{ anonymous }

during the day she’d take long aimless walks around the city.

if it was raining,

she’d walk with her face toward the clouds

letting the drops hit her,

trying to feel something.

she’d sit for hours staring at pigeons,

never people—

watching people scurrying around each other like blind little mice

reminded her of just how

disconnected the species had become.

she didn’t feel like one of them.

she felt numb watching them.

in the evening she’d frequent a piano bar on the east side of town.

it was small, cozy, hidden.

she’d go there at least a couple of nights a week,

there were performers every night:

piano, saxophone, all of it—

all the soul, all the blues, all the jazz.

she’d arrive promptly when the place opened and stay for at least four or five hours.

no one to sit with her,

no books to occupy her,

no booze or substance to distract her

(well, maybe one drink).

she was totally exposed,

completely vulnerable.

she’d listen to the music and

occasionally survey the room—it was

the only time she didn’t mind

observing other people.

there were some rough faces in that bar,

some lonely faces,

faces just like hers.

all there with the same prerogative:

human connection.

there was no stage,

so the artists were right on top of the audience—so close, they didn’t even need a microphone.

every wrinkle on

their forehead, every bead of

sweat, the sincerity

in their eyes—

you could really see

the human in them.

when certain artists performed,

she felt like their voice was her voice,

their music was coming from her heart.

it was one of the rare times when she felt something beyond numbness,

when she felt connected to another person.

one night on the bus ride home,

while humming a tune she had heard

a few hours earlier,

she wrote herself a note:

people need music.

it’s how we


photo: photo by unknown