I took the A train back to Brooklyn after a meeting in midtown, and there were two guys in the car playing guitars. One of them began to sing my favorite Tracy Chapman tune "Baby Can I Hold You". I love that song so much, I paused the music on my phone and sang along.
After they were done, I rummaged through my purse for some cash to tip the men. All I had was a $20 bill, so I asked the singer "sir, can you make change?" He obliged. I handed him the bill and he dug into his pocket for his wallet.
While he was counting, I said "Tracy Chapman? I love that song!" He replied, "Tracy wrote it. You know, I was at the original recording of that song." He paused for a moment and mumbled something along the lines of "seems like a million years ago..."
I was impressed.
The disheveled singer handed me my change and I told him to keep $5. He nodded, said thank you and exited the car to continue on about his work.
I remember being around 11-years-old and seeing Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car" video on MTV. I asked my mom for the cassette tape and she said I could have it if I did a special chore.
We had a deck out front of the house I grew up in that would accumulate pine needles in the cracks. The pine needles would mix with the rain (Oregon problems) and begin to deteriorate the wood. My job was to take a butter knife to the cracks in the deck and free the needles.
Hours of hard labor later, I got my Tracy Chapman cassette tape. And the song the man sang on the train was on it.