The man who plays accordion in front of the subway has gone missing. It’s been a couple of weeks and I’ve started to worry.
At first I figured he was just taking a break. “Well,” I thought to myself, “perhaps he’s on vacation. Perhaps he’s gone South to catch some sun.” Do the Swedish accordion men take vacations? I certainly hope so. There ought to be some kind of bureaucratic department for that.
Anyway, for a few days another man took his place. He played his songs sure, but you could sense there was something off. It wasn’t his spot. His heart wasn’t in it. And now that man is gone as well. The spot is lonesome and empty. The world is lacking a little more music than before.
This accordion man, he was pretty funny you know. He had a way about him. He wasn’t like other accordion players. He had his own style.
What he did was, he would play the same tune over and over again. For hours at a time. He would sit and play and he would sing these long, epic songs. I’m pretty sure he made the words up as he played (improvise as the say in the “business”). I never knew what he was saying because he sang in a language that I didn’t understand. I don’t think it was Swedish either. To be honest it didn’t really sound like any real language one might know. I secretly imagined that he made it up. That he invented his own language to sing these day spanning songs. Who knows what they were about. Love? Sadness? The universe? It doesn’t really matter I guess. Sometimes it is less about the words and more about the sounds.
People loved it though. Or at least I did. Sometimes you would catch him on a break. As you came down the stairs he would greet you. When he smiled and nodded his head you felt that he knew your face. That he had been waiting for you particularly to come down those stairs all day.
As you headed through the hall towards the turnstile you might hear him pick up his accordion again, picking up his one, strange song from where he’d left off.
Now the halls are silent. Even though it is Spring, there is a merriness missing. People come down the stairs and they feel a bit sad.
They are missing their accordion man.