I hope you guess my name
He was playing the guitar in the park. What caught my ear is that song I love so much. He's repeating one verse over and over, obviously can't remember the rest of the lyrics, but his voice is so beautiful. And so is his face. He's got long curly hair and his perfect accent suggests he's not Norwegian. I convince my friends to sit near him and listen. We clap. He smiles. That smile- lights up his eyes, his beautiful teeth, his whole face, the whole park. The sun is in our backs and they want to leave. I want to stay, and I let them walk home alone and get lost. I say I'll catch up very soon. I tell them no, don't throw in some change, I'll do it. I stay. I listen. I clap. He turns and smiles, I have an audience now, he says. He sings, "I hope you guess my name", and I want to go up to him and ask him his name. I want to ask him where he's from. I want to sit beside him and sing along- I want him to sing a song I know. Please sing a song I know. I wait, maybe the next one. He sings "ain't no sunshine". I try to hum along from where I am but the key is too high. I want to tell him, you missed that special chord, that beautiful chromatic chord. I want to ask him what time he finishes singing and suggest buying him a coffee. I don't want to sleep with you- I just want to talk to you. Or maybe part of me does. He sings "sexual healing" and I think, I'm a stranger in a strange country. Maybe I would. Maybe I would.
But I wait. I write. I listen. An old couple throw him money, tell him he's great. A police car stops by his side and talks to him. He talks in English, but no, it's not entirely american. It's so hot I start sweating and I think that he must be, too, in his grey pullover. He starts repeating the song cycle. And when I really must go, I walk up to him. He stops playing and looks up. I say, I wish I could stay more. Thank you for playing. It's great. He says, thank *you* for listening. I don't have change and throw in 100 kronos, all I have for the day. He looks down with a little surprised gratitude, says thank you. He smiles. He's so beautiful. I smile back, say bye, and walk away.
A few feet through I want to walk back and say sorry, I didn't ask you your name.
I wish he'd walk back and say sorry, but I didn't ask your name. He doesn't.
I think, he owes me nothing for listening to him. He owes me nothing for liking him, for wanting him, for letting him live inside my head for an hour. I chose it, and it should be free.
I walk on.
Why am I so lame, lame, lame.
Why is it so impossible to say what I want to say, do what I want to do. Why are all my phrases reduced to a few words. Why is my body so behind my head. Why am I so incapable of living my thoughts.
I wish I knew his name.