Soul on the mend
Wednesday, November 30, 2005, 7:16 PM

If you believe in yourself enough
And know what you want
You're gonna make it happen (Make it happen)
And if you get down on your knees at night
And pray to the Lord
He's gonna make it happen (Make it happen)

I know life can be so tough
And you feel like giving up
But you must be strong
Baby just hold on
You'll never find the answers
if you throw your life away
I used to feel the way you do
Still I have to keep on going
Never knowing if I could take it
If I would make it through the night
I held on to my faith
I struggled and I prayed
And now I've finally found my way

~Lyrics to Mariah Carey's Make It Happen

Last Tuesday on the bus ride home, the driver (a female) was singing along to this song. I'm not a Mariah Carey fan, but I was last Tuesday.

Usually there's only the hum of the bus motor, the squeal of the brakes, incessant honking from either the bus or a car, and an electronic voice announcing stops. APPROACHING ROBERTSON AND PICO! Some bus drivers turn the volume up real loud. Maybe they're hoping passengers will get off a few stops early.

Sometimes the bus passengers converse (I'll never forget the guy who told me allllll about how he was the last of the Mohicans, or how a gray haired guy almost got into it with a skinny black man over why the bus line might be cancelled, or a bus passenger's argument with the driver about whether or not he could bring his bags of cans on the bus), but when it's dark and almost seven at night, people are pretty quiet. And it's not the same during the summer. Bus patronage dropped radically ever since it started getting dark around five. No one who boards the bus nowadays is bursting with fruit flavor, and they all seem to be wearing knit caps that are pulled down to their eyebrows. (I think they'd curl up and die in Indiana weather.) Maybe there are fewer passengers because you can't see out the bus window at night? I didn't even want to consider the other alternative, but crap, it's already in my head. Maybe it's because people are afraid to walk after dark?

I never did get my can of Mace. I don't even have a whistle. (Actually, I have one with a compass on it, but I keep forgetting to put it in my purse.) All I really have is my key chain. I studied it a couple of weeks ago as a potential weapon and I think the key with the Plum Rose nail polish stripe on it (right in the throat, eye or groin) is my best bet. So if I'm ever attacked, I'll scream myself hoarse and try to jab the key into someone where it will do the most damage. Hopefully I'll remember to point it in the right direction. I don't know; the only thing I do well in a stressful situation is to shake like Jell-O.

Back to the Mariah Carey night on the bus.

It was a good bus ride night and I don't have many of those. But last Tuesday night, there was a guy sitting behind me and while Mariah and the bus driver were singing, so was he. His song was more of a soft wail (Hebrew, I think, but I don't know). Being there on the bus to hear the three of them was one of those sweet, rare moments when I felt as if I was in the world and not on it. Los Angeles encourages and honors cultural diversity and personal freedom. And I'm thinking of this, finally feeling this, when Mariah's song ended and shortly after that, so did the Jewish man's. But he wasn't yet done, because he immediately swung into a chanting prayer. At the end of it, he sighed and oh, how I envied the sense of peace he must have felt. If he looked, he would have seen my smile in the reflection of the bus window.

Yes, life is tough for me here. I'm unhappy a lot of the time, but just like I'm hopping across the pot holes on the sidewalk, I'm hopping (gliding gracefully) (uh, mostly) over the hurdles in my mind. It's liberating to voice my opinion and thoughts, even when it's painful. I have to believe in who I am and what I want to do, what I need and enjoy, even if what happens in life sometimes tricks me into forgetting or thinking that I have to settle. The energy, power and freedom to do whatever I have to do to make my life my own has always been mine. Why did I think I lost it?

Sorry to the Blogline/Feedster folks for the extra post, but it was last Tuesday, not Thursday.

8 Did the Unhingey Jiggy Engage in Unhingenosity
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