Bobby: A thin and scruffy looking black 18 year old.
Man: A tall middle aged man in a suit. Round spectacles, long hair and a distinctive English accent.
[It is a dark night. As Bobby is crossing the park to get to the subway, he encounters a tall well dressed man at one of the crossroads.]
Man: Mind giving a friend the time?
Man: Atta boy, I wonder what a kid like you is doing at such an inappropriate hour in such an inappropriate place.
Bobby: Just walking through. And if you don’t mind I’ve got to…
Man: Come on lad I’ll share a smoke with ya.
Bobby: Mmm…what the hell it’s been a rough night.
[The man hands Bobby a cigarette]
Man: So where are you going at this time of night.
Bobby: Going back home from work. Or, what used to be work anyway.
Man: Got canned I recon?
Bobby: Yup, 4th time this year.
Man: I see. [Short pause] Couldn’t help but notice that fine instrument you carry strapped to your back, you a musician?
Bobby: This? Just an old guitar sir. Supposed to help me win the bread.
Man: Old guitar, heh? Mind if I take a look at it?
[Bobby passes the guitar to the Man]
Man: Thank you boy. [Inspects it] It’s a nice axe, not like those bloody synthetic clones they do nowadays. Been a while since I’ve seen one like this.
Bobby: If you like it, it’s yours. I don’t seem to find any use for the darned thing.
Man: Well it just needs a little tuning is all [Man starts tuning the guitar] you know what they say, don’t you boy? It is not the axe but the man holding it.
Bobby: I wish you didn’t call me boy anymore.
Man: Sorry I stand corrected, but I thought that’s what you were.
Bobby: But you are right, it’s not the guitar it is I who stinks.
Man: I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to sound like a wanker.
Bobby: Never mind. Could you please give me my guitar back, I have to get back on my way.
Man: Hold on lad, let me finish tuning this girl, it’ll be just a second.
Man: So you are no good at all.
Bobby: Really, not at all.
Man: So you would fancy not to stink, I recon?
Bobby: Indeed sir.
Man: How bad?
Bobby: Bad sir. I would give anything.
Man: Anything? That’s a dangerous thing to say lad.
Bobby: Just a figure of speech.
Man: What if I told you I could make you a Legend? What if I told you that you could inspire musicians all around the world, long after you are gone? And that your story would never grow old and would not die, as legends never do.
Bobby: A Legend, Sir? Ha, I ‘d love to see you try. Its impossible, you couldn’t. I really stink.
Man: Ok, fair enough. Let’s say, just for the heck of it, I could. What would you give?
Bobby: I don’t have money sir, just this old guitar.
Man: I already know that, if you had any money we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Wouldn’t we? Try again.
Bobby: I would give my life sir.
Man: Your life?? What’s the point on giving your life? If you give your life you wouldn’t be able to play. And life is the most precious thing one could have, I’d never ask you to give away the most precious thing you have.
Bobby: Well I didn’t mean my life as MY Life, you know? Sometimes we just throw words into the air with no meaning at all.
Man: Well let’s give meaning to your words then.
Bobby: [Laughing] I guess that besides this relic of a guitar all I have is my word.
Man: Good to know. Then, what would you give?
Bobby: My word??
Man: No lad, let’s just say your word is the guaranty.
Bobby: Where is this going?
Man: Think larger than life, but not as precious to you right now, perhaps something I could collect later, something valuable but something for which you don’t have much use.
Bobby: Sir I told you already I don’t have any money. This is ridiculous, I don’t know you and I don’t know why I’m still talking to you.
Man: Yet you still are. I can tell you are curious. What would you give? I’m sure you have a family. A mother perhaps? A sister? They’re probably hungry, struggling, are they? Times are hard and there are no jobs lying around no more. And you, just a teenager had to become the man of the house. What do you think your people will have to do for food now that you don’t have a job? So? What would you give to become the man you are supposed to?
Bobby: I don’t know sir, you are upsetting me, I don’t… I guess I’d give my heart and soul.
Man: [with a big smile] AAAHHHHH , know we are talking.
Bobby: My heart? I don’t understand. I’m not into that kind of stuff if that’s what your thinking.
Man: Hell boy you are such a fool. Your soul! There is no music without soul.
Bobby: My soul sir??
Man: You sure are making this hard lad.
Bobby: And you sure are making this weird sir.
Man: It’s like this road you’ve been walking in, you came to a crossroad and now you have to make a choice.
Bobby: Choice? I know where I’m going 72 st, then the subway, then Harlem.
Man: Exactly, you know right were you are going. And putting your soul into your music sounds just about right too, wouldn’t you agree with me now boy?
Bobby: Yeah I guess you are right about that. No soul, no music.
Man: That’s wonderful, seems like we have an accord. Here’s your guitar.
Bobby: Feels different.
Man: It’s your same guitar, just the right tuning.
Bobby: I best be going.
Man: Ok lad it was a delightful chat. Enjoy your life and I’m sure we’ll se each other on the flip side soon enough.
Bobby: Would you tell me your name sir?
Man: Name? [Laughing] Wouldn’t you want to know? I go by many names and by no name at all. I can tell you this much though, I am quite pleased to have met you Bobby boy.
Bobby: Well it was a pleasure sir.
[Bobby turns, walks a couple of steps, and with an incredulous look in his face, quickly turns back.]
Bobby: How did you know my???
[The man is gone]