It sounded good; the pitter-pattering of hardened rubber under the soles of gleaning black leather, polished until they mirrored the brush. The little claps from the little girls and the old women, that though a little lost in phase with the beats of the drum, assured the hippie on the drum that someone, at least someone, is still with him. The blush of a young lover as her fiancé just murmured his desire to dance with her, seemed to push her rouged cheeks out. They glowed in the nightly lights as they waltzed to the rhythms of the player. A young mother seemed lost in her own little world, as the player and her heart searched for who was missing from the little scene. The player with his prolonged frills in B minor…the woman with her sudden glances at the couple dancing in front of her. She felt old. She rubbed the skin around her eyes. She knew that she wanted to dance too. A single drop trickled out of her eye and it found its way into the corner of her lip through some early contours on her face. She felt alone in this whole wide world. She thought of her days with Mitch. Another drop. The player noticed it and took her left hand with his left as he continued wielding his instrument in the other. He swayed her to his right and swirled her as his trumpet whispered romantically. She smiled as more tears welled up in her eyes. Then laughed as she followed him in a slow waltz. The little girls and old women still clapped. And the couple still waltzed. But everything seemed frozen in time for the woman. She danced.
But it was all over too soon. The song ended. The player thanked the woman for her lovely company. There were more claps. There were clinking of coins. The rustling of notes all crumpled. An old woman kissed the player and gave him the note, saying that that was the last of her savings. She smiled as she walked away with a third of her weight on her weathered crutch, the music of the player still sounding in her ears. A little girl whispered to the player that he had to dance with her the next time. The young couple hugged the player and called him to play at their wedding that was a fortnight away. They knew that he never would come and he knew that they just meant to thank him for the moment. There was more clinking of coins. The young mother walked up to him and kissed his hand. She walked away all teary, as the player counted three dollars and eighty seven cents. He smiled at what he could get his little daughter with the money. The woman smiled at what she had just gotten with the money. The old woman wished she had more money to buy what she just had bought. The little girl wished that her quarter had bought her a dance with the man. The couple wished that they had more money to actually invite the man to play at their wedding.
And so the music faded into the night, just sold. Just bought.