Monday, March 15, 2010

Give Time, It Gives Back

So today on the bus....

visual: A black scoop neck athletic tank over my amazing and bright blue lululemon cropped leggings enjoy the sunshine as I walk to the bus stop. My flip flops meander across the cross walk and my green sunglasses look forward to the approaching St. Patty's day.

My stomach rumbles as I wait for the bus. I look back at the 711 Convenient Store, considering those damn taquitos. Maybe I will opt for a healthy selection. I run in and take a gander through the aisles and find myself somehow right back up front at the rolling hot dogs, burritos and taquitos.

I am on the phone with my best friend from college, Erin. She works at this cute bagel shop in the heart of our college town, Bloomington Bagel Company. Speaking with her always makes me crave a bagel-wich from there. Weird. Whilst on the phone with her, I am really hoping she will sway me to a healthy selection. She fails.

So, I am up front to aisle of unhealthy and there are these chicken tenders in this heated window box near the register. I go for it. Protein, right?

Now, the woman at cash is taking FOREVER and a day to ring people in. I mean, slow as molasses. I see a flash of red and there goes my bus. NO! I convey my disappointment of my timing to my friend and tell her I have to focus and call her back.

Waiting. Waiting. Of course, the gentleman in front of me needs cigarettes. She leaves the register in search of the requested brand. I am staring out the window. I will not miss the bus again!

Then, another gentleman standing in the door frame with his own coffee mug and sparkling glitterati belt yells to me, "I'll go hold the bus for you, if it comes!". And he runs out to the bus stop.

My mouth drops. Really? He must have overheard me complaining to my friend and offered to help. Amazing.

I walk out with my chicken tender in hand and convey my thanks and appreciation. I dwell on his compassion and he smiles and shrugs it off like its an every day occurrence. His name is Cletis and he lives up the block. Dressed in all black Armani Exchange and the fancy belt, he sips the 711 coffee out of his mug he carried down from home.

What a character. He comments on my athletic clothing and we talk about work outs in the area. He is very friendly and really has a beautiful presence and energy about him.

My bus approaches, I shake his hand and thank him so much for his help. I jump on smiling. Cletis went out of his way and took time to help me out. Who can I pay this forward to?

I sit near the back as the AC is blaring on the bus and I need a spot that is warm with the sunshine. I smile the entire ride and pass it on to those on the bus.

A gentleman approaches the rear exit and says "Hello". I say hi back and ask him how his day is. I know if Cletis can take time to hold a bus for me, I can take time to ask this man in the blue shirt how his day is going. Authentically.

His name was Henry and he was having a great day. He is a welder and passes me his construction card. It is a really beautiful card with a magnificent tree on one side, a blue background, and all his information listed. I tell him that I am yet to hold a business card of my own, but all in good time.

We exchange smiles and his stop approaches. We wish one another a great day and off he goes.

What a beautiful morning. Cletis, the friendly neighbor that offered his time and help, and Henry the welder with beautiful business cards.

In this moment, I feel like we all get wrapped up in time. "I don't have time". "I am too busy". All the stories we create for our realities. However, if we take a moment and give away time, be it for another or for ourselves, it seems to give back in so many ways.


  1. I feel like people who always drive are locked up in their protective shell and afraid or suspicious of everyone. I occasionally meet a 'not very nice' person on the bus (or train), but the majority of the time -- people are really nice. But you don't learn that if you're always in a shell.

  2. What are your thoughts on how Asteya fits in to some of this?

  3. I love your blog. It's thoughtful and well-written. I have been riding the bus in Los Angeles since I was fifteen. If you ever need more material or just want something different, try riding the #2 on Sunset from end to end, or even the train. :) Happy Writing.

  4. I tried to train today! That was a trip!