Saturday in Boulder

After dinner yesterday evening I headed for Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, which is a four-block long pedestrian mall famous for its street performers and people watching. The last (and only other) time I was at Pearl Street was 20 years ago this month, while in town for my sister’s wedding. My brother Thom took me there after the rehearsal dinner, and I still remember the awe I felt watching a sword swallower… and that it was Thom who taught me to tip the street musicians, and not just a buck.

I spent two hours wandering the mall at a leisurely pace, stopping to watch any performer who caught my attention. There was no sword swallower, but there was this guy who juggled fire…

… on a unicycle, no less!

There was a multitude of street musicians, too, including a bluegrass band, a bagpiper, this guy playing the didgeridoo…

It reminded me of the Venice Beach boardwalk (minus the actual beach), one of my favorite places on earth and the site of my third date with Mike. We started with lunch, then wandered the boardwalk hand in hand, shopping and listening to street performers (who Mike tipped generously)… and wound up at the drum circle until well after dark. It was a perfect day. Before it was over, I knew I’d found someone very special.

Wandering the Pearl Street Mall, I missed Mike’s hand in mine and longed for someone to share the experience with. I felt invisible, passing through the crowd unnoticed, like a ghost.

Until at the far end of the mall, a unique voice drew me across the intersection and I found this guy…

I listened to the end of a song and was one of only two people who clapped when he was finished. He looked me right in the eyes when he said thank you. Then he sang “Tangled Up in Love,” and he sang it beautifully. The small crowd wandered away, and I was the only one who stayed for the entire song. When he finished, I dropped a five in his guitar case and said, “I love that song. Thank you.” He glanced at the bill I’d dropped and thanked me sincerely. I wished him a good night. He winked and flashed a smile that lit up his whole face as he said, “You too, sweetie!”

It felt good to be seen, to be acknowledged, to be on the receiving end of a wink and a smile. As I made my way back to my car feeling better than I had all day, I wished I’d thought to ask his name…

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~ by hourbeforedawn on July 25, 2010.

One Response to “Saturday in Boulder”

  1. being acknowledged is SO POWERFUL. i’m so glad that you were acknowledged, even cherished just as you were feeling that pang… i don’t think you’re walking alone Lira!

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