The Artist and The Guardian Extraordinary Life

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story about a musician whose life begins to go uphill after he meets a stranger at the venue he performs at.

Submitted: December 30, 2014

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Submitted: December 30, 2014

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The Artist and The Guardian Extraordinary Life 

 

It wasn't until two years after I graduated from high school that I realized I was gifted. In fact, when I look back on my life during high school I often wonder “Why did I not apply for Juilliard?”. There isn’t a single person in this world who doesn't live with regret from time to time. My regret is not playing the saxophone for my high school band or at least playing for some money on the street corner like in the movie “August Rush”. I was twenty years old when I begin to understand that life is about two things: 1. God, whether you believe in God or “universal coincidence” as I call it. Either way there are forces unseen that guide us along our path, we ultimately decide what path we want to be lead on. 2. Skills & Opportunity, see I believe that we all abide by the law of nature or natural law, stating that the things we do as humans won’t change. If your rich, then your always going to cling on to the need for power and control. If your poor then you will work for that rich man. Even still, we all no matter rich or poor, black or white, have skills that can lead to opportunity. Only when you begin to nurture your skills you begin to see that God or the universe will lead you to that opportunity to use that natural skill. In other words.. AWAKEN!! Find yourself in this world and accept who you are! You can only be you because you were specifically designed to be that way!

 

 

