|My old Subaru, now nicknamed The Phoenix, has a couple of mechanical issues. I donít know how serious they are because I havenít gone to the mechanic yet. But from what Iíve seen of my front tire I think theyíre serious enough not to drive 50 miles to work and back. But, I had work on Saturday, so I took the bus. I guess I could have just called in ďsickĒ or something. But I need the cash. And beyond that, I needed the time to just think. So I got up extra early Saturday and made the long journey to work on the bus. I wrote a few things things on my iPhone on my journey..
8:35am - Got on the bus and inserted my half a sawbuck into the machine. The machine rejected it and while trying again the bill ripped. I hoped this wasnít an omen of things to come. The $5 was practically ripped before I put it in the machine. The movement of the bus, coupled with the start of the tear cased the machine to reject it. In my attempt to flatten out the bill the thing ripped. Not fun. Thankfully I had a few singles in my wallet.
8:59am - Got off bus and made my way down to the subway. The stations now have scenes that tell the actual time when the subways are going to arrive. I looked up and noticed that the next subway was coming in three minutes. Sure enough, by the time I got down to the platform I could hear the subway coming down the track. Perfect timing. Iíll say this for the Metro these days, the whole system really seems to be running on time.
9:35am - After transferring from the Red line to the Gold line I arrive at the Chinatown station, 2 1/2 hours before I have to get to work. I left extra early because In the past itís taken me at least three hours to get to work from Sherman Oaks to San Marino. Also, the last few miles of my journey are the slowest.
10am - I arrive at the Lake & 210 freeway station. I still have two full hours to make it to work. But that last part includes a mile walk from the bus stop to work.
10:50am - I arrive at work after a slow walk from the bus stop. I had so much spare time that I figured I didnít have to jog to work, just stroll. I still made it with over an hour to spare. An hour in which I ate something and rested. However, the part from the bus stop to work was the most important leg of the trip. This is when I finally had the peace and quiet, and time, to think. This is where I gave myself permission to evaluate my life.
I did a lot of thinking on the mile to work. The thought process wasnít focused though, it seemed to go everywhere at once. I think back and there are a ton of things wrong with my life right now. Beyond just this school thing. Iím in a financial mess, in debt to my ears, and not making a lot of scratch. Every dime goes to bills, and at the end of the month Iím left with nothing... just more bills. I have zero savings, and if one more crisis hits itís going to doom me financially.
Iím alone, with little prospect of a girlfriend any time soon. Especially with my financial situation. But I guess thatís not a bad thing really, because worrying about something like this isnít productive. Women like me, but then the stupid catch 22 happens that the ones I like donít like me, and vice versa. Why does that ALWAYS happen? My co-worker continues to make her moves on me, but I honestly donít find her attractive. Physically is one thing, but just personality wise I donít find her to be that interesting. In short, we have nothing in common.
Then thereís this career path that Iím on right now. Do I want to spend the rest of my working life in a library somewhere? No, of course not, who would. But realistically what else am I going to do? My photography is good, but no one is going to pay me to buy it. Not on a consistent basis anyway. A couple of bucks here and there is nice, and is a surprise, but I canít rely on that.
My walk was too short, and nothing got resolved. but at least the cards are on the table. This summer I have to do a lot of thinking, a lot of reevaluating of my life.
5:15pm - Walked to the bus stop again. Work passed rather fast a first. But then after my 3pm break it slowed to a crawl. I should do more thinking, but all I can think about is where I can buy a lotto ticket for the big drawing.
6pm - Picked up by fancy hybrid bus. The ride is smooth. A co-worker told me about these buses, but this is the first time Iíve gotten to ride on one.
7:24pm - I arrive at Universal station. I read a book on the way home. It distracted me from looking at the people. The title of the book? ďI hate people,Ē and I do. Almost home.
8:10pm - Iím home. I made a couple of bucks at work, money I need. If I had missed worked it would have cost me $50. So now I think back to the time I spent thinking on my walk. I canít to anyone about this, because Iíd bore them. Things have to change. Spoke the a friend after dinner and I told him about my sick co-worker that is in the hospital after retiring two weeks ago. His dream was to move up to the central valley and write. His wife got a job up there and he decided it was time to retire. Over the years heís been outlining a bunch of books that he planned to write. Twelve books in all, each told from a different characterís point of view in the same town. Alas, heís now in the hospital. I told my friend this story and we both realize that the moral of the story is that we best work on our passion now, not later. Deferring it is killing it. My dream wasnít library school, it was library school facilitating a job that would allow me to travel and write. But you know what? I realize that all itís going to facilitate is me bring anchored to one place... forever.* * * * * *
On a completely different subject... Chick Hearn, the great Laker announcer, had a statue dedicated to him in front of Staples center on April 20th.
The great LA Times sports writer Jim Murry said it best years ago when Chick got his star on the Hollywood walk of fame: "Chick Hearn and pro basketball made Romeo and Juliet, ham and eggs, gin and tonic look like unmatched opposites. It was like a river joining a sea. Caruso finding a song, Van Gogh a brush."
If you never got to listen to Chick call a game you have been deprived. Because Chick was THE BEST. Chick taught me the game of basketball, and united a city with is word's eye view. Ask any Laker fan in any part of this city and they'll know what it means when the mustard's off the hot dog, and when the game's in the refrigerator. To a man, they'll know. That's because to love the Lakers meant to love Chick Hearn calling the game as it was meant to be called. It was Chick that voiced Magic breaking the assist record. It was Chick that voiced Horry making that three at the buzzer. It was Chick that yelled when Magic made that baby sky hook. It was always Chick.