The sidewalk of Trendy Melrose Boulevard passes under my Old Navy flip-flops as I race in beating a last pulses of ‘Don’t Walk” blinks of red signage. But traffic signals warnings, scare me not, I’m an edgy guy in an edgy neighborhood. So I’ll be cool and show the world how radical I am, time to J-walk… I’m living on the edge baby!
“Sure you are Radstone, you’re the Axl Rose of pedestrian violations, and your vibe is chill.”
“Yep, I’m the real deal, man…” Not!!
The reality is that I probably look more like the poster dude for some conservative save suburbia campaign. And in strutting with the obvious appearance of “Who is that country dwelling dad over there?” I’m sure I’m not turning too many heads.
Up the curb I step, all the while peaking for that bored traffic officer who is just itching to write any ticket that will break the monotony of his day.
I’m safe, the coast is clear and no red light running car has taken me out. I ramp up my speed in daring to challenge the next intersection when in my left ear rings the words, “F… Yes!” (Sorry, I use the dots; have to in keeping my PG-13 rating).
Yet as aggressive as the choice of words are, they sink into my head with a softness that strikes me curious. At first I ignore the impulse to engage as I stride by the author of the expressive language, but only feet away, my subconscious fights against my path of flight. Mental instinct kicks in, “Don’t bother them,” but really it is an excuse to support my intimidation of my unknown stranger, a lady who truly has earned the right to bear the title edgy.
I take a few more steps; “You hypocrite!” starts to fester in my head. “How can you speak of not making assumptions about anyone and even entertain a though of being intimidated without knowing the whole story.”
I take heed and reverse my direction.
“Hi my name is Richard… I am a photographer and have challenged myself to… bla… bla…bla,” I humble up in telling of myself and of 365.
Her name is Stephanie, and, supporting the words that polarized me in intimidation and curiosity, is the heart of a Doll.
Why did Stephanie choose her radiating vocabulary?
…The answer, to make a friend feel better.
I failed to tell you she is not alone in standing with a friend of hers.
Stephanie gives me the scoop, “’He was having a bad day, and was in a down mood. So I gave him a piece of gum. ‘It’s juicy…’ I told him, ‘…and gum always makes you feel better.’ He took it, started to chew, smiled at me and said, ‘F… Yes!
That is when you walked up.’”
Now if I would have ignored the impulse to stop in reaching out, I would have missed out on spending time with a very special lady, one, who once understood, is nowhere near unapproachable or edgy.
My words of wisdom for the world, Stephanie proposes. “Like you heard as you walked by… F… yes!
People need to live for those moments, to be themselves, and to not try to be anybody else. The world is full of crazy and insane people… live for the F… yes moments! That’s what’s going to make the world go around.”
How cool is this, Stephanie, her friend and myself, strangers now friends, standing in an area that quite possibly can be categorized and exclusionary to many. But in our time together we talk of unity, respect and of the importance in honoring each other in looking beyond the exterior.
“I’d like to see us steer towards open-mindedness…” Stephanie dreams as she talks from personal experience. “…Being a young female… being completely tattooed, I have received so many different responses.
I just moved here from Iowa… and in Iowa… everything is conservative. Every comment I got was negative and hurtful. So being here, I’m accepted… I’m beautiful… I’m not a masochist… or whatever.
I would like to see the world, in the future, being more open-minded. I don’t mean to go into politics, but not having Republicans… and not having Democrats, and not having the feuds. Just being accepting of shit the way it is.
People need to stop trying to control everything… it ‘s not making anything better. We need to live for the F… yes moments!
We have to realize that everybody goes through something… and that life itself is a beautiful thing.”
Stephanie you have given us much to consider, and in supporting your council, I am going to bridge into the next phase of 365, the call to action for the 2013 chapter of its evolution: Awake and Unite!
We are on the cusp of forming an amazing global community, so stay close my friends… we are only just beginning our journey.