no socks)...

It happened.

It happened!

My dream bus ride happened TODAY!

Whilst wishing my beautiful, little sister a very happy birthday and discussing the outfit options she is going to wear out to party tonight, I quickly end the conversation and step up to drop my five (5) hard-earned quarters into the slot. I greet my bus driver, who is the most friendly, to a point of jolly, man I have encountered today. I thank him, smile and head back to my seat.

Are you ready for this?

So I decide to sit in between two (2) people in the front of the bus. Yes, there are available seats in the back but it is the evening bus, so I had scanned the front seats and my body somehow pulled me right between these two seated passengers. Who sits between two people on a not full bus? I do. Maybe it was the lady with the glasses and puffy white jacket exuding warmth. Or maybe, just maybe, it was the full navy suit and tie, attractive, young, and clean cut gentleman sitting in the other seat.

So, I sit silently for a minute. Pondering if this is real. No way. No way had I just talked to my mother this morning about the bus and how there is never, every anyone near my age range that I would want to vacate the bus seats and transplant directly to a bar, share a cold brew and great conversation with. Never.

Well, would you look at that, you big old jokester of a World.

So I sit silent a little longer. Looking around. Glancing at the Transit TV right behind the dude in a suit's head.

"Santa Monica and Wilshire!"

What is this? My friendly bus driver actually yells out the approaching stops. Am I dreaming?

Did the LA Metro actually receive my Christmas List?

Finally, I make eye contact with this mystery, 20-something year old, well-dressed, and seemingly going green bus-riding gentleman. "My bag matches your jacket", he says. I had already noticed and noted that it appeared to be a sustainable shopper of some sort, but pretend I had not. His was in actuality more of a darker lime green, but alas, same color family. I smile, enthusiastically agree and we embark in conversation.

His name was Peter. He worked for some International company doing some business with the Consulate and Peru. He spoke fluent Spanish. Originally from West LA, a rarity in this city of transplants. And he studied abroad in Spain while attending UC Santa Cruz. As you can see, we did the normal song and dance. "Where you from?" "I work for lululemon athletica in the area, have you heard of it?" "Oh ya, I know, the Transit TV is quite awful." "Yes, I agree MTV should pimp our ride." "Oh, I know, I probably should wear socks with my sneakers." Well, the normal song and dance for meeting someone. Someone like me. On the rush bus 720. In Los Angeles, California.

Halfway through our route and conversation, the friendly and polite people we are, we vacate our seats and make room for two (2) elder women with walkers boarding the bus who wanted to sit in the front. We make the move to the back to the taller seats across from one another. It was seriously the quickest bus ride I have ever taken! Thank God for my friendly bus driver yelling out the approaching stops, because I would not have even noticed. My fear of missing my stop from falling asleep on the bus would have come true, minus the falling asleep part and insert meeting dude on a bus part.

I pull the yellow stop request line, jump up at the sound of my street and tell this Peter dude on the bus that it was very nice to meet him.

"Do you ride the bus often?", he inquires with a smile.

"Every day. Every day, my friend" I shout as I depart from our shared seating area.

I chuckle to myself. Where most twenty-somethings my age would have more of the "You come here often" encounter at a bar, my life has twisted into, "You ride the bus often?". Good one, life. Pretty funny.

I ignore the sign that says Please Use Rear Exit and I stomp my sock-less VANS up to the front and tap my broad shouldered bus driver on the shoulder. I tell him I think he is just lovely and the most friendly bus driver I have EVER had. He smiles and blushes. His name was Art. Art with a heart, I think to myself! Seriously, the man had kind eyes. I told him I would write his boss man and let him know. He thanked me twice over and wished me "Merry Christmas". I blow him a kiss good bye and exit.

I think I literally did a cheerleader's hurkey off the bus. I walk my direction of home and wave to Peter through the window, still sitting on the bus, a smile and a good bye.

He smiles back and I almost think tips his imaginary hat. Weird, but awesome.

What a ride. I was laughing the whole way home. I had the most friendly bus driver. I met a nice LA boy in a suit who speaks Spanish and had recently returned from teaching English in South America. I get the idea, with aforementioned boy, to email MTV and ask them to PIMP MY RIDE, the LA BUS. And, I get to send a positive email to the LA bus system about Art. No complaints, just love.

Is it opposite day? Was that some kind of mirage?

I am not even kidding that the World works in mysterious ways. I had seriously been talking to my mother just this morning about meeting a dude on the bus. It happened. I mean, he did not get my number or anything, but still! CRAZY! And, I had seriously blogged last night about how to make the LA bus riding experience better for its passengers, and there was amazing Art with a huge heart yelling out directions and guiding us home with Christmas wishes.

Put it out there. Just put it out there. What do you want? Tell me what you want, what you really, really want (Spice Girls). Say it. Write it down. Be it. Because whatever it is, it will find you, if you want it to.


  1. I love this story! Glad you had such a great time on the bus! I hope your Houston experiences were just as good! So great meeting you, and see you in Cali in a year!

  2. I just started using transit too. I haven't had a great experience like you yet but I'm going to put it out there! I work at lululemon too in Vancouver :)