Sunday, May 11, 2008

Waiting for the Train



After spending a few hours with my friends at the Slaughtered Lamb, a bar in Greenwich Village, and feeling very young because they were carding (I’m only 20), I left the place walked down to the 1 train at the Christopher St. station.

While waiting for the train to arrive, and without my iPod, I began listening to the saxophone player on the other side of the tracks. I couldn’t actually see the musician, but recognized the song he/she was playing: “And I Love Her” by the Beatles.

Normally, I don’t listen to the subway players because I’ve either got my headphones on for my iPod or I’m talking with a friend, and also because most of the time, they’re just not very good.

But there was something about the saxophonist that captured me.

The station was very quiet with no train near, allowing the sound of the sax to echo off the walls, making for a very solemn sound—and one that was oddly mature for someone playing in the subway. It didn’t sound like he/she was playing to make money (although I’m sure that had something to do it), but they were also playing because they loved playing the saxophone.

As the song progressed, I find myself singing along quietly under my breath, and soon enough, again from a person I couldn’t see, someone started singing out-loud:

Bright are the stars that shine
Dark is the sky
I know this love of mine
Will never die
And I love her


It was the closest to a Disney “everyone-knows-the-words-and-sings-a-long” moment I’ll ever be a witness to.

Soon, my train came and although I only listened to that unseen saxophonist for a few minutes, I can still hear those notes bouncing around my head, and if I had been on the other platform, I’d have gladly given the guy a few bucks—something I haven’t done yet in New York City.