Across the street from me is a medical building and its entrance is significantly recessed so it has a very large covered entrance plaza. Consequently, it is a favourite place for homeless people to congregate and lately there’s been one such person who is inclined — and at the oddest hours — to riff on his saxophone.
I get shameful fantasies of shoving the saxophone down the player’s throat when he starts playing at 2:00 am or 6:00 am. I’ve come to hate the guy, so this morning when he started up at 6:00, I got dressed and went over to ask him to stop. Anticipating a confrontational reaction, I even came back to get my camera.
I wasn’t rude. I just asked him to stop and showed him where I lived and explained that I didn’t want to hear him at 6:00 am. He immediately apologized and started dismantling his sax and I immediately felt like a piece of shit.
So I apologized and told him to keep playing. I had this sense of him being the nicest, kindest, loveliest of human beings and I encouraged him to play whenever he wanted. “Now, when I hear you, I’ll know its you,” I said, “and that it’s a lovely man playing from the heart.”
I told him repeatedly that I found him so nice and we shook hands when I left. I cried coming home. I cried that such a lovely young man is living on the street. I cried because I was such an angry old creep… until I met him.
His name is Elijah and he lives on the street. Next time I hear him, I am going to give him some cash.