Yes, It Shows
As I was waiting for Ron Gibbs to finish his music set at the 14th street subway station’s Music Under New York busking spot, a guy sat next to me on the bench. It was Arnold – the homeless guy whom I haven’t seen for a whole year! Turns out he has been back home in South Carolina with his mother. “Why did you come back to NYC?”, I asked.
“I’ve done all there is to do down there”, he said. “I’ve been fishing, I’ve been hunting – nothing more to do”. He went on to say: “I can’t live with my mother any more – it makes me feel like a little child”. He has a job interview tomorrow. I hope he gets it.
Ron Gibbs finished busking with his electric guitar. As he was packing up his busking gear and I was setting up mine, we talked about how we love playing in the subway, even when it’s really slow. We’d rather busk than have a regular job. I told his how I tried many jobs, but didn’t last at any of them. He said he was exactly the same. The longest he lasted at a job was three years. When he worked as an accountant, a co-worker said to him: “Man, you look so miserable”.
“What, it shows?”, Ron asked.
“Yes, it shows”, the co-worker said.
Ron also said that he learned to smile at people while busking from me He said it really helps break the barrier.
I said: “If it doesn’t put other people in a good mood – at least the more you smile, the more cheerful you become yourself. But usually a smile is contagious and it does put others in a good mood, too.
From my dancing days I remember that George Balanchine (Russian ballet dancer, choreographer, New York City Ballet co-founder) said that one must practice smiling in the same way one must practice everything else.
Photographer: ©Marko Kucher
Karen, the blind blond lady, showed me her leg – they took her cast off. She is now in physical therapy. I’m happy she is getting better.
At 3pm an Andean music group came for their permitted busking time slot. Erude, the flute player, told me that they wanted to busk in Chicago but it’s too cold for busking there in winter. He wants to go into the medical profession. His girlfriend is studying to be a nurse and he wants to study the pharmaceutical business. He is waiting to see if he got a financial aid grant to go to college. He will know in a month. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for him.