Sun Ray

I took the bus downtown this morning.  For the purse.  I'm not gonna name it, okay, but I do have it.  As much as everyone I am around is repulsed by the thought of using public transportation in Los Angeles, I find it to be oddly calming.  It's prime people watching territory.  And not people that go out that go out because they want to be watched, like so much of LA can feel like.  Just people.  That have to take the bus.    I like to examine faces from behind my Raybans.  Today there was a scruffy, middle-aged man sitting towards the front, holding a spiral notebook.  He kept holding it at arm's length, above the level of his head.   The first page had the alphabet written out with bold red marker, and each subsequent had pictures paired with corresponding words in block print.  A sharpied drawing of the sun with an arrow-- "SUN RAY."  He mouthed the words to himself.  I wondered if he was teaching himself to read.  It made me happy to see him working on it.  Not in a condescending way like I know how to read, but you don't.  Not at all.  It was more it's nice to see someone make the effort to better themselves.

After biting the handbag bullet, I got lunch with Annie a couple store fronts down Spring Street.  Had an amazing veggie wrap, which Annie and I agreed that the rest of the ingredients could have been totally subpar and the spicy mayo would have saved it.  We sat at the bar that faced the plate glass window and street.  That location beat out the bus entertainment wise.  First there was a close save of a pile up when some truck went barreling through a red light.  And then some woman sat in one of the patio chairs outside.  Dressed in an open graduation gown.  She was black, but had put what looked with ultra fair-skinned foundation on her face--including eyelids and lips--to the point where it created a mask.  I couldn't really see her from my stool, but Annie relayed that she had a package of strawberries and was eating them all, stems and leaves included.  Everyone in this little falafel hole-in-the-wall was staring at her and well as people passing by on the block.  There was even this silent exchange with some guy walking by; he and I caught each other staring incredulously at the woman, and he playfully pointed at me and laughed as he moved along.  It's surprising what can be shared through a wall of glass.

4 comments

  1. I from L.A. and I love taking public transportation as well, it is very relaxing no need to worry about where I'm going to park my car, or crashing, just pay my fare and sit and watch. Downtown L.A. shopping is addicting don't I know it!

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  2. You have such a lovely way of writing. I could almost imagine myself sitting by that glass window, watching the world pass on by.

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  3. As creepy as it sounds, I have to admit that "people-watching" is one of my favourite past-times. Especially in the busiest places like malls or whatnot. You just see so many people in different life stages with different stories. It's just kind of fascinating.

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  4. Sometimes I wish that I lived in a town where I had to use public transportation. I love people watching, I always make up imaginary lives for them. But then I realize how much I hate to be late and depend on other people to get me somewhere on time.

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