He closed his eyes as he pushed another breath through the bent brass metal of his clarinet. As he did the image of a theater filled with his fan filled his mind. The duel spotlights lighting him up alone. Each person in their chair with a smile on their face. Joy in each note he played.
He finished his last note. His ears filled with cheers. The sounds of clapping grew louder. Holding his clarinet he smiled with joy. Taking in that people loved what he loved most.
He snapped back with a couple simple metallic clicks. He opened his eyes to see a couple more euros hitting the bottom of the hat he had in front of him. Busy people passing by stopped on the side of the bridge that they had set up. They might have had a reservation to see Notre Dame at one o'clock, but it was worth being a few minutes late to hear this man play. Even if it was just for a few moments. Everyone left watching him with a bit more wonder, a bit more joy, a sense of peace. You could have had the worst of mornings, but as soon as you stepped on their bridge, it was like the few notes he played had the power to dissipate anything that was wrong. Any feelings of worry disappeared.
He grinned as a little girl with a huge smile ran over to right in front of him to put the couple of coins her father has given her into the man's hat. It wasn’t a ton of money, but it was enough. It was never about the money, He just loved playing because for a few simple minutes, for the people listening, it made everything right in the world.
“We’re going to make it. Play on the big stage. Someday brother, someday.” His piano playing friend said as he changed sheet music for a new song.
He just looked at him and nodded.
It didn’t matter for him though. It could be thousands of fans or one little girl with a huge smile. He loved what he was doing and that was enough for him.