And I am just like an acrobat tumbling down from the wire, and I’m fragile but happily broken for what I desire

I took their money, but it wasn’t about the food or the booze or the drugs; it wasn’t about being able to afford one more luxury or one more item to survive one more night.

I played my guitar while leaning against the cracked and brittle building–a wall of brown and brick and heat in the rippling sun. Guitar case open and eyes cast downward in a hundred mile stare, patrons wandered about uninterested in me–they didn’t see a man or a poet or a musician. They saw garbage–a pile of shit that deserved neither their respect or their pity. They didn’t hear the music that I’d crafted and carefully worked during the long days and miserly nights that I’d been travelling alone and in the weather–they heard only the songs of a beggar and a fool.

It didn’t matter that I wasn’t just helplessly sitting there with a sign, and it didn’t matter that I was trying to do something to stay alive–I was still just an otherwise inconsequential bump in the road.

Occasionally, a good Samaritan would throw a couple quarters or a dollar into my guitar case. I would raise my head, meet their gaze, and smile in the blazing sunlight beating down on my face. Sometimes they’d stay and listen a while, but most often not. Sometimes they would stay and chat after the song, but most often they didn’t care.

It wasn’t about the money.

It wasn’t about the drugs or the booze or the food that would keep me alive for another night.

All I wanted was to look someone in the eyes and have them take a long look back–maybe they’d see that I was still there, even if I was irretrievably lost.

One Response to “And I am just like an acrobat tumbling down from the wire, and I’m fragile but happily broken for what I desire”

  • dadoo Says:

    Remember the guy at the coast that we talked too. He was sitting there playing a Beatle’s song, and I thought he was good. I kept wondering why he was here. I asked him why and he told me. I think I understand a little. He just wanted to be noticed just for a second that he was still human in this vast un-human mess we call living.

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