I absolutely must tell you about today.
It was sublime.
But not because it went as I had planned it.
I left Baltimore on a 1:45 bus and proceeded to settle in. I still haven't finished a book I began long ago, so the plan was to finish it up. I'd come home from work, made myself a good lunch, packed two cookies and a bag of almonds and the obligatory seltzer water that has made it comfortably possible for me to stop drinking soda. It was a Bach day, and so, when a young man several rows ahead began blasting hip hop through his ear buds so loudly that I could almost see the blood dripping down his neck, I just put in my own earbuds and cranked the Bach cantata du jour as loud as I could stand. I felt very aggressive and as though I were proving a point. :)
The trip was really going quite well until we got off at the exit for the Lincoln Tunnel. That was when my spiritual practice of the present moment began to be tested in a very mighty way. It took a very painful hour for us to make it from there to the drop off point in Manhattan. I had planned to meet my friend Alex, get something to eat at subway, and arrive at Nola in plenty of time for my warm up time in one of the studios. Yeah...I missed all of that.
As we inched along through the tunnel, I was working very hard to self-soothe so as not work myself into a decidedly unproductive lather. Deep breaths, Jessica.
Lest you think that perhaps I had never experienced a bus mishap, and that this was my first time at the bus problem rodeo, allow me to share another anecdote. Once, a few years ago, I boarded a Greyhound at the extremely shady Baltimore bus terminal, all alone, binder and jersey dress in hand. When we arrived in Manhattan on time, I was thrilled. With bus trips, one must celebrate even small victories. After several minutes of driving around midtown west, it became clear that the driver was circling, passing the same landmarks over and over again. He was lost. And he remained lost for nearly 45 minutes, refusing to heed the advice of any number of frustrated passengers who knew exactly where to go. And the thing too, was that he would not let us off the bus, so I missed my audition. The proctor was kind enough to reschedule me slightly later that day, but the horrifying experience had put me off my feed. I am sure I can't hold that driver responsible for my lack of a young artist contract that year (no, that would have had a lot more to do with the fact that I sucked), but it was nice to blame it on him anyway.
Anyway, back to my day today.
I texted Alex to say I'd been held up and would probably miss my time in the studio. I called the studio and told them to sell it to someone else- I was stuck in traffic. No studios available the rest of the night...I'd have to wing it and to heck with getting food. It would be the old fashioned ladies room warm up for me. There I was, trying to keep my cool, having eaten my almonds and cookies, on a very hot stuffy bus, on my way to audition for something I actually really care about.
When we finally arrived, over an hour late, I called Alex to report that by some miracle I'd gotten a cab, but I probably could have walked faster the traffic was so bad.
When I got the the building where the audition was, I was about to go in, and I heard Alex's voice yell my name. She ran up to me out of nowhere, seemingly, handed me a bag with a protein bar, banana, and a bottle of delicious tea and said,
"I stalked the guy upstairs until he gave me a room for you...he had a cancellation now! Get up there!! Don't waste a second of it!"
I hugged her and babbled away totally shocked by her kindness.
"Don't talk, stop talking! You have an audition!! Get up there and warm up!" She shooed me to the elevator and got on the train back to Washington Heights.
I ran to get the elevator, warmed up, ate my Alex-sponsored meal, changed, did my make up and had a great audition.
Mainly, I think I felt loved. Everyone, from the very kind man at the studio who switched folks around to help me, to the wonderful pianist who played, to my amazing and selfless friend had given me something so special today. They helped me succeed.
I tried to take her out for a cocktail after, but my darling Alex had an audition of her own tomorrow, so she chose to lay low tonight. I practically ran all the way to 11th avenue to catch my bus one after wasting twenty minutes eating the most amazing dumplings on 9th avenue for dinner.
Now I'm on my way home.
What a day. It could have been a disaster but it really wasn't at all.