Sunday, June 17, 2012

Boulder 4

It’s the weekend. Dress up. People are walking the ped mall as something to do, not to get to a destination, so be presentable and sing out.

Find a good spot. The piano players are out--as are many buskers, so you might have to continue farther west toward the mountains, your as-yet-uncharted block in this town. There is a payphone there, which you hope is out of commission, and it will make a good backstop. Keep an extra eye on your stuff today--since you went for the dress instead of jeans, you have no pockets.

About the dress… It’s a nice touch since this is Sunday, and so many people are out that this is like a real show. But be mindful each time you stoop down for your water, or to protect your dollars from the wind.

And there will be wind. Although it batters your voice for the first few numbers, it provides a bit of relief from the 80-something heat. Stay in the shade. There is a bank of benches near that food cart, far enough away from the payphone that you’re not technically interrupting the cellphone users on the benches, but later your audience will assemble there.

They stand, the lean on trees, and one by one by one by one they come forward with dollar bills that stack up and flutter at your feet. Keep putting them back under the coins, but know that you might lose a few. You have still broken your record.

Many people sit and listen for multiple songs, and it’s worth way more than the bucks dropped by passers-by. At least four people will come and talk with you. Long-Forgotten Fairytale is going over well with families and young girls. They don’t know how brilliantly Stephin Merritt can craft a screed to an ex; they know only that you said ‘castle’ and ‘princess.’ One mom tells you that the small pink child to her right wanted to thank you herself but was too shy. But that girl is not too shy to stare and stare.

A photographer comes by on the second round of Wilder Than Her. You wish beyond wishing that you had more water or breath or finger power, but you will have to tell your audience that this is your last song. They don’t know that it was also your first, over eighty minutes ago. Keep singing, and when you are packing up, be careful with that enormous pile of cash. People are watching.

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