The Weirdest Thing Put in My Donations Box
There was nobody playing at the usual busking spots at the Times Square subway station when I got there. As I was setting up to play by the Mosaics, a guy named Charlie told me that he saw me on TV, and he asked if I play at cafes. His friend is opening a cafe down town and he would like me to play there.
A guy made an ovation gesture and said “pour your soul out, baby”.
A blind man walking with a blind person’s cane, and a lady carrying a red suitcase stopped to ask me the way to the Greyhound bus. The blind man asked me what I was playing so I demonstrated and I let him touch the saw to “see” what it is. He told me he is from Costa Rica and he: “I’ll SEE you next time”.
An older lady from Trinidad told me that in her country people make musical instruments out of coco tree branches. They cut a branch to have two “legs” on both ends, put a string from end to end, hold it close to their mouth and with a tiny stick they hold with their lips they twang the string on the long stick. The lady also told me that she is visiting New York and she fell down – she showed me her bruises from the fall.
A homeless guy told me he has been to my concert at the Lincoln Center Library. He told me about a Land Use society which gives lectures about land ownership and why the rich owns all the land.
A Chinese dulcimer player walked by and didn’t say ‘hi’…A guy holding two parts of a flute walked by and did say ‘hi’.
A guy asked me where the train to South Street Ferry is. He then started to go away, retracted his steps and put a large piece of paper in my donations box. I later took it out of the box and discovered it was…a copy of his birth certificate! This must be the weirdest thing anybody ever put in my donations box. He didn’t put it there by mistake, either – he deliberately walked to my box and put it there.
Barry Reid, who sings acapella doowop in the subway stopped to chat. He lives in NJ and it costs him $12 to get to Manhattan. Today he was waiting in the heat for his partners but they didn’t show up. Tonight he will sing at Grand Central Station with his Gospel group, called “Made Over”. They started out as a quartet but now are three. They met about nine years ago at a men’s shelter.
I finished my bottle of water. I was very thirsty; it was 93 degrees outside (which means more in the subway). My hands were hurting from the sweat against the wooden tip handle of the musical saw. I decided to call it a day.
As I passed by the Music Under New York spot on the mezzanine I saw a white angel living statue there. It was moving a lot, which means it was doing well (these performers only move when somebody gives them a tip).
As I got off the elevator on the platform, the older, tall, Chinese dulcimer player who didn’t say ‘hi’ to me before walked into the elevator. Again – he didn’t say ‘hi’.