You know that feeling when you come back home from a surreal or life changing experience? You feel all weird that you have to resort back to normal life. Especially when that Journey started you didn’t expect any of it to happen. All it was suppose to be a generous donation to some homeless guy that played the guitar pretty well. Even if the guitar only had 4 strings. He still cracked out some awesome Johnny Cash songs. He’d never do Balls of fire though, he kept saying he needed one more string to play it. I’ve walked past this guy every day for the past 2 years and he still didn’t buy a new set of strings. Everytime I walked past him, I’d have a chat with him. Ask about his day. You know the general conversation you’d have with strangers. He’d stay quite shut if it led to slightly personal conversations. It was just the old routine of how are you, how has your day been?
For 2 years, he’d had been playing the same guitar, playing the same songs, at the same spot. everybody else just turned a blind eye, I had a friendship with this guy. I didn’t know his name, or where he’d come from. He was just a guy that looked open to talk to, even though he’d say very little. As I’ve said before, this lasted for 2 years until the day, just like any other day, I think it was a Monday. Beginning of the week, 8 in the morning. The only other thing besides us two existing in this spot was just a couple of pigeons staring at the man’s crumpled up ham sandwiches in his bag. He was playing another Johnny Cash song, The Man in Black I think.I just brushed past him and I put my change in his little hat he had laid for incomers to disperse their dreads in their wallets.
I didn’t have time to chat, so it was a quick exchange………………………well it was suppose to be. For the first time in 2 years he started to converse. “Buddy, come here”
My whole body jerked. I slowly turned around and awkwardly greeted him. His frail hands deepen into his pockets and took out a rolled up 10 note, that looked like it was produced in the 90’s. “You know that Music Shop across the road” I nodded. “If I give you this could you get a new set of guitar strings for my guitar?”
I tried to tell him that I was running late for work and I had to go but he was having none of it. He interrupted by putting one finger up, “Nah you won’t, if you do this for me, I will make it worth your while.”
As soon as he said that, my immature mind was blasting through scenario’s of him sucking my dick or something. Or giving me a lap dance. But that was my mind, it was when I looked into his for-seeking eyes, that had something that would make it worth while. It wasn’t sexual, greed or wisdom he possessed. It was truth. So I swiped that 10 pound note from his hand and took it to the music shop. I had to use some of my money because I decided to buy the best. The set of strings that had a longer shelf life. I even was 20 minutes late for work, but I was curious. Curious of what this mysterious man for that I have known for 2 years playing Guitar in a small alleyway had hiding. Some magical secret? some wonderland maybe? Some fixture of knowledge that unlocks the meaning of life? Or maybe it was just oral sex and I was crap at reading people. I didn’t care. People say curiosity killed the cat but doesn’t cat’s have 9 lives.
I walked out of that shop like a little boy who just brought a toy. I looked out to the spot where the old man plays. He was there, but he was stood up with his back facing me. His head turned round with a comforting look and slowly raised his hand. The oak like hand gestured to follow him. He then slowly walked away.
At this point, I was half and hour late for work, screw work. I wanted to know what this guy could offer. For once I didn’t want to do the boring thing, I wanted to take that risk and follow. So I put the new set of Guitar strings in my bag and set off to follow the strange old man.
TO BE CONTINUED………….. Written By Jason Blight 08/08/12