Softly the first snowflakes fell from the cloudy sky. Since we
are located in the center of a large city in the shopping district
at noon and at the same time many people went to pick out their
Christmas presents, the snow immediately transformed into slippery,
wet slush so that it was pure pleasure to wear waterproof boots
in order to be prepared against the heavily splattering steps
of fellow humans that tried with never ending effort to avoid
the wet piles. This lead to the scenario that the ones that stepped
into a more or less slush-free spot were merely lucky while the
others however saw themselves forced to step into the piles of
slush so that those splattered apart and formed another pile
nearby which basically just had the effect of shifting the problem.
David Birk cared little about that. He sat on a blanket underneath
the canopy of a restaurant and sang along to the sounds of his
guitar. He looked very concentrated. Although it was cold he didn't
wear gloves in order to be able to play better. His dirty clothes
didn't stop some passer-bys from dropping a coin or two into the
worn-out hat on the ground. Many also just listened for a bit
and hurried on which was understandable considering the weather.
Here and there one could also hear mean words like "bum"
or "too lazy to get a job" but generally his audience
Only a waiter of the restaurant could not stand him at all. He
had come out of the restaurant several times only to swear at
him or to throw slush at him. Once he also kicked over the hat
to the amusement of the listeners. When the musician wanted to
buy a coffee with his earned money, the waiter often would refuse
to serve him. After all, he was only a poor street musician that
played his few songs on the guitar in the afternoons, most of
the songs he hadn't even written himself. No one knew anything
about him. No one could figure out where he came from. Why doesn't
he just go to hell.
After the next song the musician took a break where he collected
the money from the hat and poured it in his pocket. Then he got
a cigarette from his pocket and lit it. He looked down the street.
Everywhere there were shop windows with Christmas lights. As he
had warmed up a bit and was ready to play again, the waiter appeared
sporting a mean face.
"If you don't get the hell out of here immediately, you bastard,
I will kick your ass so that you can gather your bones in the
snow! You're bad for my customers, you stinking dog!" he
As some people caught the attention he disappeared in the restaurant,
steaming. Meekly, the musician continued to play into the
evening and the snow started falling heavier. After another hour
he had played through his repertoire for the fifth time. He packed
his few things and slouched over to the nearest park bench...
In the morning he was covered with a layer of snow and woken up
by the cold. He got up quickly and jumped around to get warm.
He quickly checked that no one had stolen any of his belongings.
For a buck he afforded himself a hot cup of coffee at a nearby
stand. Then he started to wander around town.
After lunch he resumed his activity in front of the restaurant.
Halfway through his favorite tune that he played with special
dedication, the waiter came running and grabbed him by the coat.
"Well, my friend, now you will come with me for a change!"
He pulled him up from his place and dragged him to the back of
"I can't stand your plunking! Something like this should
be illegal! What an outrage, you bastard! Shit guitar! Find a
decent job! What awful taste! Guitar!"
His rage was so tremendous that he got a knife out and stabbed
the musician and locked him in the bathroom. "He deserves
no better, that guitar idiot! Lazy bastard, should have picked
a different occupation."
He cleaned the knife so as not to raise any suspicion. The body
he would pass on to the garbage collection along with the kitchen
trash. No one would notice.
Then the waiter picked up his beloved violin and a score book,
dressed appropriately and began to perform his songs in front
of the restaurant. His customers should be attracted by nice and
proper sounds. He wanted to play for his customers.
Copyright © November 1981, Wasty, Never Mind A Singing Boy
German title: Der Strassenmusikant
Reading time: approx. 5 1/2 minutes
Also written as a school essay in German class, our new teacher did not appreciate it at all. Considering it garbage he didn't even give me a grade for it.
Last updated February 12, 2001 by Martin Mathis, e-mail lastbandit.com