A spinach and black bean omelet is the breakfast of champion buskers. After that eat a whole grapefruit so your vocal chords are hydrated but your bladder will not be full. You will need water later, and plenty of it. The wind will be whipping, and your spirits will be down from the jackhammer construction at Union Station that is upstaging you. Consider moving down the block. Again. Farther this time.
It is slow, even though it is Friday and you made a point of coming even later into the lunch hour. It’s a chilly day and the lack of response is both caused by and causing your lackluster performance. Sing for someone else, someone who is not here. Sing to the wall across the street whose edifice you will have memorized by the end of the summer.
At some point, a guy coming out of the bookstore will throw you a buck, so keep singing and just be patient. He also makes eye contact, which is worth twice as much. You accept once again that Friend of the Devil is a more lucrative song than Another Mystery. So be it.
The field trip is here. Are there weekly school trips to downtown Denver from the suburbs, or are these the same kids from last month? They are here to learn about historic Wynkoop Street, but probably not its famous brewery. This group gets to go into the bookstore with their leader. Maybe they are from out of town.
On their way out, two different kids will throw fives in your case as they and their classmates are arranging their Velcro wallets and bags of new books. You will hesitate, almost screw up the second verse of Fear of Trains, but by the time you get your wits about you and think you should say something (…to them? To the teacher? How far down 16th are they now?) , it is too late. You are ten dollars richer but you feel the guilt. Those kids did not know they were throwing fives.
Or they did, but you still should have returned them.
It’s too late. “She could have been the belle of the Ponderosa,” you sing, and you are officially making money off middle schoolers. They wanted to support the local arts movement, you rationalize. And they did. You will keep singing, and never forget them.