The Busker – By Pip Helix (Davin’s Den)

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I was standing on the New York subway platform, wearing my favorite outfit at the time:  A dark blue skirt, black tights, high-top sky blue sneakers, red and white striped men’s shirt, and my big hoop earrings.  It was the ‘80’s, but I hadn’t really succumbed to the wardrobe ravages more attached to that decade.  I think that I looked more downtown New York than Downtown Julie Brown.

He was wearing unmemorable clothes, but I remember his long, wavy brown hair and his silver spray painted high-tops.  He was one of a million subway performers I’d seen during my commuting days, but the music he was playing was so especially beautiful, that I was transfixed.

I hid behind one of the many steel pillars keeping the street from crashing on top of us, and listened with my eyes closed.  Normally, as soon as I got off the bus from my sheltered New Jersey suburb, I was one twitching, alert nerve, racing through the subways and streets, until I got to work.  But, for a few moments, I found myself completely at peace, transported to whatever beautiful place that music was describing.  It felt like an oasis in a frenzy of energy and stressful stimulus.

Whatever style of music he was playing has been lost to the mists of time, but what remained was the brief, sweet feeling of transportation from my worries.  I opened my eyes and realized that the guitarist had spotted me moving along to the music, smiling in my private reverie.  My train pulled up shortly, and I hopped on, but chose the side of the car nearest to the musician, so that I could continue to watch and listen.  He smiled and waved as the train pulled out, and I returned the gesture, thanks for the gift of a moment of peace that, although I didn’t know it at the moment, has stayed with me for decades.

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