Stranger than Fiction, CarLess – Blog, Day 51

Sifting through the blogs I wrote during the 80-day experiment being CarLess in LA, I found this one and wanted to share.  It’s a fine memory.

Day 50 was beautiful. I am so happy to have hit Day 50 and although it was a tiring day, it was the good kind of tired. Day 50 made me feel like I have accomplished something. Fifty days is a lot.
Now it’s Day 51. I woke up spazzed out for no particular reason. Waking up spazzed out is not my favorite. I have so much to do today in terms of arranging interviews, researching for these interviews, making phone calls, managing my social life, and then answering some 50-plus unread emails, that all I could do was to get on my bike and ride to the beach. The beach always does me good and although I have a lot to do, it is manageable, because in the end, everything is manageable, right? Otherwise, we’d all shoot ourselves.
: “O! How intolerably human I sometimes am!” This was one of my godzillion thoughts while on the beach watching the slow waves and feeling the sand and trying to make all the thoughts go away. And then: I wish I was God.
So I was taking care of myself, giving myself a well-deserved break from all of this by going to the beach for a jog-walk, right? Preparing for the rest of my day…when on the way back, I realized that I was hungry. And when I get hungry, there is nothing else left to do but to eat because I have the attention-span and mood of a three-year-old when I haven’t had enough food to sustain me. So I stopped at a favorite cafe to have breakfast, where the service was overly-friendly but gave me food so I forgave them.
The salmon scramble and Mexican spice mocha (decaf) did wonders for my mental health. I was ready to take on my day. I must add that it is a gorgeous day at that. Los Angeles specializes in those, especially after a good rain.
So now I’m happy right? I even had a chance to read the newspaper a bit. That is exceedly rare given my schedule and lifestyle, so what a luxury!
I go to unlock my brand new shiny silver bike. As I leave the cafe, I drop three $1 bills on the sidewalk. Bills like autumn leaves on the sidewalk. A young man sitting at an outdoor table said, “Ooops” before I could. Then he added, “That means money is coming to you.” I took his word for it.
Then he watched me unlocking my bike. Which wasn’t working. My key was not working. The lock would not unlock. Finally I looked up at him and said, “I can’t get my bike unlocked.” He told me to “Slow down and breathe.” I tried that. It didn’t work, so I asked him to try it. The lock, that is.
It is a scientific fact in the Book of Katie Rogers that men are better at some things than women. One of them is getting bike locks unlocked.
He tried it, and it still didn’t work.
I began to laugh. Thank you, Life, for this brilliant opportunity to slow down and breathe. I told the non-knight that I appreciated his efforts and then walked to the bus stop. Ah-ha! A lock and key shop! The woman there said that she didn’t specialize in bike keys, but there was another place that did about a half-block down. So I walked there. (Let me remind you of my attire by the way, simply to give you a visual of me strolling down Lincoln Blvd. laughing at myself, the situation, and then even talking to myself once to my own surprise. Pink sweatpants, purple shirt, poofy pink down ski vest, and cute little stocking hat, and black sunglasses.) The men at this shop said that I should go home and get the spare key and try that before they went to the extreme of sawing through the lock.
Back to Plan A. The bus. Beautiful day; I only had to wait about 4 minutes.
I really was/am surprisingly calm about all of this. I really should be working on all my work right now, but my blog mind had to express itself first.
I got on the bus. An elderly man got on at the next stop. He wore camel-colored cordoroys and a camel-colored jacket. He sat next to me, and I spoke to him. He seemed pleased and spoke back. Then he said, “It’s so nice to talk to someone who isn’t afraid of people.” He had had a hard day because the bank was crowded. He said everywhere is crowded in Los Angeles. He got off at the stop before me.
Now I’m home. My bike is at the cafe. I think they didn’t give me decaf mocha because caffeine makes me freaky and that’s how I feel right now.
All I can say is that I have no control anymore. I don’t even want control. I just want to go see that movie “Stranger Than Fiction” because I think the premise is hilarious and I wish that I had written it: The main character finds out that he is a character in a novel. Nothing more, nothing less. Aren’t we all….
I just hope to make friends with the author who is writing my story. In some ways, I think I already have. But I still haven’t figured out his or her or its sense of humor.
I wanted an adventure, and I’m getting one.

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