I have a friend, more like a brother if I may say so, who likes to play the guitar and pop some corn. I get lost in his music sometimes and admire how he always has the same radiant smile with each serving of popcorn he sells. Is this the joy the sages said that comes from giving?
Today is no different, save for the fact that am watching him from afar. I almost feel like a stalker. Or a detective quietly watching his target from the dark. I wish.
He is serving one of his regular customers a serving of his now-famous: hot, delicious popcorn. He finishes serving her and slowly resets his workstation in anticipation of the next customer. Typical perfect Peter.
Then he steps back.
He folds his arms then scratches his goatee with his right hand. I can tell he’s thinking. Perhaps there’s a thought nagging at his mind or a new tune begging to be brought to life. I guess we’ll soon find out. He picks his guitar from the side bench and passes the strap over his head and lets it rest on his shoulder. I note that the strap matches his brown hoodie. What a coincidence.
He plucks some strings absent-mindedly before shifting his gaze to them. A Mozart in the making. Carefully, he positions his fingers and prepares to wow his audience, me. Today’s beat is new. He’s plucking the strings slowly, one by one, listening, and adjusting accordingly. Each chord is carefully woven into the next with just the right measure of restrain. The chatter of the mama mbogas and their customers near me fades away, and I am left to witness the birth of something beautiful. The mini – Soko buzzes around me.
This new beat speaks to me in a way. It really does. I can feel the waves of emotion gently rocking within my heart like waves on a beach, each in rhythm to the beat. His beat.
“Nifungie ya ten,” a young boy interrupts. He’s cut short this amazing piece. I don’t know if he knows this, but what can I say? After all, he just wants some popcorn.
The guitarist greets him and his usual smiles and cheer take over. He takes his spoon and a brown bag ready to make another customer happy. Does he know he’s made more than one person happy today? I walk away smiling to myself.