“i am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together”
the african-american dad echoes lennon as he marches with his kids inside the subway train car filled with people who have just embarked on their own temporary journey to rest.
he leads his band composed of his family of 3 kids who all looks like the spawns of will smith.
the tallest kid hits the bongo, the medium sized one shakes the tambourines, and the smallest holds a white plastic bag stained with the bold “thank you” text in red.
the african american dad strums his guitar hard and continues to belt out the beatles’ iam the walrus together with his sons as back-up vocals. for more than five minutes, this family bonded by music is able to catch the attention of the drifting spirits of people who have just escaped from their shackles of work.
after the band’s prolonged rendition of the song, the dad starts to appeal to the audience, asking for whatever amount they can give to help them go back to manhattan. for whatever reason, their family happens to be in los angeles and was not able to go back to their place because of financial constraints. it has been a year since i first heard their brief story. same train route, same season, only this time, the kids have grown bigger and they do not carry their huge bags anymore.
the smallest kid roams around the train car with his plastic bag. at this point, most people who are wide awake and entertained just minutes ago fall asleep or pretend to be asleep. silence starts to reign inside the train car again. i am not asleep, but my eyes are half closed.
i could have given them a dollar but i do not carry any money with me. cards save me from the burden of carrying bills and coins. this band provides a better show than that person in mohawk who claims to be a struggling musician who strums his guitar in a frantic, random, any-kid-can-do-it kind of way. they sing way better than the old guy who would always appear drunk and try to serenade the air of the train with his hoarse voice.
after a few stops, the family exits the train.
this reminds me, i should get some coins when i get home.