Sunday, September 17, 2006

Guitar Man

He was seated under a small tree near the curb of a busy street. Dressed in soft beige slacks and a white shirt, his head was topped with a white, straw hat.

In his hands he gently held an electric guitar.

I'm not sure how he powered the amplifier that was positioned beside him, possibly a battery unit. At his feet I noticed a large disposable cup to receive donations.

I was part of the rather large crowd that made its way from Heinz Field back to the restaurants and hotels along 6th Avenue. It would have been easy to miss him. I was fortunate enough to be in a part of the crowd that squeezed right by where he was sitting.

He played the guitar with ease and softness. He was a musician working on the street.

I'm not sure why he stuck with me through the night until the morning. I suppose it is because I know he has a story. He was there because he knew that is where the opportunities and possibilities would be. Opportunities to make a few bucks to pay for another day of life.

But, there was more.

It had something to do with playing and the possibilities he discovered in his music so many times before.

He had to play, to perform.

Part of the street. Part of the life of the city. Part of his life that matters.

He never looked up. He just played.

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