So today on the bus...
visual: Hot pink lululemon athletica racerback peeks beneath this incredible new half jacket I picked up from this amazing store....lululemon athletica in Beverly Hills. Rocking the UGG boots this morning with black capris and my green sunglasses, I wait for the bus.
So, I was going to start this post about honesty and the bus system. I was going to take the lid off my bus glorification I seem to have found and all the goodness of the Rapid 720 that I speak to daily, and tell you that some times the bus can be a pain.. That honesty piece would have been the flip side of my snob-ness. The revelations of bus frustrations. Or the title of the blog that was: "Bustrations". (I truly get a life kick out of word combinations. I do not know what that is about, but lucky for you, this amazing gentlemen in a full three-piece suit with a red tie that matched his red handkerchief and a rain tracker hat saved the blog day!).
Just to note, there are some pressing things about not having a car and riding the bus that I ponder at times. Like how long it takes me to get somewhere with the leaving the house early to walk the 15 minutes to the bus stop, to wait for the bus, to play stop-and-go down Wilshire. Or, when the bus is late. I mean, I know it happens but it really puts a kink in my schedule. Or, when you just want to listen to the radio and sing at the top of your lungs with the windows rolled down. Obviously, there are some rants here. But like I said, we won't go there.
So, I get on the bus this evening. It is my third trip of the day. Heading back to Beverly Hills for lululemon's Zumba donation class for Haiti. A beautiful event that I will most definitely shake my tailfeather for. I insert my cash and coin and enter a very full-to-the-brim evening ride. So crowded, I choose to stand near the first exit and hold on for dear life.
I have my green sunglasses on, as the sun is still peeking out before dusk and stare out the double doors. Hoping they stay shut as I somewhat lean against them! An older gentleman departs from his coveted seat and comes to stand next to me. He is smiling. I am momentarily creeped out by how close he is standing next to me, but I smile back anyways. He giggles a little under his white beard and rain tracker hat (see photo) atop his classy suit and Club Monaco bag. An interesting combination for an interesting man.
I stare forward. Like I said, I am adding to my "Bustrations" blog and writing my complaints silently in my head and am not looking for a life altering bus ride at this time. Oh damn, he caught my eyes again. How does he do that? I have sunglasses on. He smiles and says, "Hello".
Hook. Line. Sinker.
Out of my head of bus complaints and into my heart of love and chance bus interactions.....
"Hi there". I smile. He is somehow exuding this amazing energy. The bus starts to shake and bump. There is this part of Wilshire Boulevard that is absolutely a mess and you feel like an earthquake is taking place - but it is really just the road rocking the shocks of the bus (or lack there of).
He laughs. It is the most amazing laugh. Deep and drawn out, as if it takes his whole being. Seriously, like Santa Clause. It was almost eerie with the white beard, red cheeks, red tie and happiness glow. He leans in and reveals, "this is my favorite part of the ride. I feel like I am surfing!".
I laugh, too. I immediately envision those holiday cards at Christmas time with fat Santa on a surfboard yelling "Hang Ten this Christmas!". I, on the other hand, respond, "Oh I just hate this part. I feel like the bus is going to fall apart and it is so loud!".
One can tell he is very intelligent. He speaks with intention and has an incredible ability to hold eye contact. Blue eyes. He is rather lean and has really nice posture. He assures me that the bus will not be falling apart on us and to just roll with it.
So, I do.
Anyways, we get to conversing. I will note, he was a close talker. If anyone has seen the Seinfeld episode, he did get so close to my face while talking to me. And along his favorite bumpy part, I had to catch him. Not once, but twice. Like, literally had to grab his hand and catch him from falling backwards. I was like, dude - hold on to the handle! Thinking he must not be too radical on a surfboard.
We continue talking about the bus. Life. Jobs. Weather. Surfing. People. Happiness.
Did you know: The Rapid buses have a satellite signal that when they arrive at a traffic light - it can turn 15 seconds faster for the Rapid Buses? No? I did not know that either!
As he told me this, I was getting suspicious. Bus knowledge. Three piece suit. What the heck is he doing on the bus. His name was J.W., I believe. He had earlier pulled out a gold pen from his breast pocket with his name engraved on it. So, now I am thrown for a loop.
We share job information. You guys, I am not kidding when I tell you I think this was the owner of Orbitz.com on the bus with me. The web owner or creator or something. I am not kidding. He lives in Beverly Hills. Collaborated on the city's bus system. Does not own a cell phone or a land line! Just rides the bus because he does not like to drive and takes all his meetings through his attorney or at a coffee shop with friends. WHAT? What!
Okay, I know I am all over the place with this story. But maybe, just maybe, you are getting an idea of how I felt on the bus. Clean, nicely dressed, Santa Clause-like personality, older gentleman close-talker that might or might not own Orbitz.com and is sharing some new business ploy with me.
I mean, I am flabbergasted.
I remove my sunglasses and share with him that he is one of the reasons I do not wear my iPod on the bus. I love people interaction, strange and short possibilities for greatness on a 17 minutes ride. I share my life goals and get real with this J.W.. I tell him about customer service and authentic guest experience and how the retail floor can transcend into one's personal life. I share my ideas about people in LA and how we are so scared to reach out and just hug one another. I tell him some of my brilliant bus ideas. I think he gets a kick out of all this - he laughed that deep laugh quite a bit.
I truly wish I could have recorded a) how slow he spoke to me. b) his laugh. c) his amazing outlook on life - without a cell phone! If we are living in the past here, I would also have loved a picture of his outfit and his smile with these massive blue eyes that shined with his white hair under the rain hat and big beard!
You know, I ramble because I cannot put into words what it felt like departing. We hugged and I thanked him for sharing with me today. I told him to come see me at my place of work right down the way. He walked his way and I walked mine. Crossing Beverly Drive, I literally laugh out loud. Did that just happen? What an interaction to close my bustrating day!
You never know what you are going to get in life? Who is waiting for you on the bus each day? Who will leave you in awe of life and catch you off guard?
What you get to learn though is this:
One man's bumpy ride on the bus is a surfboard on the waves. While those same bumps on the road are another's fear of bus failure.
One woman's blackberry is her life source of communication, while another man's coffee shop is his life of interaction.
One day of frustrations on the bus can lead to an amazing and all too consuming conversation.
A plethora of beautiful chance meetings.
Just have to get out of your head and into your heart.