A blind man plays the saxophone in a subway station every day to raise money for his wife’s operation. Until he meets a kind man one day, the next day the same man tells him to stop playing for good with a shocking revelation. “Sir, sir, here take this money. Do you need more?” Dylan told the old saxophone player at the subway station.
He was on his way to work, but the tender tones of the instrument pulled him toward the man, and he couldn’t leave until that particular song ended. He saw that people were leaving the man tips on the soprano saxophone case on the floor, but Dylan wanted to give him twenty dollars right in his hand and asked why he was working at his age. “I’m sorry sir, I’m blind. I don’t know how much this is,” the man replied, “but thank you, any amount will help.” Dylan’s eyes rose in wonder.
How could a blind man learn to play with such sweetness and beauty? “I’m Dylan, sir, nice to meet you. May I ask you why you’re playing here and collecting tips?” “Nice to meet you too, sir. I’m Steve, and I play here because my wife needs surgery.
We’re both retired, and our insurance won’t cover much, but she needs the surgery desperately, so I’m hoping people still enjoy music enough to help us.” Dylan’s heart skipped a beat. The man’s story hit too close to home. “I wonder, would you take a short break and have coffee with me, Steve?” he asked, and the blind man was surprised but agreed.
“A nice coffee break is always welcome,” he responded, smiling. He quickly packed his saxophone. Dylan offered his arm, and they both exited the subway station towards the nearby coffee shop. They ordered straight espressos and talked. Despite dealing with brilliant people at work all the time, Dylan was enraptured by the blind man’s life story.
How hard he worked all his life, even with his blindness, his love of saxophone and jazz music, and most of all, his love for his wife, which echoed in Dylan’s heart. So the businessman told the blind man his own story. He was once married to the most beautiful girl in the world. She was the light of his life, the mother of his children, and as cliche as it might sound, the wind beneath his wings. But she died in a car accident while Dylan was away on business.
She was in surgery for hours, and still, Dylan was too far when he returned home and entered the local hospital in New York. She’d been gone for a while. He never forgave himself for being away. She might still be alive if he hadn’t left. “You can’t wonder about the what-ifs in life.
It’s never productive. My wife and I, well, with my blindness, we thought that not having children would be better, but we also wondered what if we had children? Maybe they’d be able to help us, but it’s a wedding if we’ll never realize. So now I have to strive and work to keep my wife alive,” Steve said, wise and calm. Dylan listened intently and later paid for the coffee.
Steve said goodbye and walked alone to the station. “Good luck,” Dylan told him. “You too,” Steve smiled. Dylan went to work, and all of the old man’s optimistic attitude and how he’d strive through life with his disability and was still doing his best. Meanwhile, Dylan had been beating himself up over his wife’s death for many years.
His success didn’t matter because she was gone, which had also ruined his relationship with his children. But it was time to move on and change, and he knew exactly where to start. The same sweet tone greeted Dylan the next day as he went down the subway stairs, and he knew Steve would be there. Somehow, the blind man felt his presence, and when the song ended, he addressed him. “Hello, Dylan, it’s nice that you stopped by again,” he said sweetly.
“Here, Steve,” said Dylan, feeling more excited than ever and giving the blind man an envelope. “You don’t need to play anymore, at least not for money. What is this?” “It’s enough money to cover your wife’s surgery. She needs to get better.
I don’t want you to lose her because of something as stupid as bad insurance,” Dylan explained, his voice a bit too eager. “Are you sure?” Steve couldn’t count the money, but he felt Dylan was offering an insane amount. “One hundred percent. You told me we couldn’t dwell on the what-ifs in life, and I’ll do that.
I’m going to repair my relationship with my children and try to stop blaming myself for my wife’s death, but this is how I begin, by helping to save your wife,” Dylan explained further. His forehead was sweating because his words were true, but actually doing all that would be hard. “Thank you,” Steve said, his sightless eyes watering as he held the envelope closer to his chest. “What about a song? Any requests?
Dylan smiled, breathed deeply, and asked for his late wife’s favorite. “How about some Etta James?” “Sure thing,” Steve nodded and played. At last, Dylan was swept into the best memories of his wife, of them dancing in their youth and falling in love. He would never forget her, but it was time to focus on the future, a future that included Steve’s wife, whose surgery was successful, and they enjoyed life together for many, many more years.