So here I am, twenty-four years old working part time at subway making sandwiches for some of the world's most UNGRATEFUL people. We often have customers who really live their lives by the motto "the customer is always right", but I disagree with that completely. If I'm the employee then how can someone who works at a law firm tell me that I'm not doing my job right. It's not like we hand out flyers at the door saying "come and see manager train new employees”! You see, I live in New Orleans, LA  where were expected to have “southern hospitality” to the tourist who come here year round. Mostly round Jan-March time frame due to the college football season and Mardi Gras. Yeah! That’s usually when I hate my job the most. I always say that if my life was based on a movie mine would be titled “The struggling musician”. You’ve seen it before, the protagonist works a 9-5, get off and go perform at a hole-in-the wall for no money, while at the same time being completely torn between doing what he loves and not having enough money to pay the bills. That’s exactly where I stand in my life at this very moment. Some how I've managed to find a woman who could deal with my magic act of balancing work, music, and love; but a part of me tells me that she is fed up. Every night now I find myself just getting lost in the music, whether I’m actually performing or not. Music is my escape from a world that is perceived to be reality, even though I second that notion. My mindset is if I make it then I make it, if I don’t then I don’t. I just enjoy doing what I love even with the little recognition that I receive. Although I must say that I actually love living in a city where people appreciate jazz music, it certainly brings a smile to my face. On nights that I play I find myself repeating the actions from the last time I played. Like I said once before, my life is like a movie that someone is watching and they continue to play the same three scenes repeatedly. Scene one: Work, scene two: play music and scene three: make love to my beautiful, non-communicative girlfriend. I feel as if I have no control over the events and circumstances that take place in my life. I realize that I am a part of a system that causes 40,000 suicides per year along with 16,664 homicides. Money has become our “God” in a sense that we praise and depend on it just to make us happy. The elite use this “God” to control us, they tell us that the only way to get to “God” is to work for another man or woman who supposedly has a lot of “God” to give to the rest of us. Therefore those who have the most money consider themselves gods over those of us who can barely rub together two pennies. So just like the rat and the wheel, were all running around in circles just to get a small piece of cheese when were done being told what to do. Perhaps it’s only the elite watching me with their advanced technology, just to ensure that I am being a “good boy” and performing my duties as a low class citizen. Scene two opens with me performing my saxophone in front of a few hundred residents and tourist who crowd the House of Blues where I perform at. I share the stage with quite a few talented musicians; on the guitar we have Tyrone Diggans, organist Michael Charles, drummer Lee James and our beautiful vocalist Tania Harding. Every night now for about two years this is what I have been doing with my life. I graduated from Loyola University New Orleans with my Bachelors of Arts degree in about three years. I saw performing at the HOB as the golden opportunity to finally come from out of this poverty stricken mindset that I had been living my entire life. Sometimes it doesn't’t seem as if I will ever have a chance to become the star, considering the fact that the only logically way I see it happening is if the band I perform with happens to make it big. I often write new songs or poems for Tania to recite, but it’s rare that anyone will ever ask her who WROTE the song! It was last week when I was approached by a guy with a familiar face on Bourbon Street, he told me that he had seen me perform and that I have a lot of potential. My first thought was “How weird is that?”. It felt as if this guy had read my mind and decided to tell me the words that he thought I wanted to hear based of off what he had heard in my head. A couple of nights later, I was on my way to grab a midnight snack from Brothers Food Mart (a food mart chain in Louisiana), when I saw a shadow trailing me, I looked behind to see who it was, but by the time I looked back I saw that no one was behind me. I figured it was my own shadow, but as I continued to walk I noticed that the shadow did not mimic my movements. Again I looked back to see that still, no one was behind me. This continued until I got to the store to get my nightly snack; Zapps potato chips and a vitamin water. I was standing at the cash register to make my purchase when my card stop working, “I’m sorry sweetheart, your card has been declined" the cashiers says to me “Do you have another card that you can try?”. “No, unfortunately this is my only debit card” I replied out of sorrow. “I’ll just go and put it back on the shelf where I found it”. As I begin to walk off to place the items where they belong. The guy who stood behind me in the line stopped me and asked “How much is it?”. I stood there for a couple of seconds shocked at the fact that we still have good people in this world. I was slow to answer “all together it would come up to about $5.34”. “I’ll cover it for you” he replied with a sincere smile on his face. Most men would have too much pride to let another man buy them anything, it makes them look weak as if it’s not right for someone to show an act of kindness. I gave thanks to the kind stranger who stood about six feet two inches tall, with the posture of an NBA player. He was a dark fella much darker than I. He was clearly a tourist with an accent as if he was from New York, I can tell just by the way he said "Your welcome". We both walked outside together as he handed me my beloved chips and drink. "How are you? I'm Nick Foxx" he says to me with the same sincere smile on his face that he had in the store. I reach out my hand as I introduce myself “I’m Jyrus Dominic, but everyone calls me JD for short” I go on to say “Are you new to New Orleans or just visiting?” As the words begin to roll off my tongue I begin to have the strangest feeling of Deja Vu ever. It was almost as if my mind had taken a trip through time and space and showed me a vision of this time to come before it came. “Do you recognize me from the House of Blues?” he asked me. I begin to wonder was he watching my performance from a distance or was this just someone who comes in often. I wasn't one to keep track of names of fans who would tell me that they enjoyed the show, honestly I barely remember faces. ”I spoke to you the other night, you and your band put on a pretty good show, but you stood out for a guy who stands in the back!” Nick says to me. That's when it dawned on me, the night at HOB and the many nights walking down Bourbon Street, I definitely encountered this guy before. I replied “Yes! I remember you. The wanderer who always stands out to me. Who are you? Really?” I asked. “I was sent from above to find the one who could save save this lost generation and lead from the front.” he replied so surely. I didn't’t understand, maybe perhaps I listened to hard and didn't’t hear him clearly. It was as if he spoke in code that my flesh could not understand, but my soul knew clearly what he meant. “I’m sorry i’m afraid that I didn't’t hear what you said. May you repeat yourself?” I asked. “I said that I come from upstate New York City! I’m A&R for the record label Haven Gates. I’m looking for talented new young artist who can change the sound of the music industry.” Was that what he originally said? I asked myself. “Well like I told you before, you have great potential and I would hate to see you sit in the back your entire life, your meant to be in the front. Here is my business card, it has my point of contact and my email address. I’ll see you around JD.” As he walked off I felt as if I had just came in contact with an angel or something unworldly. I read his business card and on the back of the 3.5 x 2 inch card read the words “strife at LIFE”. Every thought that I had lingering in head were beginning to manifest to realties right before my eyes. I thanked God on my walk home!

