#761: A Sentence

March 8th, 2017

He sat on a bench on the Red Line platform at Chicago Avenue, where the “L” goes subway and you might end up among scampering, racing, whinging, crying college students at Loyola’s downtown campus if you go up and up one direction and wandering sad-eyed homeless guys the other way with a few conservative Christians from Moody Bible a block or two more down the way, jamming as he sat on the bench on the platform two stairways underground on a one-man-band apparatus of his own design cobbled together with bits and baubles of what can only be called garbage, unless you can find another word for maracas crafted of pennies wedged and poured in 20-ounce discarded plastic Fanta Orange and Diet Coke bottles recycled not into Astroturf or insulation materials or any of the other actual destinations of recycled goods the naïve and young think get turned right back into containers for pop but instead recycled into a song with the bassline for the maraca solo made of a laundry detergent bottle crudely strapped to his right foot with a roll of clear polyethylene tape of the kind richer people use to seal boxes of toys and albums when they decide their current home isn’t good enough and decide to up and go to a better one so they don’t end up a wild-eyed homeless man with another plastic pop bottle taped to his left foot to help keep the rhythm with the orange-soda-and-penny maracas and the laundry detergent drums he plays sitting on his bench alternating his attention between sometimes catching commuters’ eyes with a quaver in his eyes contrived to let the rich ones know he’s wacky enough to be worth a penny and not-scary enough to get near enough that they can drop their dimes and quarters and maraca-bound pennies in the canvas shopping back plopped hastily by the laundry detergent foot and sometimes getting wrapped up in the song he was creating, his eyes closing and shoulders rocking like an Adventist touched by the nail of the finger of G-O-D God but he wasn’t touched by a deity who demands rolling holy or otherwise but by the song he was creating out of garbage cast away, a man put aside by the commuters who ignored him and the scampering, racing, whinging, crying college students of Loyola’s downtown campus making a sacred noise with pop bottles tossed after the Fanta’s gone, laundry detergent that clearly wasn’t used on his well-worn once-black outfit, packing tape that will never see the outside of a box aimed for the inside of a new house when the old one just wasn’t good enough and maraca-seed coins of a denomination the commuters wouldn’t bend to pick up if they saw one on the street or on a bench on the Red Line platform at Chicago Avenue where a man sits making music so beautiful sometimes he just closes his eyes and enjoys it.

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