...on the subway. I was going in to the City to get my hair done. God bless Dominican hair salons... some of them are open every day. I needed it to make me feel good... which it did.
Anyway, I was sitting with the Sun--he playing his Nintendo DS and me playing "Bejeweled" on my Treo.
I heard the strum of a guitar and looked up to see an old Taino man, his face brown and kind, his guitar held up with a red bungee cord, standing by the door.
He began to play and sing... and I don't speak Spanish and had never heard the song, but there was something about his voice, full of mournful love, and something in his eyes that arrested me. His eyes met mine and I couldn't look away.
I watched him while he sang, and then he finished and stood there a minute before walking down the center of the car. He didn't have his hand out, or a hat or cup, and I was almost uncertain as to whether he wanted money, though the subway musicians usually do. I happened to have a dollar in my pocket, and I gave it to him. "Gracias" he smiled, and I smiled back "Gracias".... thanking him for his song. A pair of young Mexican men were the only others in the car to give him some change.
When he passed the Sun looked at me in surprise. "Mom! I've never seen you do that!" "I know," I said, "but his song was beautiful, and he was old... old enough that if he was on the subway singing, he needed that dollar."