Chapter 1~The Emerald City
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Chapter 1~The Emerald City
Music to live by: Northern Lights by Cider Sky
Want to know why I ride the bus? The people. On the bus you can see a wide range of people living various different lifestyles. Rich, poor, young, old, married, single, Asian, Hispanic, White, Black, Indian; all different. But my favorite part of riding the bus is trying to guess what type of music someone might be listening to. Admit it, you get on the bus and you immediately put on your headphones so you don't have to interact with any “seedy” characters that might be riding the bus. What is the definition of seedy? Everyone. Sure, there are a few people who ride the bus that listen to the music because they have a rehearsal or audition and they are freaking out. But let's face it, you already know who those people are. They are the ones that are doing small versions of dance moves, playing the air violin, or mouthing the words to songs. People like me, but we will get to that in moment. No, most of you just don't want to interact with anyone. So I choose to interact with you, in my own way. If you haven't ever played this game, let me tell you that you are missing out. Think about it.
A business man walks onto the bus in his three piece suit and looks flawless. He sits down across from you and immediately puts in his headphones. Black, simple earbuds attached to a fancy iPhone. Now at first glance you think, “This guy definitely listens to classical or maybe some old school Kenny G or even possibly Yanni.” But this guy, we shall call him Evan, went to college. He had some crazy times and oh, no wedding ring. So he still wants to attract the ladies and settle down. A guy like that definitely doesn't listen to Yanni. So here is when I try to figure out what he might be listening to. Mhm. Single, handsome, professional, and has money enough to buy an iPhone. I need more details. So I glance up from my hands and study dear Evan some more. He isn't openly reacting to the music he is listening, but that's when I see it. Instantly I know what type of music he is listening to. Taylor Swift. Now you might be thinking, “No way! T-Swift is for teenage girls, sensitive guys, and people who say that they like country music but only like her.” Well that is where you have to look outside the box. What I say when I looked at Evan there was a slight sadness in his eyes. They weren't a sad, emotional, cut yourself sadness, but just that whatever the singer was belting, he could relate. Who better than Taylor? The thought makes me smile as I tell Evan, “Don't worry, I will keep your secret. Want to go to a concert?” Only not really. I only hope that one day he finds the girl that won't break his heart and he can finally say, “You are the best thing that's ever been mine.”
Time to move on. YES! This next girl I can tell instantly the kind of music that she is listening to. In walks a 5'8” brunette wearing form fitting jeans, Toms, and a REI jacket. This girl is a hippie who loves lives her life organically and shops at, yep, she is a carrying a bag from Trader Joe's. Typical. First, let me say that there are a ton of them in this city. I don't dislike them, but for people who don't like fitting into a image, fit into a image. Anyway, she puts in some green headphones. Good lord. She probably is wearing hemp underwear and a diva cup (look it up). Cheryl, as she shall be known, crosses her leg and looks out the window. Somehow she has managed to get a window seat and hasn't acknowledge anyone. Cheryl thinks that nobody knows her secret, but she is so very wrong. I know why she looks out the window. She doesn't want anyone to find out the kind of music that she is listening to because she is ashamed. Ashamed that she wants to jump around every time she hears this. Ashamed that her friends would judge her and tease her if they found out what she was listening to. This girl, Cheryl, is in love with Lady Gage and Katy Perry. She lives for 'Teenage Dream', 'Firework', and 'Americano'. She cried when Katy sings about 'the one that got away' because she knows exactly how it feels. Lady Gaga speaks to her and has taught her how to love herself no matter what and that what you care about matters. The Mother Monster is the whole reason that she started to eat better and care more about what was going on in the world. Little did Cheryl know that that lifestyle came with a persona that she felt she had to fit. But despite all that she purposely takes long bus rides so that she can listen to whatever music she wants and be whomever she wants. So for Cheryl I smile and do a smile fist pump for her because I too love Katy and Gaga. They rock.
Oh! My bus stop! I gingerly step off the bus and begin my walk back to the homestead. The day is bright and sunny which makes the colors of the trees just, pop. I pass by people on their way to catch a bus, walking their dogs, or bustling to their jobs in the local city center. If one were to look at this scene through a snow globe you could see that all the people look like dark blobs. After all it is winter, who wouldn't dress in boring colors. Not me. Miss Lillian Brighton. Lily or lil bright as some people refer to me. You see I, in no way, fit into this drab world. I thought maybe I should try to not stick out like a sore thumb, but I thought why? So today I am sporting my usual attire. Hot pink hoodie, jeans, gold sparkly shoes, and a purple Vera Bradley bag over my shoulder. In the middle of January I am the brightest thing around and people definitely take notice. They stare and think, “Doesn't she know that it is winter?” “Of course I do! I just choose not to blend in.” Maybe it's the fact that us Southern girls like to make statements or maybe its just the simple fact that I like to stand out. Obviously thats what my parents intended naming me Lillian Yvaine Brighton. A name like mine could only mean that the child is either going to be a princess or is destined to always stand out.
Now I come to my favorite part of my walk. As I walk up the hill to my house, or at least for the time being, I see the path of trees that lie ahead. Part of my fascination with coming to this strange, artistic, and colorful city was the trees. Honestly I could lose myself in a forest and be perfectly content. I dream of laying in a field full of flowers, or lay by a stream in the middle of forest filled with moss and tall, tall trees. Until I build my dream house with all my millions, I will have to settle for this beautiful tree lined road. As I ascend the road a cool breeze blows through my hair and the forrest of pines and evergreens enclose on me. I pause for a slight moment to take in my surroundings. Everything around me seems absolutely magical. So I switch my iPod to a upbeat song that has a magical lilt and I start the dance down the path. Yes, dance. Why not? There is nobody around at this time of the day and our road isn't exactly I-5. As my feet hit the dirt road that is our drive-way, a smile spreads to my face. My current accommodations is with a family of one of my super good friends. We have known each other practically since birth even though we never lived near each other. Our moms went to college together, so we have been seeing each other at reunions ever year. So when I told them that I was making the move, they opened their doors wide.
Speaking of my guy pal, he also has a ridiculous name that we often bond over. Beauregard Vladimir Scott. I know, ridiculous. We all just call him Beau. I guess our parents thought that it would be grand if both their kids had names that made them sound like we were important. It made us laugh on endless occasions. Of course we swore that when either or us got married we would name our kids something like Bob or Ann. Simple and unpretentious. Then they would take over the world. Finally I make it to the front door and I walk inside the house only to be greeted by silence. Pure, simple, silence.