June 9, 2010

Last hurrah for chivalry

The first thing that had struck me about the guy was the fact that he was wearing a brand new designer neon green tux without any shoes. For some reason the lack of shoes was what struck me the most at the time, not the fact that this filthy looking fellow was walking about in a rather ridiculously colorful and expensive looking tux in the middle of a park at 10 am. But then of course the fellow spoke and all questions as to what was the most unusual abut him vanished, it was most definitely his lack of shoes. Living in the streets had accustomed me to hearing the most unusual things, but even the crazies usually wore shoes except for those wearing saffron bathrobes offering free vegetarian dinners.

The man acknowledged my presence by saying the following words:
“Half an apple is not an apple. Although people may be fruity, they aren't fruit (though some are vegetables). They can get rid of a rotten half and become whole. This is only if two halves do maketh a whole and if a whole minus a half equals a whole and not half a hole or whole hole. Who would want such a hole? Whole where? Can you dig it?”

He concluded with a solemn nod as he sat on the bench opposite to me. I answered with a brief smile, a curt nod, and a “Hello.” as I set my case in front of me and started tuning my acoustic guitar. I then noticed he was sitting cross legged with the palms of his feet facing the sky, a quaint picture indeed, but at the time I didn’t give it much thought… I had to get to work so as to be able to eat lunch: my stomach was already demanding sustenance.

So I started playing… one of my own melodies as usual. I had yet to put words on this one, but the man sang to the tune in a strange voice, not unpleasantly, but with something in his tone that was soft yet carried far, just beneath cognition of the ear and to that of the mind, and he was singing the song as if it was his story, making the words his own… His singing was fine by me and people were coming. The bottom of my case filled with coins, drawn it seemed by his singing. The only thing was that as he sung he stared at me unnervingly as if the song were nothing more than his personal soliloquy to me. I didn’t realize that he was making up the lyrics as I played up until he started his third couplet. I was so surprised I nearly stopped playing but curiosity made me play the tune to it’s end, I wanted to hear the end of what the fellow was telling me…
He was saying goodbye.


Willie Nelson's Guitar "Trigger" found online