Tale Weaver — The Final Performance

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The old man was unable to remember how many years it had been since he first carried his strange instrument, an unlikely combination of a violin and a grind organ, to his regular spot on the sidewalk just outside of the city park. He’d bring his instrument, his folding chair, his satchel containing his lunch and a hot drink in a thermos with him. And, of course, his little dog to keep him company. He was now on — what? — his fourth dog?

He would place his hat on the sidewalk in front of him, set up his folding chair, sit down, put his instrument across his lap, and start playing. Back then he would attract quite a crowd, with kids dancing to his music, and passersbys tossing quarters — and occasional dollar bills — into his hat.

He actually made a decent living as a street musician. He was able to pay rent for his modest room at the boardinghouse and to buy for food for himself and his dog. He spent his days out in the fresh air, only missing those when the weather made being outside a place for neither man nor beast.

His greatest joy was making people smile, seeing them dance, and watching them enjoying his music. He was once interviewed by a reporter for the city’s newspaper. A photographer for the paper took his picture. He made the front page of the local news section and even more people showed up after that to watch him play.

But times had changed. The noises of the city, with all the hustle bustle, seemed to drown out his beautiful music. Other street performers, from drummers pounding on upside down plastic buckets, teens breakdancing to loud hip hop music, strummers with guitars hooked up to electric amplifiers, and people dressed in Sesame Street, Disney, and superhero costumes, took up residence on the crowded sidewalk outside of the park, competing for the few dollars passerbys were willing to spend.

People wanted to take pictures of him with their smartphones, selfies to post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. But few took the time to stop and appreciate his lovely music. And at least once a week hooligans would steal from his hat whatever meager contributions had been tossed into it.

As much as he loved playing his music, he knew it was time to hang it up. His arthritic fingers prevented him from playing the way he had done for so many years and he grew tired of having to compete with so many other street performers.

It had been a great run and a wonderful life, but now it was time retire to the boardinghouse, where he could visit with his lifelong friends and occasionally make his music in front of the warm fire in the house’s common room.

All things considered, the old man had no regrets.


Written for this week’s Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver prompt. We are asked to weave a tale that involves a street performer.

11 thoughts on “Tale Weaver — The Final Performance

  1. Sight11 July 26, 2018 / 4:56 pm

    Well it was a great post ad usual Sensei, but for a minute I thought I was reading Jim post because of the length. You never write long posts, now do you?

    Like

  2. Michael July 26, 2018 / 5:53 pm

    That was a beautifully written tale, good sir, I did enjoy it. You are right that at some stage we do have to take stock of the world around us and decide if we want to continue to compete. I liked that you had a place for him to go and be appreciated. Thanks for sharing with the tale weaver.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango July 26, 2018 / 6:09 pm

      Thanks. I wasn’t sure how to approach the prompt, do I Googled “Street Performer” and found that picture and then it just flowed.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. pensitivity101 July 27, 2018 / 4:38 am

    Liked this Fandango. Times change, but at least he still has his room, his friends and maybe his little dog.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Marleen July 27, 2018 / 6:23 pm

    This seems very melancholy to me. I’m not sure what to make of how I’m taking it. Well-written. And great piece of art for the story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 27, 2018 / 6:58 pm

      Thanks. Yes, it is kind of melancholy. It’s about the passage of time, change, and getting tired and old.

      Like

  5. mhmp77 July 28, 2018 / 7:09 pm

    kaykuala

    It had been a great run and a wonderful life,
    but now it was time retire to the boardinghouse,
    where he could visit with his lifelong friends

    It was good when it lasted. He filled his time paid the rent and food, certainly no regrets! Great story Fandango!

    Hank

    Liked by 1 person

  6. leigha66 July 30, 2018 / 10:53 am

    Wonderful story. Reminds me of a dear friend who still plays his guitar at a retirement community now.

    Liked by 1 person

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