When my cell phone rings I gingerly press ANSWER. I don’t want to get paint on it.
“Hey! What are you up to?” It is my girlfriend Tamz.
“I’m in the studio,” I reply. “Aren’t you at the Bruno Mars concert? What time does it start?
“Eight. And we have a single ticket free. Why don’t you come?”
I glance at the time. 7:30.
I glance at my paint covered hands. My painterly clothes.
“I’m in the studio.”
“And he’s at the Saddledome,” she replies.
I hem and haw. My brain goes into hyper-drive.
I am contentedly painting in the quiet of the studio. I have no intention of going out. I am enjoying myself.
Hmmm… Bruno Mars. Love his music. So talented.
Yes, but I’ve told myself I want to have more fun. To be more loose, not just in my painting but in my life.
Bruno Mars. Quiet in the studio.
I tell her I’ll be there by 8. Race upstairs pulling off my paint covered shirt as I go. C.C. is reading in the den. “Hi honey. Tamz has just invited me to the Bruno Mars concert. They’ve got one ticket. Are you okay if I go? Do you mind dropping me at the Saddledome entrance?” Good thing C.C. is knows me well — and is a good sport!. He nods his head, closes the book he’s reading and tells me I’d better get ready.
I am there by 7:55. Not bad given that it’s a 15 minute drive.
As I walk towards the Saddledome to meet Tamz and her friend on the main staircase, I spy a man I know from the shelter where I used to work. He is pan-handling at the edge of the concourse. He sees me, smiles and I walk up to say hello. He gives me a big hug. We chat (he’s finally moving out of the shelter he tells me) and I tell him I’m glad and I have to run. I’m going to the show. We share another hug before we part.
At the show, my seat is AMAZING. Row 20, dead centre of the stage and while I’m sitting by myself, the people around me are friendly. Once the show starts, it doesn’t matter who I’m with. I’m one with twenty-thousand people standing in unison and swaying and clapping and screaming in concert with Bruno Mars.
I leave at the second encore. I want to grab a taxis home and can’t phone Tamz to set a meeting place as planned because, my phone is dead. I want to get home to call her before she gets anxious waiting for me. As I grab the handle of the passenger door of the first cab in the line, two young women behind me scream, “OMG!!!”
I hesitate. Am I stealing their cab? Were they in line?
I turn to ask and one of the young women says, “OMG. OMG. You’re that woman!” Her hands are fluttering around her face. Her eyes are wide.
“That woman?” I ask hesitantly.
Breathlessly, she responds, “The one in the movie. I just saw it on TV. OMG!!!!” And she screams at a friend across the avenue, waving madly for her to come over to where we are standing.
Perhaps it’s the excitement of being in the concert. The thrill of listening to a great musician and getting caught up in the energy of the room. But I do kinda think her response is a bit over the top.
I smile. Tell her yes, I am that woman. We chat for a moment, she is studying criminology, and I get into the cab and give the driver my home address.
He plugs it into the GPS and a soft, melodic woman’s voice gives him directions.
“Could you take 11th Ave instead please?” I ask. “At this time of night it’s faster.”
He sighs, tells me, ‘she’ won’t like it and carries on. She tells him to turn left. The driver tells her he can’t. “My passenger wants to go another way.” When he drives beyond the left she’s dictated, he apologizes to her. Pats the dash. Tells her, ‘it’s okay honey.’ It happens many times along our route. Every time she says turn and he goes another direction, he gently reassures her that it’s okay.
“One day I’d love it if she came and sat beside me so we can have a real chat,” the driver tells me. “I love how she never argues.”
I laugh and tell him I understand.
And I do.
Funny. Messy. Quirky. Screaming fans and awe struck young women. Spontaneous outbursts and quiet interludes. Moments that take your breath away and moments that draw you to tears and ones that simply make you shake your head in wonder.
It’s ins and outs and ups and downs and ‘yes I will’ and ‘no, I won’t’. It’s changing your mind and deciding to join the throngs instead of staying at home in the quiet of your own space to hear your heart breathing as you measure each breath in the joy of being at One within the moment where you’re at.
And it’s going out and coming home to share the stories of the laughter and music with the one I love. It’s the moments that caught me off guard and the ones that made me shake my head and wonder, are we all crazy and knowing the answer to that question is yes and no.
We are all human. We are all connected. We are all travelling this path called life, doing the best we can, where ever we are.
I am blessed. No matter where I go, my heart is where it belongs in the safe embrace of the one I love.