I was going home last night on the 1 train when a guy with a guitar walked into the car. He was a short Latin man with spiked black hair, a black pea coat (with the collar turned up), grey slacks and polished black shoes. He stood in front of me and put his fingers on his guitar, in no hurry to begin. I made a face when he strummed a few chords because his instrument was not in tune. Then he began to play and sing. I looked at his fingers and saw a white callus on his left index finger that looked like an extension of his finger nail.
He sang with conviction and strummed with force. He was stern almost somber but his voice was emotional, direct. I wondered if he just didn’t care that his guitar was out-of-tune. When he was finished, he spoke so softly that even sitting a foot away I couldn’t make out what he was saying. But as he walked through the car, people gave him dollar bills, not coins.
Nobody cared that his guitar was out of tune. His music still moved them.