I had a hard time motivating myself to leave my house this morning. I woke up later than usual, I took longer than usual to get ready for work, and instead of heading to my office I convinced my roommate that we should go downstairs and get coffee. It took me three trips from the elevator to my front door and back again before my feet hit the pavement.
Unfortunately, and this is not the first time this has happened, my iPod was dead. I forgot to charge it last night again! An iPod is like a weapon on the streets of DTLA. When I want to ignore people [or pretend like I’m not eavesdropping on conversations] I put my headphones on and try to get lost in the music. Time and again, though, I must employ my acting skills because I have no juice in the iPod battery.
What I’ve learned from my actor friends is you must stay in character at all times. My character today was “girl walking to work listening to music.” That means I can’t acknowledge other people when they are making comments in my direction, I can’t respond to questions, and I must maintain a somewhat glazed and contemplative look as I walk down the street as though I am already running late.
What I’ve also learned is that I’m a bad actor.
Even when I am actually listening to music I have a tendency to respond to people whenever they try to get my attention. I will stop, remove the headphones from my ears, and have a conversation as opposed to continuing at my harried pace as though I’m too busy to deal with anything. I don’t discriminate either. You want to try to sell me a Coldplay CD? No thanks, but let’s talk about Coldplay while I’m waiting for the light to turn. You need directions somewhere? Sure, I’ll help you out if I can, and by the way the Walk of Fame is not in downtown. You need to go to Hollywood for that. You need some money? I don’t have any on me. No, really. Would I lie to you?
However, no music while walking to work on a day like today is unbearable. I thought I would never make it to the office and debated going home a fourth time to charge the music machine a little.
I’m glad I didn’t. It’s amazing the things you hear sometimes. I saw a homeless man standing in the middle of a parking lot on 4th and Hill. As I got closer I heard “those Italian sunrises and Mexican beaches.” The rest of the conversation was a bit jumbled as he wasn’t talking to anyone specifically. I wondered if he’d actually seen these sights firsthand or not. I considered hanging around a little bit to hear more of his story, but realized I was truly running late and needed to get going.
Sometimes my favorite moments in downtown happen when I forget to charge my iPod.