BRUCE

BRUCE

That day I’d spent packing everything I owned into an eight by eleven-foot storage room and now I was pretty drunk. I left Doug at Union Square. Between us we’d polished off a good Indian dinner and the bottle we’d brought with us.

Walking through the subway station at 14th street, I saw a guy playing his guitar who looked exactly like Bruce Springsteen. He looked so much like Springsteen that I couldn’t help staring at him with that peculiar, inquisitive expression on my face that only a half-blind drunken man could manifest. I approached him, having no idea what I would say; knowing only that I had to say something.

“You look enough like Bruce Springsteen to actually be Bruce Springsteen,” I said.
The man playing the guitar laughed, then continued playing.

I liked him. I liked the dismissive way he didn’t pay any attention to me.

“I thought I was seeing things,” I said as I sat on the bench next to him.

“I hear that a lot,” the man said, “but I’m not him.” He spoke quietly and politely. His accent was Australian. It turned out that the man had traveled from the East Bay all the way to New York in a variety of broken down cars. He was a mechanic who’d saved up some money to spend three months crossing the United States. Now he was just passing time playing his guitar in the 14th street subway station.

I have never met an Australian I didn’t like, so I took the opportunity to tell the stranger all of the wobegone things my life had recently revealed to me.

“Trust the questions, then live,” he told me, “and you will live your way to the answers.” I don’t remember why he told me this. It seemed appropriate enough at the time, though.

After awhile, I got up to leave, telling the stranger that I had to get home to the home I no longer had.

“What is your name, anyway?” I asked,

“Bruce,” he answered.

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