Nobody Gets Out of this Alive


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As I got off the train at the Union Square subway station two guys who were getting on the train said: “Saw Lady! How are you?”

Just as I started to play, Chill, who sings on the trains with his acapella group, came to say ‘hi’. He told me that he was just released from a month in the hospital – he had pneumonia and he didn’t even know it. He was singing on the train with his group, and he found that he had a hard time keeping up with them. Every now and then he was out of breath and he felt tired and sleepy. But he didn’t do anything about it. He had an appointment for his annual doctor’s check up, and when he went the doctor said he needs to immediately go to the hospital. The doctor said that he didn’t know how Chill made it this far – he could pass out at any moment. Turns out that he had fluid in his right lung. Now Chill is on his way to the doctor, to see if he could get back to singing on the trains. “It’s too much fun”, he said, “I don’t want to give it up”.

Chill & acapella group

The deaf/mute lady (who is really deaf and mute) waved hello to me as she transferred from the downtown to the uptown train, on her donations collecting rout.

deaf mute card

A guy named Angel asked me if I know of a guitar player who could help him put accompaniment to a song he made up. He told me that he is on his way to be checked at the hospital on 59th street – he keeps getting a fever and his voice is not well. He got checked for Aids five times and each time he came out OK.

A guy born in the Basque Country in Spain told me that his wife just died. He is dealing with the grief and at the same time trying to move on. Like his mother says: “Nobody gets out of this alive”.

Saw Lady
Photographer: Lola Galla

A busker in a wheel chair, who plays guitar and sings, came to ask when I’ll be done busking at the spot. He is from Northern CA and he has been in NYC for four years. I suggested that he try the platform downstairs – there’s an elevator that leads there.

Ellen, the lady who plays guitar and sings on the trains, stopped to say ‘hi’ as I was packing up my busking gear. She also works as a psychic advisor on the Internet. I got on the train with her. She did one song (sounded great), then said good-bye to me and moved on to the next car.

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