So today at my bus stop....
visual: Black lululemon athletica groove pants with a reflective band lay over my TOMS shoes which truck down Barrington towards my yoga class. My purple plaid jacket that is the perfect weight for this breezey California evening matches my purple backpack and purple yoga mat, topped with my hot pink headband rush happily onward....
While waiting at my bus stop, I decide to switch it up and walk to my yoga class this evening. Google Maps for my Blackberry informed me that the walk is roughly 31 minutes and I have just enough time. I am so fond of the bus that some times I forget about my bike and even my own willing and able legs.
So, I head towards the cross walk. As I am waiting for my WALK sign, a gentleman is walking towards me from the opposite direction. He is a younger fellow with crazy curly hair and an unbottoned flannel. However, he is just yelling at the top of his lungs. I cannot make out what he is saying as his voice is stretching to its final limits. Moments pass and he is within feet of my waiting space and he literally stops in front of a red Mini Cooper waiting at the red light on our corner and screams:
"THIS IS MY CITY! NOW GET OUT! GET OUT!"
Oh goodness me. Here I am with my purple plaid jacket, hot pink headband, yoga mat strapped to my backpack, Blackberry in hand and a smile, what am I expecting here? Do I look frail? Is he going to yell at me? Is he going to freak out? Should I be scared?
To my surprise, he stands next to me quietly and still. I think to myself, maybe it is just Tourette Syndrome. I try to switch my mentality and exude loving energy, but I feel the fear is still winning.
Then, he begins to look my direction. And he moves his head in a way you would see a puppet slowly turn his head in a horror film. "This is it", I say to myself. "He is going to yell or do something awful"! I just want to get to yoga class. Breathe. Stretch. Breathe. He makes eye contact with me and in a low almost whisper, he states, "This is my city, get out now". And he turns away.
I reassure him that I will and stare at the crosswalk sign, conjuring it to remove that orange hand and change immediately to that white lit up person who appears to be walking.
Thank God this running couple approaches the corner. They are doing that standing jog thing, where people keep running while standing in place. I always feel that looks so awkward. But, he does the same thing to them! The creepy head turn and whispering request to depart from HIS city.
As we finally get the go-ahead to walk, he is bounding across the crosswalk, yelling at the cars waiting at the red light. Flailing his arms and pointing fingers to windshields as he screams:
"GET OUT! YOU GET OUT! AND YOU! THIS IS MY CITYYYYY..."
He turns the opposite direction from my path to the yoga studio and I sigh in relief.
I get to thinking about this experience. Can you actually imagine if Los Angeles was your city and you wanted everyone to "get out"? How boring. And lonely. And sad.
I have come to believe that where you live is really made up of whatevery you want it to be and who you want to spend your time with. I am so amazed daily when I wake up to the sunshine, 70 degrees in January, and the mountains and ocean reminding me of something bigger than myself. However, this is just weather and my deeper meaning of nature. The people in my life really are what make Los Angeles my city, my home.
Hikes, yoga classes, and wine glasses, trendy scenes, coffee fiends, and goal setting....LA is my home because my friends and co-workers all make it amazing.
I am so very grateful for you, you and you that make my LA exactly what it is and should be in my life.
So next time I am crossing the intersection with my friends and friends-to-be in LA, I will scream:
"THIS IS MY CITY! PLEASE STAY!"
And for you, owner of the city you reside in, who makes your city a home?
Remind them how amazing they are to you.