Journal entry: Mayflies & musician
I have fiscal concerns. That’s me grumbling about having to do practical accounting maintenance that will undoubtedly bite me in the heinie if ignored too long. I also have other choices to mull over, diverged roads and such. Carousels of opportunities always come around. And you can say no.
Like, no, I will not scream at that a**hole who cut me off on the Five, chasing him at 110 mph just so I can glower at him and maybe we won’t be a mangled mess of steel, plastic and bone on the asphalt seconds later. It’s a choice, see. I can’t learn that often enough.
Walking down Piedmont Avenue to withdraw some cash for the afternoon. It’s Sunday and I have artwork to make and numbers to crunch and some career divining to do, though you wouldn't know it by the aimless way I'm going about even starting any of those tasks. I hear him before I see him but it doesn’t register as music being played from an instrument. Classical guitar, this young man was playing, amplified just enough by a small Crate, mic covered with a muffling cloth on a stand pointed at the sound hole. Just enough to carry the sound further than the sunny, chilly breeze can carry, what with the traffic and light shuffle of crowds along this unlikely corner to play classical guitar.
Shortly after mating, females lay eggs on the river's surface. The eggs drift to the bottom and after 45 days hatch into larvae, which dig tunnels forming dense colonies up to 400 per square foot. After three years larvae break for the surface where females molt once and males shed twice: first into a brief subadult stage then again minutes later into adulthood. After both sexes have fully matured, mayflies have roughly three hours before they die.
The guitar was of good quality. Walnut, smokey orange body and the whiskey brown neck adorned with brass frets. The young man's fingers flatten at the tips, capped by short nails, gecko like; he had technique but the live performance or the chill air makes the fingers stick to the strings just slightly. Enjoyable music. "Do you know that piece?" he asks after he finishes. I knew it but couldn't come up with the answer. "Sakura." He goes on to say that it was copped from a guitar and flute version he heard. I ask if he is a student or something, "Yeah. I will be. I gave up on the workforce and decided to be a full time student." I fished out two dollars to stuff into the hat in front of him.
Most mayfly species have no mouthparts and cannot feed,
"I figure that I should do this now rather than wonder 'What if' later down the line," he says, voicing the stakes. "Heck, I should've done this when I was eighteen, but who knows..." He didn't look much older than that.
"Thank you" I say, "Good job." I walk to get to the ATM and grab cash. The security of that receipt with those numbers also comes with a numbness to it. I will test this someday. I walk back to the van and see the young guitar player playing to no one, I didn't want to walk in front of him again. His stare ahead in the context of that sidewalk and the cold breeze offers nothing beyond the everydayness of the present gamble. I'm using up time. I will waste more by getting coffee and writing at my favorite wifi coffeeshop. I drive to work and use up another two hours on this quiet Sunday. Still haven't done what's on the list of things to do. I'm getting hungry. It's really quiet at work on weekends and tomorrow the noise of workday hustle returns. Today I can pretend that the clock will not move forward. That is, until dinner forces me to give up on my list. I can do this at home. Yeah.