A Lesson on Beauty [ficlet]

The subway station is my favorite place to take pictures. As I walk through the dank corridors, side-stepping what looks suspiciously like vomit and trying my best to avoid being elbowed by the denizens of New York, I see him. He’s sitting next to an overflowing trashcan. His hair and face are both covered in grime. I can’t tell if he’s twenty or seventy. He’s protectively clutching something that looks like a violin case.

As I remove the cap covering my lens, the bum suddenly stands up and opens the case, flourishing a violin.

“Where did he get that?” I hear a man in a pin-striped suit ask out loud.

“Probably stole it,” A woman pushing a stroller replies, smirking.

I stand to the side, my camera raised and ready. The bum straightens his shoulders and begins playing. In an instant, the station is rendered silent save for the piercing notes of the violin. As if by magic, the citizens of New York stop dead in their tracks.

“How beautiful,” the woman with the stroller murmurs.

I aim my camera and shoot.

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