When I began working, I had no idea that my two favorite things to do when I finished working would be falling asleep on public transportation and whistling; never at the same time and by no means exclusively in that order.
The drive from my house to the bus stop every morning was always one of optimistic thoughtfulness. A short drive, the air in my mom’s Lexus would be filled for just a few moments with the things of morning: fresh sun, preparation for the day, tired eyes.
We’d arrive to my destination, I’d get out, I’d put in my earbuds and drift. My day would begin like this, every day would. I get on the bus when it arrives and find a seat in the back.
The “commute,” they call it. Getting from one place to another. It’s often regarded with frustration, sadness, traffic. For me, it carries memories of interaction, awakening and expectation – moments that, without the help of my trusty Tap card and the Metro 720, would never have occurred.
I’m a few songs in when the bus dumps me and others at Western. It’s here where I begin my descent into the depths of the pile of smoke we know to be Downtown. I get on the Purple Line at Wilshire/ Western.
No service. No service. No service. I’m seven songs in and I’m feeling drowsy.
I sense the people around me standing up as the train starts screeching. It’s not until the train car completely stops that I open my eyes for the first time since Wilshire/Normandie.
I’m here: Grand Park Station, adjacent to Grand Park, down the street from the Walt Disney Concert Hall, across the road from City Hall, across the road from that 80-year-old building on Spring street in which the employees of the Los Angeles Times newspaper conduct their business.
It’s at this time every morning when I begin to whistle for the first time. I take strides across the pavement, down the stairs, across the street until the grass of the park welcomes my steps with anticipation. It’s every morning around this time, when I emerge from the depths of smoke onto the cement of the Grand Park, when I begin to think.
I think about the future and its relation to the present. About the person I’d like to be when I open the door on Spring street every morning, and the person I’d like to be when it closes behind. I think about the fortune I’ve come across, and the terrifying truth that it isn’t all mine.
It’s shared with Eduardo, Houston, Jessica, Tessa, Isabella, Donnie, Chloe and Uncle Cle.
It’s shared with John, Jimmy, and Nicco.
It’s shared with Kyle.
The elevator ride to the third floor is a long one. A new song begins it’s hum through my earphones. A shocking yet welcomed silence erupts as I pause the music. It’s silent as the elevator doors open. It’s silent as I approach the door and draw my I.D. card. It’s silent until the beep of the unlocked door interrupts the silence. It’s silent as I walk to my desk. It’s silent as I sit.
“Guy, call it!” Jimmy hollers as he spins a bright pink dreidel. I take out my earbuds.
I don’t deserve this, right?
I mean, this is the Los Angeles Times, you know.