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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » My Friend "The Busker" (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

peppermeat2000
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He,by his own definition, is not a weekend warrior (ie: a magician with a full-time job who busks once or twice a month/year for the "fun" of it). He owns very few personal possessions. He depends on friends for lodging and a hot meal when his pockets are empty...which is more often than not. I met him two Summers ago when he passed through our area. I was working at the local magic shop. He admits his life as a street performer is not understood by the majority of his family members. Those he meets through his profession are those who support and encourage him...as he does the same for them.

He was in town briefly....actually longer than he had planned. He was badly beaten by a group of teenagers who stole his money from a long days work in the middle of an August heat wave. It was not pretty. Broken bones and badly bruised...all for a hat containing less than $50.00 (A very good day according to my friend!). Money was raised by a local magician putting up a go fund me account along with various donations from those on the street and others who heard of his bad luck. He visited the magic shop while he recovered...sometimes with the fumes of cheap whiskey and cigarettes on his breath. He liked to play the video poker machines in the local bars and taverns and sheepishly admitted to spending some of the money he was given to help pay medical costs on the machines (video crack as he would jokingly refer to them). The slot machines often stole his earnings when he was healthy and able to work on a daily basis. However, he also claimed to be quite lucky sometimes and could double...sometimes triple his daily income when he found a "hot" machine.

I was taken aback when he told me his age...he looked much older. He wore the same clothes most times I saw him yet they always seemed to be clean.He was articulate and funny. I liked him. Sometimes I felt sorry for him. Sometimes I was envious of him. He ruled his own universe and made the best of a life that many...most...would NEVER choose. That life could kick his ass...figuratively and literally.

He disappeared one day as I knew he would. He had plans in Seattle that I was sure he had left to pursue. I figured I would never see him again. I was wrong. Last night with my wife and friends. We were in Portland having dinner and from our seats in the restaurant we could watch the people on the sidewalks hustling to wherever they needed to hustle to. And there he was. Mixed in with the businessmen, shoppers, runners,tourists and homeless. I recognized him as soon as I saw him. I interrupted the conversation my wife and my friends were having regarding our esteemed presidential candidates. I excitedly excused myself telling them I would explain why later. Too late. By the time I had reached the sidewalk he was nowhere to be seen. I wanted to search for him, but knew it would be rude to leave the wife and friends wondering where the hell I had gone to. I returned to the table. Faces looked confused. I told them I had seen an old friend walk by...I was too late to catch him and say hello.

Where did he end up last night? I prayed for his safety and hoped he had money in his pocket. I imagined him having a good day on the street. Entertaining the folks interested in seeing his show. Finding a place to sleep that's warm and dry. Maybe a lucky video poker machine or two to help him through to the next pitch.

My friend "The Busker".
Kyoki_Sanitys_Eclipse
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Thank you for sharring. That was a good story
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