Thursday, April 12, 2007

Florentine music

Florence was many things, but it is some of the little things that struck me the most, filling me with momentary delight or a quick smile. Exploring the first night, and discovering the people next to me looking at the menu outside a restaurant were speaking french and I could understand...the view along the river Arno as the sun was going down...the fact that a street musician was playing 'Homeward Bound' as I emerged from a restaurant. And this last, random chance sparked something that I will remember, probably for much longer than the inside of the Duomo or the art at the Ufizzi.

The street musician turned out to be rather talented, and he was playing all my type of music, James Taylor, The Eagles, lots of Simon and Garfunkel, so I hung out to listen for a while, and walked back to my hostel content. The next day was very busy with sightseeing things (description coming soon), but I didn't have plans for the evening and figured I'd go see if the busker was in the same place. He was, only I'd gotten there a little early and he was just hanging out. It turned out that the woman that had been singing with him was his wife, and they had a little girl as well. I said hello, that I'd liked the S+G, talked a little bit, then he went to set up.

He was just as good the second night, but I didn't actually hear much of it, because it turns out that I can still be 8 years old, and enjoy it very much. His daughter, having seen me talking to her dad, apparently decided I was safe and came up during the third song and asked if I wanted to help with her sticker book. (yes, they do have sticker books in France!) We did a page of stickers, then drew, she made me a picture!, and played make-believe. I was her boss at a job and she kept oversleeping. She wouldn't tell me her name, but she would write it for me, it was Anastasia.

And then, in the middle of us playing, she said, "oh wait, its my friend," and runs up to a shambling, dirty homeless man who was walking up. Who had brought her crayons as a present. She told me he brings her something every night. He sat down next to us and promptly fell asleep, and Anastasia giggled and said he was always doing that. I saw several music-listeners actively avoid the spot where he was sitting, but at the end of the night, Anastasia shook him awake, "friend, its time to go!" and got up on his shoulders to ride.

I collected the sticker book and crayons to give to her mother (since she was up on Carlo's shoulders). Its funny how acceptance goes around in circles, but because Anastasia liked me her dad, Ken, the musician, did too, and shook my hand, wished me luck. We all giggled when Anastasia called me up on the imaginary telephone from her shoulder perch. They headed off to dinner, and I back to my hostel, feeling very joyous at my time spent with Anastasia, the friendliness and good wishes from her parents, and perhaps a little more readiness to give pennies to beggars...they might be buying beer, its true, but they might also be buying crayons for innocent, accepting, beautiful girls for whom social conventions of who can count as a friend don't necessarily exist.

1 comment:

KEP said...

new friends are always fun :)