Everyone drives in Los Angeles. Although there is a robust public transportation system, Angelinos rather get behind the wheel of their hybrid (or Mini Cooper) and zoom down the 101 and 405 freeways.
I get it. I don’t have a license, or a car, therefore I had no choice but to take the bus and train in LA. The experience was eye opening, and kind of stinky.
At first glance, the buses in LA are pretty clean. There’s no trash. No McDonald’s or Popeyes’ bags strewn about the aisle. I didn’t even see a piece of gum stuck on a seat. But sometimes there is an odor that permeates the air. A smell of dirty clothes, mold and a wet mop. I didn’t mind so much. I am a New Yorker , after all. Everything smells like pee in the N-Y-C. Riding the sometimes smelly buses and trains in Los Angeles reminded me of home.
And so did bumping into an old face on public transportation.
In NYC, you always bump into someone. The city that never sleeps is huge and small at the same time. I have stumbled upon exes on train elevators and even dated someone that I met on a subway car. Meeting someone on a bus in Los Angeles felt like deja vu.
His name is Brad. And we had met before the bus ride. Specifically in July of 2012 when I spent a month in Los Angeles. At the time, I was with Paco. Our relationship was fresh. So when I met Brad while he tended bar at The Cheesecake Factory (me and bartenders, I tell you!) I ignored his advances. I also dumped his phone number after his attempts at flirtation. He was cute, yes, but I am loyal.
This time around, however, I was single and ready to mingle. And shocked that he was standing in front of me almost a year to the date when we first met. Perhaps it was kismet, I thought. So I decided to make a move. As the bus pulled off and he took a seat in the back, I walked over to him and took the seat in front of his. He looked at me and smiled.
“You don’t remember me, do you?” I asked.
He looked at me again. His eyes danced across my face. And he smiled. “You do look familiar. I noticed you when I stepped onto the bus.”
I began to recall our first encounter. He nodded as the memories flowed. He asked if I was single now.
“You had a boyfriend, I remember.” He said. “You never called.” He teased.
“Of course I didn’t,” I replied. “I’m a good girl,” I teased back. “But yes, I am single.”
His eyes lit up and he immediately asked for my number. I took his instead.
“You’re not going to call,” he said. The bus pulled to a stop.
“This is me,” I replied with a smile. I gave him a kiss on the cheek and turned to walk away. “I’ll talk to you soon,” I said before walking off the bus.
He smiled and it felt like deja vu all over again. Like I was in NYC, pee smell and all. Only this time I was filled with the hope and excitement of a new love.
Photo Credit: Flickr.com/Cedc.