He is really very good,

singing for tips at a sidewalk

restaurant on the Paseo.

No one is listening.

He may not make anything –

it’s that kind of night.

He will move on to

the next place, there’s always

hope. You don’t get into this

business with any sort of

expectations, though. No

one chooses the music, it

chooses you. It creates a

world you can enter, a world no one

sees but you. It lifts you

away from them.

He concentrates on not seeing

their disinterest. Conversations go on

just as if he didn’t exist.

A couple nights ago, playing with

his friends, a little drunk,

just goofing off, trying songs he

didn’t really know – then he

felt his wings unfurl. He sang

a couple songs he loved and felt

them fly. Tonight he only has

the memory. He has the cold

pavement, people who don’t listen,

corny songs he thinks they want to hear.

He will play until the next

guy comes and then he will

approach each table like a

beggar and they will brush

him away. He’s used to this.

He thinks of his friends,

that magic night, the

half drunk bottle of tequila,

songs that took flight.

He is now singing a song his

grandmother liked, bland, old fashioned.

There’s no tequila in this song,

there’s no love.

People like it better that way.

by Cher Bibler