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The subway troubadour.

I'm going to write an entry the way I usually do.

On the train from one spot in Paris to another, in the midst of being terribly lost, Elizabeth and I sat side by side. The subway car was dingy, but not the way American subway cars are dingy. This dinginess was foreign and posh, reminiscent of the many European couples who'd publicly displayed their affection and many cigarettes hidden under seats to avoid detection by smoke alarms. We were giddy with laughter at our misfortune in missing our first train, then getting on another that took us in the opposite direction from the one in which we should have been traveling.

The doors opened and the typical mass scrambled into the car, the late ones rushing as though they could make the subway system go faster simply by shoving their way in and being the first to grab the germ (but posh germ)-ridden safety pole. In the bustle of movement, a man who I can only describe as a cross between Danny DeVito and Jaba the Hut hopped (really hopped) on board. But it wasn't only him - he toted an amp and a 1,000,000 year old saxophone. A small cup made out of duct tape was fastened to the amp, which rode comfortably on a dolly. This man, I realized, was about to troub (what I've come to call it) on the subway.

He pressed play and instantly a tinny and awfully synthesized instrumental began to stream out of the speaker. The natives, glamorously bored with the whole scene, found my enthrallment with this subway troubadour entertaining. They looked upon me like an adult looks at a baby who has discovered the sound a rattle makes for the first time. In the midst of my affectionate laughter (which had been noticed and acknowledged by the troub with a wink), I heard familiar strains of melody stream from the bell of the saxophone. What was that song? I suddenly remembered the closing scene - the credits, in fact - of the movie "George of the Jungle" circa 1990's, where the talking ape sings a song in a blue sparkly vest. I'd seen the movie countless times with my younger brother. It finally struck me: "I Did It My Way."

I looked up to find that the friendly troub was standing in front of me with his duct tape cup. Since we truly had no change, I informed him that I had nothing to give him. He responded in an accent thick with experience, "But your love?" "...do what?" "You have nothing to give me but your love." "That's right - nothing but my love." He collected some change from my fellow passengers before asking me again, "Do you love me?" "Yes, sir. I love you."

And with that, the man with the ancient saxophone tipped his hat and winked again. In the next shuffle of coming and going, the dolly and its owner were gone, and the strains of a well-worn track echoed in the underground.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Jul. 29th, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
Most writers that I like
Most of the writers that I really like, I don't know. So, to the one that I know the best, I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this. For a moment I was there with you, sitting beside you, in the subway, listening. And being happy. So, thanks. Love -
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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