Sunset can be a magical moment, no matter where you are. On this particular summer evening, I found myself strolling on a boardwalk. To be honest, I am not a beach person, but I love the occasional cool breeze in my hair. I like to think of these few minutes as nature congratulating us for a hard day's work. Of course, the hard work I speak of is subjective.
The scene was bustling with vendors selling everything from food to toys to clothes. A few yards to the left was an unusually crowded hotdog stand. To the right was the beach, with a few people sitting in groups. It seemed like they were having a good time.
As I walked a few yards ahead, I heard a trumpet and was immediately attracted to it. The sound alone was not that attractive, but the song it played made it pleasant. I sat next on the bench next to the guy playing the trumpet. He had a music player playing the piano, drums, and cello, filling the void with his trumpet.
He had mastered every aspect of his instrument. I do not possess enough knowledge to critique his music, but I can indeed say that his music was enjoyable. He had this big cardboard on the side with all his social media whereabouts. I must say that the cardboard — even with all its simplicity — had a very personal artistic touch.
People gathered occasionally would drop some spare change in the trumpet case in front of him. I wondered if he was doing it for the money or the love of performing. These thoughts were inappropriate and stopped me from enjoying this lovely sunset accompanied by this brilliant performer.
After a few songs, he took a break, and I thought I should reward him for his performance and talent even though he might not have asked for it. He had the most genuine smile I had seen in a while.
After my inquiry, he told me, that he had played trumpet for about 12 years since he was 13. I asked him what made him choose this instrument and what he enjoyed most. To which he said
I love music, I grew up listening to jazz music as we lived above a bar in Manhattan. My most pleasant childhood memory is rushing home from school and listening to musicians practice for their performances that night. I picked up the trumpet because I thought that was the easiest one to play. I did think of switching to the piano as it is viewed in a different light, but I didn’t get a chance so I stuck with trumpet. I was destined to become a musician. I can play this trumpet the whole day and I have on multiple occasions. I love to perform and if I can earn a bit on the side because of it then what’s the harm? I live to transcend my audience into a different world where they can forget about their lives and be in the moment and listen to my music.
I decided to follow him on social media as soon as I got home, as my phone was almost dead. I did not realize the sun had already set. The vendors quietly packed all their belonging and were on their way home. The music did transcend me somewhere. I might let it happen again.
As I walked back, there was an unexpected spring in my step. I no longer felt weary. I was glad I could experience something for the first time in a while. It makes you feel ecstatic to be alive.