It’s full light out, yet still cool enough for me to be glad of my sweater. A light breeze has decided to gambol down Granville, past the workmen at the construction site, over the dark-suited office workers and the pedestrians. The accessory of the day seems to be a paper-cupped bevvie from one of the local coffee shops.
Across the street from me the Granville Street skytrain station is releasing its captives, and there, with his guitar case and blankets, is one of our local street singers.
This morning he’s singing a modified-for-Canada version of the “City of New Orleans”. While it’s not in my top 10 by any stretch, it is one I can’t help but hum to when I hear it. My favourite part is the chorus:
Don’t you know me I’m your native son,
I’m the train they call The City of New Orleans,
I’ll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done.
I like this man. He’s kind — you can see it in the set of his mouth and the crinkles round his eyes. I’ve yet to pass him on the street without getting a smile or a kind word. I don’t know anything about him except what’s written on the cardboard sign next to him, so there’s no sense of backstory, no shared history, nothing. I don’t even know if he is what he seems.
It doesn’t make a whit of difference. He’s made my morning that much better.