Monday, June 29, 2009
Two men, a Monster energy drink and Michael Jackson.
The inside of my Monster can was nearly empty and the Long Beach Transit bus No. 61 still a no-show. I know that these sort of energy drinks are extremely bad for me, but I've been feeling extremely exhausted lately. I need that extra push in my life to keep me from falling asleep. One last sip. Still no bus.
"Damn fucking bus," said the man with the bright green sweatpants. "I've seen two No. 51's go by but this one is taking forever."
"What's the rush, son?" asked the well-dressed man next to him. "This world is always rushing."
I took a look at my empty energy drink can. The familiar M Logo looking back at me as though saying "don't listen to that man, you need me."
Feeling that familiar buzz in my body, I walked closer to the two men and asked how long they'd been waiting for the bus.
"Too damn long if you ask me," said the man with the bright green sweatpants.
"When we're young, we can't wait to get old," the well-dressed man responded as he removed a speckle of dirt off his perfectly ironed pants. "We rush to make money. Then we worry about keeping that money. We rush, rush, rush. Next thing we know, we retired and want to rush to death."
I look around to see if anybody else was as captivated by this man's wise words as I was.
"But we need to make that money man," said Mr. green sweatpants as he walked near the middle of the street to see if our bus was approaching. "It may not be all there is in life, but it helps a whole lot."
I reached for my cellphone to check for the time. 3:10 p.m. I still had to transfer to another bus and if I wanted to be at work on time, the bus had to be there in the next five minutes.
"Now son, don't be thinking that money is everything," the wise man said. "Look at Michael Jackson. He had every single thing that money could buy. Do you think he was completely happy? Did he die happy?"
Neither man had an answer. The bus arrived just in time and the three of us boarded the new Hybrid vehicle.
We crossed the long bridge and both men got off on the next stop. They got off the bus and walked in separate directions.
I looked at the time and figured that I'd be just fine as long as the other bus didn't leave me behind.