Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Tambourine Player

This morning immediately felt different to me than most. I got out of bed prior to the beep of the alarm, and I ate breakfast and checked my email with the shades and windows open (now that the heat has subsided). Chirping birds replaced the typical background noise of Channel 5. It was pleasant and unhurried.

I hopped in the shower much earlier than usual, and in my relaxed state I had an epiphany (which I will have to share at a later time). The epiphany felt good, as most epiphanies do.

My walk to the train was warm, but good, and—for the first time ever during my morning walk—a passerby said "good morning."

For two years, the same man has stood outside of Haymarket Station every morning, an empty coffee cup in his hand, greeting every commuter that passes with, "Have a good day ma'am/sir." He is rarely absent from his post, but today—for the first time—he was replaced.

It was disturbing, actually. Sitting on the sidewalk next to the station exit was a scrawny man and a guitar. Beside him sat what appeared to be a large, aging groupie wearing a fluorescent tank top, looking like it was much hotter than the cool breeze would indicate, grooving supportively to the guitar man, and smoking a cigarette out of the side of her mouth. I caught this scene out of the corner of my eye. (I think she would have yelled at me if I looked right at her.) As I continued my walk along the (ironically named) Freedom Trail that leads to my place of employment, I stopped dead in my tracks. I suddenly heard the rhythmic clanking of a tambourine.

I had to turn and see. Sure enough, she was the tambourine player. I chuckled the rest of my way to work.

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