In 2017, my NissanVersa Note was totaled by a dude driving a stolen car. After resolution of all insurance and legalities, I lacked the scratch to replace my car. Been riding LA’s Metro system. For sure, I’ve seen individuals in mental and physical pain, shredded by the LA’s economic tectonics. I must say, though, I’ve also experienced and witnessed sublime displays of generosity. I smile hearing men, women and children shouting ‘thanks bus driver,’ as they depart through the back door. Frankly, I’m touched by what I now reframe as a vein of subtle, invisible joy.
Here’s one of my periodical ‘Peeping Joy Vignettes!’ – this time the Black Man of Happiness is riding LA’s MetroWreaking Happiness! Felt someone tap me on my back at the Pasadena Lake station. My hackles rose instantly. I turned to see Lamar and his daughter. Dude was handing me a cell phone. ‘You dropped this back there.’ He pointed toward the turnstile. I patted my left pocket in panic. Empty. I almost dropped to one knee in gratitude. I took back my iphone, my lifeline. My wariness shifted to humility and gratitude. I shook his hand. Asked his name. His daughter leaned against her daddy’s waist. ‘Thanks brother! I really appreciate it.’ I held out my fist to his kid. She gave me some dap. They walked back to where they were standing. People get ready there’s a train a coming… !
BONUS EXCERPT from my book, Black Man of Happiness: In Pursuit of My ‘Unalienable Right’ — “ … Dear Loved Ones, Brothers, your D.C. Homeboy is a grown man living and working in LA…. I am glad to be alive and among the number of human beings who embrace improvisation, imagination, and creative thinking, folks dedicated to social justice, to fair use of planetary wealth, and to a future grounded on ethical action, democratic opportunities to live in peace and prosperity, and to have safe water, air and food. I’m writing you from within a sphere and spirit of enthusiasm and profound, sometimes complicated, vitality that hums within me, even when I fail to walk my walk as a “lover, not a fighter,” to echo an old MJ song. And I stay alert for what my past has bequeathed and for what’s offered in the here-and-now on the sidewalks of our lives….” www.blackmanofhappiness.com/shop