I wake up to the same sound every morning: a default alarm from an object so altruistic it cares more about my productivity than my own primitive mind does. She sings to me in my time of need, yet both her and her melody fade from memory as soon as her purpose is served. It’s 4-something now, and the gloom outside my window has remained the same from the night before, giving an illusion that time only passes during consciousness, and stands still otherwise. There is no time to waste; I have 2 buses to catch if I’m going to get to Robot by 7:00.
The world outside is quiet and dull, drawn in various shades of black and grey with a tint of blue. I make my way south onto Wilshire Blvd to catch the #20 bus headed west towards Santa Monica. It always makes me very nervous when I’m the only one at the stop; the driver has skipped me before, mistaking me for a drifter who’s looking for a free ride to the beach. There are many homeless people who reside in the park nearby, and the #20 is notorious for carrying homeless people back and forth between Downtown LA and Santa Monica.
Like clockwork, I greet the same driver, sit beside the same passengers, and hear the same multilingual noise along the way. More often than not, I find myself gazing into the empty space within my mind, falling seconds away from slumber before I’m jolted back to reality by the sounds of “STOP REQUESTED” emanating from somewhere inside that bus…I haven’t quite figured out where.
The doors open at dawn and I leave my gratitude behind for the driver; half hoping he finds it, half wondering if he cares. Over an hour has passed, and I’m only a short walk away from my second home. I pick up a cup of sustenance along the way – the only thing that could signal the gears in my mind to start turning. Suffice to say, I have become a slave to the bean. I wish I could be like my father. I wish I could consume it in its purer form, undiluted by copious amounts of everything that is great in this life.
Each sip brings me a little closer to myself as each step brings me a little closer to the mat. The academy is still sleeping blissfully when I arrive, though not for long. I open its doors and flip the light switches on; it’s time to rise from slumber. I feel most connected to the mat in these moments of solitude, and I pay my respects to it as if it were my temple. I find great peace in knowing that I start my day by doing what I love – I am ready to teach, I am ready to train. I am grateful.