TITLE: Background Vocals
My music wove a web between the commuters and me. For the second they paused to take in my voice, we were connected. The string didn't break when they boarded a train to their destination. It unraveled gradually, snapping when the tune left their head. By then I would have moved on to New York. It was safe, without consequences. The mangled lock hanging from my guitar case stood as a reminder of where deeper connections led. I was through fighting in a place where only one person listened.
The sky above Boston's South Station was the blue of the Parsian afternoons I'd been forced to leave behind. Mon dieu, I'd forgotten how freeing playing could be. Power surged through me and into the strings. The chords drowned out Uncle Rob's threats, and the taunting of my former classmates. I didn't have to worry about now. No one would try to take my music away again.
"Kid, do you have a permit?" I misfingered a chord, and my E string let out a low moan, like it knew we were in trouble. Merde. Shit. Merde. The police officer's hands were in his pockets like he was trying to be casual, but I'd been chased off of street corners before. Cops meant business. I knelt. The concrete bit my knees through the holes in my jeans. I ignored the pain; clearing out my guitar case before he chased me off was essential.