I need some harsh criticisms, feel free to rip it apart
It is a late Monday afternoon like any other, dull, mellow and dusty. I shuffle along the crowd of mindless city dwellers, jaded by the austere concrete jungle around me. Monday is always the worst day of the week. The city moans like a weary giant, slowly crawling and turning. Sitting in the subway, I wait impatiently and look around at the tired eyes still dazed from last night's party, and empty faces blindly checking off half-finished crosswords. Nobody is feeling particularly lively. It seems like eternity until the train slowly creaks to a stop. When the doors are opened, a trickle of life flickers on my radar.
I squeeze through the subway doors. There he is, a dark-skinned man in his fifties, scrubby and unkempt, with an old electric guitar slumped down his chest. The way he leans against the wall, looking particularly relaxed and wistful, distinguishes him from the bustling crowd of caffeinated commuters. A few stray hairs cover his eyes, obscuring them from the scrutiny of curious onlookers. The guitar is a vintage Fender Telecaster, a 1980s model by the look of it. With a small amplifier plugged into the wall, the wires worn and wrapped together, there he is, a normal busker like any other.
Yet, the man is anything but normal. He has been there almost every day of the week, morning to afternoon. He sings with passion and pride. He asks for nothing from the passing strangers, from the tired eyes, from the sullen faces cast in a monotonous expression of melancholy and boredom. He smiles, and puts his soul and joy into the songs and out through the guitar strings, coloring the soporific shades of grey around him. People steal glances at him, stripping him bare with their blistering stares. Coins are touched by greasy fingers, by clean sanitized hands, probing through dirty wallets and expensive, shiny purses, tossed into a tarnished bowl of his dignity and a day's work. They clatter, bouncing up and down, taunting him with jeering laughs and unspoken promises. He stands calmly, only half a man, legitimizing his foreign feet on hostile lands.
Art has a way of uniting people. When his fingers brush against the steel strings and his voice resonates through the air, the bustling space slows down around him. I feel as if my steps have paused for a fraction of a second. In a fleeting moment of time, I am a part of his story, of his passion and love for music.
He becomes my inspiration, and my teacher. In a few brief moments of passing, the scrawny man has taught me something that I will always remember. He shows me that there is no need to display qualities which I do not have, or to justify my existence and value through others' eyes.
Life is about being passionate about something you hold dear. It is about appreciating the intrinsic values in each and every moment, in the simple joy of waking up in the morning and going to bed at night, in the love from my mother's eyes and the laughter I share with my friends, and in the knowledge I seek and the lessons I learn. Standing in a subway station, the busker sings with all his heart and disregards the scrutinizing world around him. He allows no one and nothing, not even his own poverty, to suppress his passion for music.
It is this same passion that drives me forward to this very day. Each time I walk past him, I feel encouraged and inspired about my life and my future. This passion is a source of joy; it is a steady compass that guides me in the pursuit of happiness. His music has become a faithful companion, encouraging me to smile and to find joy in the challenges posed ahead. I have learned to cherish each day that was given to me. When I approach problems with an ardent curiosity, the world becomes a place of endless possibilities, a blank canvas, and a new page.
Although we have never spoken, and I only see him for a few seconds each day, every single one of our encounters becomes tokens of memories that communicate in a way words cannot. I am almost afraid to break that transient moment of a simple smile, a slight nod, and a shiny coin placed into his bowl. Walking away, I can feel the soft melodies drifting alongside me, like a dandelion, dissipating into the air.