“Those shoes are money!” he said, sitting on the subway bench, old boom box by his side. The speaker covers held on with duct tape. His head still swaying. The music still going.
He launched back into his song. It was a blues song I’d heard before, but I didn’t know the name of it. I just stopped, and I wanted to sway my head along with it. But I was afraid I wouldn’t look as cool if I did so I just swayed inside. I wished there was an invisible wall around me so I could stand there and listen all day. I’d sway my head. And dance. And if it blocked out the sound too, then I’d try singing along with him. I’d study every detail of his face, in the way you can’t stare at someone if they know you’re looking.
But everyone walked on when the song ended, so I did too. I dropped a five in his basket and stepped past him, rushing on to wherever it was I was going, carried in the flow of people.