March 7, 2006

8 months

On July 7th, 2005, I got in a gnarly car accident that ultimately left me carless. Granted, this was a decision I made- not the car accident (I was rear-ended), but the decision to not get a new car. I was moving into a Little Italy condo, working at Fashion Valley and going to SDSU (all with trolley stops).. so it made sense to try the SD metro system. Besides, I work for Aveda... they love that I'm so eco-friendly.
Tonight I was reading "To Own A Dragon", a new book by Donald Miller with my feet up on the seat, when a guy got on the green line and started yelling. He said, "The chronic has arrived. Let all be pleasured." I had to do the silent laugh. He had a joint held carefully between his pointer and thumb, as he gently swayed it back and forth to the 4 passangers on board. The smell of it filled the whole trolley car.. and I have to admit that I like the smell. I wish I didn't, I've never partaken of marijuana, but I'm always the first to say "weed" when it enters my nasal cavity. At that point everyone sniffs the air and says, "Oh yeah, sure is". Then it's always fun to guess its origin, usually it's the guy with his eyes 1/2 open, chuckling to himself, and not looking at anything in particular.
So then the Chronic Man looks at his girlfriend and informs her that he's a "dog in heat". Next, a 'lady' starts yelling in Spanish and I notice at that point that she isn't a lady, but a man dressed in drag. I'm so taken aback that I didn't notice the manly characteristics right away, that I only remember the word "Tijuana" from her/his entire rant... a rant directed at no one in particular. The business woman across the way looked super scared. She stared back at me with wide eyes.. unbuttoning and rebuttoning her business casual blazer and checking her phone every 20 seconds.. even though no one was calling. At that point it hit me. This doesn't shock me anymore. Over the last 8 months of this nonsense, I've grown to think of it as entertainment instead of horror. I've learned that homeless men and women don't necessarily want a handout, they really want an ear to listen. That tourists are some of the nicest people on earth. That it's healthy to take time and unwind from a long day..even if it's forced by a 30-40 minute trolley ride. I've learned that trolley cops that work for the Metro Transit Board, think they are actual police officers and grip their ticket books when they get really upset. But tonight as I sat and looked at the Mexican drag Julio/Julia.. and the Chronic Man with his girlfriend.. and the scared business woman.. that in the eyes of God- he loves us all equally. I've earned no extra points because I've attempted to serve him the last 11 years. I've done nothing to earn this beautiful salvation. I'm still a sinner, just as much as the next person. But I'm experiencing a wonderful thing called grace.
A local journalist just wrote about her 'carless experiement' in San Diego Magazine. She attempted to live 2 weeks on the Metro system. She made it 12 days. She also had 2 small children, but I think my 8 months deserve some credit.
When I was walking home, I got this overwhelming sense of thankfulness. I think I'm really enjoying life lately, partly because I'm experiencing sharing life with others, partly because I'm asking for the Holy Spirit's presence constantly.
I looked at the white lights that line Little Italy and then it started to do that really light sprinkle. I walked slower, because since I've been little, I've loved walking in the rain. I started humming Lisa Lobe's "You Say".. and then I smiled that giant grin for no reason at all. I was the only person walking down Columbia Street, and it was so great. I think it's in those moments, when you feel alone in a big city (literally and figuratively in this case) that I felt like it was just God and I. And I felt like he really wanted me to just enjoy Him, feel his unconditional love for his creation, and throw down some great raindrops.. because he knows I like them.

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