 

 

I got back home at around 12:45 am only to see that my girlfriend was still up waiting for me to return. With the smell of fresh coffee surfacing in the air, I knew that could only mean one thing. I was going to be up all night arguing with Sarah about how I could be doing something more with my life, that a man as educated as me should be teaching at Princeton or Yale! Scene three: This is the part of the film that I really wish I could have more control over, …My relationship with the woman that I truly feel is my soul mate. The nights all start the same, a little bit of screaming and yelling at each other about promises made that were never kept. After doing that for about an hour were at each others lips speaking softly so that the neighbors won’t here us teasing each other about who’s going to please who first. It’s not hard to tell that we love each other, but even with all of the arguing that we do, it still feels as if were not fully expressing ourselves to each other. Tonight’s vibe felt different, I didn't’t know what I had done this time, I feared the unknown. As she sat on the couch with her arms folded, she looked up at me with her bright blue eyes and said “we need to talk JD”. I took a seat right next to her on the couch “Is everything okay Sarah?’ I asked out of curiosity. The expression on her faced showed me that she had been crying about something “where are we going with this relationship?” she asked me with a stuttered voice. Those words reminded me of the first time Sarah and I met over a year ago at the House of Blues. We were playing in front of a crowd that totaled of over a 1,000,000 people including the folks at home watching that night. The former Mayor of New Orleans had been elected as the 45th President of the United States and all of us New Orleanians decided to party in his honor. Sarah was a journalist for channel 4 news at the time and decided to do a cover story on the band for local coverage. She interviewed us as a whole at first and then preceded to do one on ones with each of us. As we sat down waiting for the interview to begin she asked me the question “where are you going with this music?”. Before I answered I could not help but to stare at her beautiful bronze skin, with her blue eyes and brown hair to complement a body that looked as if it was sculpted by the Greeks to honor Aphrodite. I snapped out of my daze “I’m going to the top, love” I replied with a seductive grin on my face. As I sat for a minute thinking about the past, Sarah reiterated her question again “Jyrus Dominic Bradley! I want to know where are we going with this relationship?”. Just as I had replied to her in the past “Were going to the top, love”. I immediately grabbed Sarah by the hand and asked her if she could just please explain to me what was it that was bothering her once and for all so that we could fix the problem. She took in a deep breath and rubbed me on my face “I love you too much to let you go, that is the last thing that is on my mind”… “The first time we met we had such a deep spiritual connection, we still do, your music, the way you play, it comes from your soul. You make the world become clear when you write your poetry, as if its the only way you know how to make sense of what you see in your head. With me being a journalist you and I connect when it comes to writing and telling stories to get the audience involved. I love when you ask me for help when your writing a new song and although you feel as if you don’t get any recognition, those are the times I feel loved by you.” I knew that Sarah had a lot more to say to me, so instead of speaking I just nodded to show her that I understood what she meant. She continued on saying “We are also very well connected intimately, with every time you touch me or look at me. Every time you kiss me or to even smell your scent on our sheets when your not here at night. Most importantly its when you listen to what i’m saying when it matters the most, that’s when I feel loved.” At this point I felt lost as to why Sarah had been crying. Was it tears of joy? or was there more that she had not gotten of off her chest yet? We both are very spiritual believing in the concept of Mind, Body, and Soul.. Sarah had only discussed Body and Soul so I was expecting to hear about our mental connection. Maybe that is where we are struggling at. Am I forcing my way of thinking on Sarah? I was about to receive my answer as Sarah took a sip of coffee, she later explained “There is only one issue that I have” I pretended to be shocked. I asked “What is the issue my love?” I can tell that she had been irritated by my response “It’s hard for me to understand what’s on your mind. Whenever you have an issue you sugarcoat the truth or keep it to yourself! I don’t like when you do that, because you expect me to tell you what is on my mind.” Finally! We were beginning to lift up the rug and sweep out the trash. “I just have a lot on my mind that I don’t want to burden you with babe” I replied with hopes that Sarah would see right through me. She shrugged, sighed and replied with “What happened to letting go of ourselves to each other JD? I want to know what troubles you honey” Sarah was the most down to earth woman that I have ever dated and I was not being honest with her. I replied with “It’s hard for me to let go. In the past when I would tell a woman I dated my issues and they would laugh at me” I can tell that Sarah was going to react with fire and she did just that “you have to let go off these trust issues JD! You can’t give me 2/3 of you when I want the whole 3/3.” The conversation ended with me telling Sarah about my regrets of not going to Juilliard to me hating my job at subway. I then told her of my encounter with the man who called himself Nick Foxx and even the subliminal message that I received from him right before he handed me his business card. What I love most about Sarah is that she is a go getter and her go get it ways were beginning to rub off on me. “I think that God is correcting things in your life JD, he is showing you the path and he is putting people in your life to help you achieve the goals that you set out for yourself. Most importantly, your goals are God’s plan for your life.” I let Sarah’s words sink in for a minute as I realized how my life was indeed beginning to change and the movie was playing new scenes that even I never saw before. The A&R rep and my relationship with Sarah were significant and I don’t think that it was an accident. I decided that I would give Nick Foxx a call the first thing in the morning. 

