And all that Jazz.

I watched the moon climb up  the buildings across the street, the taxis moving like yellow fish. A hustle in the air. People scurrying along, quickly and efficiently. Different languages fill my sound waves.  My ears seep them all in, leaving me wondering what they are saying and astonished. It's not the only noise I hear on the busy street full of honking, laughter and shouts. There's also the sound of crumpled newspapers, wrappers, and garbage on the sidewalk being tossed violently like a sad, abandoned ship on swirling seas. A passer-by fills the air around me with puffs of smoke, and flicks the remainder of his cigarette on the cool, slate grey ground. The ashes scatter. The orange sparks of fury dim into nothingness. But still, a ringing fills my ever-pounding ear drums. Beautiful music plays in the distance. I continue to walk to find it. Up the corner, on a frigid slab of pavement he stands. His brass instrument is cool to the touch, and behind the musicians puffy cheeks his breath turns into fog in the freezing March air. Yet he has a warmth about him. Kindness fills his eyes. His cheeks are rosy with colour. His saxophone spurts out peppy songs of jazz that make me want to dance. I throw the crumpled dollar bills in my coat pockets into the case of his instrument. There they fall and join a few scattered coins, Abraham Lincolns, and a cheeseburger.  He nods to me kindly. With my back against a brick wall, I slide down to the cool concrete. I become his company for hours on end. He continues to play. I tap my feet to the beats, and my head dances. More money seeps in his music case from people walking by. My heart fills and soars with the music. I pull out my camera and begin to shoot him. He does not mind, and still plays beautiful music. I notice his burly coat. Thick and warm for the torturous winter ahead of him. His long, black beard is beginning to grey. No hat is needed for the top of his head--his thick afro keeps him warm. Lilac Wine begins to play. I stand up. When he has finished I take a picture with him. His bright smile lights up the lens. I shake his hand, and begin to walk away. The music starts up again,  filling the air with colour around me. I found a gem. Something beautiful. A diamond in the rough. A homeless man shedding light on the corner in downtown Chicago.   

No comments:

Post a Comment