Every major pedestrian street in Paris has it’s usual cast of characters. If you’re lucky enough to live on rue Mouffetard, you get your own accordion player. This is mine:
I listened to him from afar because he scared me. On his day off (Mondays) he sat outside my building with his other street cronies drinking and being loud.
A girl steers clear of such business.
But I was desperate to paint him for one of my letters, and in order to do so, I’d need a close up photo of him. And in order to get that, I’d have to… gulp… get close up.
It took me months.
Finally, I put on my big girl pants, strolled over with my coins and asked if I could take a few photos. He smiled and complied. I wonder if he recognized me. I’ve walked by him, oh, a hundred times, but when you live so close to each other, a high value is placed on providing each other urban solitude so who knows.
Anyway, I tossed the coins in the pile and, like a Zoltar arcade machine, he started up.
I snapped my photos and listen to his serenade. Truth be told I’d heard him play it a hundred times in my comings and goings, but this time it seemed sweeter somehow. I thanked him, he smiled and we both moved on with our days and lives.
I painted up a letter about him and Nuit Blanche, the summer night in Paris when musicians play on the streets of Paris all night long.
Only today, a year later, when reviewing my photos of him, did I notice this one:
Those sad eyes made me want to cry.