 

 

I woke up at 9;30 that morning with a refreshed and renewed mind. This was the first of two days that I had off, so Sarah and I decided to go on a 3 mile run. Our conversations had gotten deeper as we begin to see a life together. Our topics during the run spanned from buying our first home, to getting married and having four kids. With our minds in tune with each other, we hadn't’t even realized that we ended up running our 3 mile course in 17;10, which was a personal best for us both. On the walk home I noticed that there was a third shadow walking besides Sarah and me “Sarah, do you see that?” I asked her. I’m not sure if Sarah knew what I was talking about so I asked her again, except this time I mentioned what I saw “Do you see the third shadow?”. She looked and saw that there was a man across the street, but no shadow. As I glanced across the street I noticed that the man Sarah saw looked like Nick Foxx. Immediately time stopped as I stared in amazement as to who it was I was looking at “The man that I told you about last night. That’s him!” Sarah clinched onto my arm “Are you sure that’s him baby?” she replied. I wanted to be sure so we walked towards him and sure enough it was Nick Foxx. I approached him with caution because I honestly felt a little creeped out “Do you know someone in this neighborhood?” I asked him. He smiled at me and reached out his hand as he introduced himself to Sarah “Good Morning, I’m Nick Foxx” as Sarah replied with her name I asked him again if he knew someone in this area or was it just coincidence that we ran into each other again. Sarah rubbed my back with hopes that it would relax me “I went by the HOB looking for you this morning and you weren't’t there. Tania told me where I could find you at.” I still felt unsure as to why he wanted to see me I asked “I was actually going to call you when I got home, but why the interest in a saxophone player?” As I begin to relax and calm down he answered my question with a question “Why not a saxophonist?”. I thought to myself “who actually listen to a solo by a saxophone player in this generation?” As I pondered in my response Sarah asked him a question that I was glad she did “Would you like to hear him play for you some of his originally material?” she looked up at me and smiled. We all begin to walk back to our home when Nick responded with a simple “Yes! Yes I would”……. Sarah cooked us all some eggs, pancakes, and grits as I begin to set up my stage that I had at home. “It’s like you had this stage just for this day to happen.” Nick said to me “Yeah, it’s like all the pieces are falling into place huh?” was my response. I played a few songs for originally songs for him, I even had Sarah recite some of the poetry that she helped me write. I couldn't’t express or even understand the feeling that swept over me, all I know is it felt like Nick was meant to come into my life. “Well I must admit, I know the label will love you when they hear you” Nick told me “So do you think that they will sign me?” I asked. His answer was more so read between the lines “I already have you slotted for a show in New York”. I let it sit in before I asked another question “Do you believe in God?” as he looked at me I knew what his response would be “God sent me to look for you”. As he begin to exited our home he looked back at me and Sarah and left us both speechless with what he said “I’ll have tickets for you two, first thing in the morning for New York! Girlie, your man is taking you two to the top!” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Characters

JD Bradley

Sarah

Nick Foxx

 

 


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