Yesterday evening, Paris’ smelly underground, a heated crowded carriage and the unnerving impression that if people do live together, sometimes, it’s not meant to be. Old people were standing by seated teenagers who didn’t acknowledge them, couples were arguing and some kid wailing. There couldn’t have been a worse timing for a – probably homeless – street musician to get in the carriage with his guitar. You could feel people’s anger, like electricity in the air, ready to be redirected to the cumbersome intruder.
And then something happened.
Like a little miracle, a breath of air, a moment of peace… From within the pack of sweaty people, a velvety, soul-y, mellow voice rose. The man had started to sing. I couldn’t see him but people had suddenly stopped to be noisy, stopped to be angry and had started to listen and to look around to see where the beautiful voice came from.
It lasted for 10 minutes, 3 songs and 5 stations. The sound of his voice was comforting and the strumming of his guitar slightly melancholic although warm enough to stir commuters’ lips into smiles. The carriage was suddenly like a little haven with people nodding knowingly as if they were friends with a secret.
When the singing was over, nobody hid in a book or turned its gaze away to avoid having to fork out a couple of coins. No, people went to him with change and compliments. For it felt good to be thankful to a stranger, unexpectedly grateful to a hobo, suddenly happy in the tube.
…And I’m still wrapped in the velvet of his voice…