I Done My Best

As I was rushing home I saw an older man sitting crosslegged (or I assumed, he only had half of his left) on a corner stoop, wailing away on a harmonica. There wasn’t hat or case to be seen, but I saw a pile of change below him.  I stood & listened for a while.

After a few licks he stopped.  He turned his face towards me, then smiled.  “Come on up here, sonny," he invited in a Creole drawl.

Tentatively I edged towards the man.  “You play great, sir,” I mumbled as I sat down.

He chuckled. “Jus’ doin’ what I do.  Don’ got much ‘cept me, my ‘monica, the food I eat & the air I breathe.  Play on corners for folks, & pray to the Lord for one more day.”

He hummed a little more. “Y’know sonny,” he said, “never know what you got till it’s long gone.”

“I’ve heard,” I replied rather stiffly.

“No no, you listen to me. All a man need on this earth’s a shirt on his back, a meal in his gut & a head fulla knowin.  But some know too much."  He shook his head sadly.  "I know too much; some things not meant to be seen, Sonny Jim.  Do your knowin’ early, so you can’t get knowin’ what the Lord don’ want’y’t know.  I done what I did, & I done my best.  Y’jes gotta do whu'y'do, an' y'gotta praise the Lord, & He’ll take care’v’th rest.  He done so with me.”

The End

11 comments about this story Feed