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A New Way of Life

One summer my brother Daniel and I were getting ready to go on a vacation to New York. We had been looking forward to this trip the entire school year. The night before departure was filled with anxiety and restless jittering. I barely slept at all. In the morning, we had a long drive to the airport, so I decided to catch up on some sleep. I began thinking about what New York was going to be like. I barely even had time to get that thought in before I fell into a sleep that could be relatively compared to a coma.
I ended up waking up to the sound of my Dad's voice saying," Come on Mark, New York isn’t going to wait." I slowly got out of the car to and grabbed my bags. The first thing that I noticed was the vast diversity of people that were milling around the airport terminal. There was a tall man reading a book, a woman who appeared to be confused or lost, and some many others. This immediately peeked my interest and I began making imaginary life’s for everyone. One man is a secret spy for the U.S. Government and next there is a love strict maiden waiting for her lover to return to her. It was astounding. I soon realized that my Dad had walk on and I quickly rushed to catch up. This was all new to me because I had never been in a plane or an airport for that matter. We lived in a small town in Virginia and rarely left the town. With this in mind, you could say I was a little nervous. After my Dad had purchased the tickets for us, we boarded the plane. By the time I had taken my seat that little nervous feeling in my stomach had turned into a enraged ball of fear. At that moment, I wanted to be anywhere but on that plane. For the first part of the trip I held a very tight grip on the armrest, but after we got to a level altitude I started to feel a little better. Although, I must admit I was pretty scared.
When we landed, I quickly took in everything. I was equally amazed as I was at the first airport. We went outside and hailed a taxi on the bustling streets of New York. That was an experience all in its self. Daniel had been asleep for most of the trip and for that I was thankful. But now, well now was and entirely different story. He wanted to point out everything; the tall buildings, the harbor, even the wart on the back of the taxi drivers head (which by the way was not a pleasant sight.) We had been emerged into a world that was part of a new and exciting world that we country boys had not been exposed to. We pulled up to hotel, got out, grabbed our bags, and went to see where we would be staying. The hotel we were staying in was alright. It wasn’t the Hilton, but it also wasn't a cheap motel. It suited me.
After getting situated we decided that we would go out and look at all the many shops around the city. We saw Times Square and a number of other interesting places, but none that seemed to satisfy Daniel. All he wanted to do was look in a toy store. After searching around and asking many people we finally found one that was on the corner of 3rd street. It was called Toy Mania and had quite possibly every toy ever made.
As we walked in a heard something that made me stop dead in my tracks. As my parents and Daniel walked into the store, unaware that I was not with them, I began to move towards this strange sound. I rounded the corner and there was a man just sitting up against the wall, playing a saxophone. He was quite ragged and smelled like he hadn't bathed in years but the sound that he could produce from that saxophone was purely amazing. I slowly sauntered over and asked, " What's your name?". "My name is Isaac, and yours?" he replied. I could hear my parents saying "don’t talk to strangers" in the back of my head but this man and his music intrigued me. "Mark, Mark Newman." I managed to stutter. " Well, Mark Newman, do you like the sound of this here saxophone?" he asked. " Yes, very much so. It sounds beautiful." I replied. Then he went on to tell me that he had once been a great musician in an orchestra. He had had everything. Money, fame, and even a beautiful woman to call his own. But sadly he lost all of it in tragic car accident. He and his wife had been driving a dinner when a drunk driver rammed the side of his car. His wife was killed instantly and he ended up being put in a coma for 3 years. In that time, all of his money went to paying the medical bills, and his fame slowly died down until he was nothing but a vague memory. When he awoke from his coma he had nothing but his saxophone and a fond memory of what his live used to be. He was force to live on the streets and so he did. He earned money for food from playing his saxophone and that is what he had been doing for the past 7 years. By this time I had sat down next to the man and was listening intently about his life story. When he finished he simply and plainly asked if I would like to learn how to play. I could barely speak but I managed a barely audible,” Yes, please."
I sat there for almost and hour while my family was in the store learning how to play that marvelous instrument. My parents soon came running around the corner screaming my name for they had just realized that I was not with them. I had found out later that they thought that I was just in some other part of the store looking at toys. They came up to me with a crazed look on my face and demanded to know who this man next to me and what had I been thinking running off like that. I simply replied," This is Isaac. He has begun to teach me the many wonders of music that were so blind to me." After that they were speechless and after much coercing I got them to sit down with us and meet the man who changed my point of view on life.





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