Out of Tune

* This may be inspired by a true person, but all events that follow are entirely fictional. 🙂

There’s a man that sits under the shade of the jeep terminal, guitar in hand and amplifier in tow. He’s dressed in a suit from the fifties and wears loafers with gold buckles. A wooden coin box sits on top of his makeshift amplifier, like a non-living plea for help to those that pass. The sun rises, afternoon comes and night falls, yet he never leaves. The middle-aged man stares off into the distance as he plays, his learned fingers kept firmly on the wobbly strings of his shapely instrument. He holds it close, as though it is the remnant of a past he finds hard to let go of. He speaks to no one, yet none dare look at him, except those curious to know where the melancholic rhythms that resonate along the way to Katipunan station originate. The poor fellow often looks into the distance, a blank yet contemplative look in his large eyes, signs of a broken man forced to let go.

Every day he plays with a frightening dilligence, unaware of the hustle and bustle going on around him. Most musicians would find themselves unworthy of such god-like patience, and almost none dared pass once he came and played an almost endless symphony of melancholic riffs. Many could say they told a wonderful story: one meant not to be told by words but by skillful progressions he had learned as a child in the countryside. The man soon became a staple of the hustle and bustle along the narrow path that led to the Katipunan station, and people began to wonder where he had gone once the melancholic riffs disappeared, and so had the man.

It turned out he had passed on out of shear sadness when he discovered his guitar could play no longer. Three strings broke off and he could not afford replacements  for the expensive strings on the guitar he played. The man was eventually buried in the countryside where he had grown up, and his sounds became nothing more than a memory for those who frequented the way to Katipunan station.

*Inspired by a true story. 🙂


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