The song for today.
I’m walking home from work past Couch Park, a normal hangout for neighbors and homeless people. An old black man in an electric wheelchair starts talking to me. I have no idea what he said, so I ask him to repeat it.
Man: “Do you know anything about boxes?”
Me: “Um. No?” I look around and see a shopping cart filled with cardboard boxes behind him. I ask, “Cardboard boxes?”
Man: ” No, no, NO. Boxes, you know!”
Me: Inching away confused.
Man: “Please help me with the box.” He points to his wheelchair
Me: I get closer and ask, “Your wheelchair? I’m not sure I can help.”
Man: “No, the box. Right here.” Points toward his feet/crotch.
Me: I lean in a bit and look toward his feet and feel like I know where this is going and it is nowhere good.
Man: Waves a remote control around. “No no no. In the front.”
Me: Walking around to the front of the wheelchair, I see a boombox under the man’s feet. I ask, “This box?”
Man: Looking at me like I am a complete and utter idiot he says, “Yes.”
Me: After a brief investigation, I realize his CD has finished playing. I ask the man if he would like me to restart the CD. He says yes. I press play. Very loud 80s hip hop bursts from the stereo and I back away startled. The man looks satisfied and I figure he can handle it from here. A few homeless people sitting around seem to be enjoying the music.
Working at the Department of Music has its perks. Many of our faculty members are principals in the Oregon Symphony so I’ve gone to a couple symphony concerts that were lovely. I put together the program for the PSU opera The Merry Widow and got comp. tickets to go on opening night. And today, my Department Chair gave me two tickets to go see Portland Opera’s Barber of Seville tonight. I’m taking my lovely friend Sara and I think it will be a good time. It’s one of their last dress rehearsals so should be pretty much opening night quality. I’m really looking forward to it. The weather outside (rotation of rain, sun, hail, clouds) will limit my outfit choices but that’s alright. I could start to get used to free tickets!