So today on the bus....
visual: Bright blue lululemon pants, black holiday tee with inspirational writing with the hot pink micro-fleece I found and love from Canada wait for the bus today. I smile as the sun is shining and it is chillier for LA weather, my green Nikes tap anxiously as my matching green sunglasses stare down Wilshire Boulevard.
It was a crowded on the Rapid 720 Bus today. I had to stand for most of the first part of the trip. I always feel like such a beacon of neon colors at the front, as no one is talking to one another and just staring around.
After a couple stops, I finally sit near the middle in a window spot. I wait with anticipation as my new bus riders enter the bus to fill the open seat next to me. Who is gonna sit by friendly me today? I almost feel bad for the person, what if they want to sleep? What if they don't want to have a great interaction? What if ... ehh, someone just sit down!
A man sitting a couple seats in front stands up and moves the two rows back to sit next to me. He is wearing a gray winter cap and on over-sized hooded sweatshirt. He is a larger man and almost cozy sitting next to me. I smile and we sit in silence for a moment. I wonder why he moved if he already had a comfortable seat?
As the bus powers on, we drive through the Wilshire Corridor, my favorite part of the drive - I just love all the trees and tall buildings and blue skies. I smile and look out the window. I turn to my new friends and start to speak without realizing he is already asleep! He rustles awake and I apologize and tell him I just wanted to point out to him how beautiful of a day it is today.
He smiles and wakes up a bit.
We begin to converse and share our backgrounds. His name was Mike and he was just wonderful. A deep, throaty voice and deep brown eyes with the wrinkles on the side when he smiled. I love those. When my Grandpa smiles his eyes almost disappear, it makes me melt every time. Mike had those eyes when he smiled.
We talk about where we are going, where we work and the weather. He asks me where I live and I tell him my story and city of residence. I pause and there is a silence, so of course, I ask him, "where do you live?".
He chuckles and shakes his head. He says, "I set myself up for this one" and looks back to me.
He shares that he lives downtown in Low Income Housing. He laughs a bit and talks of his past and tough times. I look at him, listen and smile. I talk about how I heard Downtown is really up and coming these days and how a roof over one's head is a roof over one's head.
I think I scared him a little bit. I just smiled. In my head I was just telling him, "I love you" and "Everything is going to be just fine and that you are doing a great job". And I think it exuded out of me. He opened up and thanked me for being so friendly. He told me I am probably good at customer service because I am good with people. I agreed and told I am pretty good in the fit rooms of lululemon athletica. I make all the ladies feel good in the spandex. He laughs. I laugh, too.
And then, I notice how much I love the sounds of laughter. Its almost harmonious when you and another human being laugh together. I cannot sing worth a darn, but I can harmonize with the best of them when it comes to laughing. And that is exactly what Mike and I did. We did not speak in a place of judgement, sadness or fear. We just laughed together.
As I informed him my stop was coming up, he looked at me and said he wished I could ride the rest of the way with him. And I really think that if I had the time and didn't have to be on time for work, I would have sat next to him the whole way.
As the old man had wished me "wealth, health and happiness always" on a previous bus ride adventure, I turn to Mike as I depart and wish him with a smile the most "wealth, health and happiness" and tell him that I believe in him and all that he is capable of.
He chuckles yet again and smiles.
We half hug. And I thank the bus driver and depart.
Share laughter today. Listen to it. It is so beautiful.