The woman looped the necklace around her neck, wincing as the cold pearls touched her skin. The blue sapphire pendant glowed just as coldly. It was time.
Her husband sat at the piano, dressed in his Sunday best. Next to him sat the little girl, choosing the evening’s song. She had their daughter’s sunny curls and voice like wind-chimes, but she was not their daughter.
This is where I started—on the cold streets of New York, with the subway station to my right and a homeless man to my left. For years, this view of concrete and brick was my view as I hopped on the A train away from Brooklyn. I had a corner of Manhattan where I set up my guitar and sign: PAYMENT ACCEPTED IN SING-ALONGS, IMPROMPTU DANCES, AND SMILES.