Living in downtown has it’s perks. If I don’t have to leave the grid, I can forget I have a car and walk wherever my heart desires. I walk every morning to the gym and back. This gives my a daily dose of light cardio and the refreshing feeling of being outside. If you don’t enjoy either of these, I guess I would suggest lazily adding an unnecessary carbon footprint to the gym.
Today as I was walking home after my work out down busy bustling J street, I heard a piano. Having played the piano quite well in my younger years I could distinguish the sound easily above the noises of traffic and city congestion. As I walked along my normal route home, it got louder and louder. It finally brought me to the stoop of an old victorian on the corner of H and 17th. I was completely entranced by the sound and walked closer and closer to the source. What appeared to be an middle-aged African American man who either had little care or little sense of style was playing a piano that had been strangely left at the entrance to the multi-unit victorian. The innocent, playful music sharply contrasted the rugged exterior that must have slowly evolved form the hardships of life. I wanted to badly to capture such a beautiful oxymoron, but I must have startled him as I neared the first steps up to the front porch. Somethings in life aren’t meant to be captured, but simply enjoyed. I smiled and said, “That sounds pretty good”. He smiled back with his chocolate eyes and a grin. “That does sound pretty good, doesn’t it? I call it the ‘soap opera’.” I kept on moving down my normal path, and wandered to myself if he might possibly homeless. If so, he was too happy and too talented to be homeless, but then again maybe some homeless choose that lifestyle. I wandered about his story as I usually do when I come across anyone that seems misplaced.
It is a combination of chance and fate that two different people from two different ways of life crossed paths like we did. For a brief moment our paths intertwined through a universal force… and THAT is the beauty of music.