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.
Every morning, I drew a crowd, singing, dancing and sprinting off to work. During the lunch hour, someone would offer me a hot cup of coffee. In the evenings, I packed up my guitar, wondering if Times Square would ever play my music.
Today, I set up my guitar on that Manhattan corner, across from a billboard with my face plastered on it. Pulling my baseball cap lower, I strummed the strings as the subway trains harmonized around me. No pressure to churn out hit singles, no pressure to acquiesce to industry trends.
Today, it was just me, my guitar, and the corner where I started.
© Jade M. Wong
Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.
Inspired partly by the time Lindsey Stirling, one of my favorite violinists of this era, played in a (New York!) subway station in disguise. I included the video below for those interested.
Unfortunately, I have no idea what I was doing at that time because I was not at that subway station! Ever since I missed Lindsey, I keep an eye out for all the subway musicians to see if any of them are in disguise too. You never know, guys!
Also, the shots of people listening to their earphones or immersed in their phones while Lindsey is playing so beautifully around them, really speaks volumes, doesn’t it?