Skip to main content

Kenny John



Transferring from the 7 to the 6 under Grand Central I was transported to a different time. I heard his smoky strains as I passed him and smiled without seeing his face. My personal rule is that if someone can make me instinctively, unthinkingly smile with their music then I only owe them the change I have saved from the last time I was stingy. In one motion I walked past and instantly turned right around to add a tip to his hat and before he could say it I said, “thank you.” Thank you for slowing time down in this terminal, for transforming what it feels like to be alive in this station right now. The air felt full of mist and more serious somehow under the influence of his song.

I climbed the stairs and it wasn’t enough. I felt like a woman with dark hair and a red dress in a jazz club and maybe I was all of those things, except the dress was a salwar kameez and I was on my way back from an Eid celebration. I stood at the top and wished I had a partner with me because I would have taken him or her down in some kind of serious slowdance. I settled at taking my phone out to record the moment when to the next man who stopped to notice his music, he handed a white piece of paper and pointed in front of him, some twenty thirty feet away in the direction I stood. The musician took my breath away as I thought that maybe it could be me the note was for. His messenger seemed like he was about to pass me as he walked under the staircase, but he stopped and passed the card up through the rails.

Kenny John
Trumpeter / Drummer
Director of the Kenny J. Orchestra
PLAY SKILLFULLY UNTO THE LORD

His name is Kenny John and he plays skillfully unto the Lord and if his trumpet can transform a terminal like that, then we can do anything.

I was happy to be alone on my next escalator, up, so I could shift my weight from side to side in slow dance with self, curls bunched in one hand, feeling more beautiful just by his presence, until he was out of earshot.

Comments

  1. Transported by Kenny John's music and your writing! I will look for him next time I am in NY!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Bygones -- by Marina Keegan

I had a dream the other night that I was checking my email.

That dream sucks.



And woke to woes of seniors writing

love songs for tomorrow and

Tomorrow and the melodies

That flirt us forward, whispering

the next thing and the next thing

and  – so we beat on

birds flocking south until we

circle round and realize maybe

maybe all that running wasn’t worth it.



Maybe we should build a cabin.

Or teach high school.

Or use our hands.

My palms are smooth as words –

Weak with fashion and double spaces.



I want everyone else’s club and job and class

The grass I sleep in always browner than

Than that around erasing dreams

To sit and breathe because you

Only bank for two years then it's over

And twenty two is nothing new

It’s just another chance to build

For when we’re twenty three

And twenty four

And time begins to sell for more than

Any 9 a.m. to never.



We’re not stuck.

That's the thing, we're not stuck.

We owe no one our nothings.

Yale will be what it was,

Gothic dreams of lucky, of…

Day 351: You can place your bets, world.

I started the day with a grave mistake -- eating butter chicken for breakfast. Those ten minutes of scream-inducing euphoria were hardly worth the sluggish pace and sessile nature of the rest of my day. I attempted to counteract the unfailing lethargy which results from consumption of Punjabi food by swallowing down some coffee ice cream, thereby only adding to my foods-that-should-not-be-eaten-for-breakfast list and exacerbating the problem.


We left home before noon for Shenandoah National Park, with hot air ballooning dreams for the day. We soon learned, however, that due to impending thunderstorms, this mission would not be successful. We instead spent the day exploring the side of the park we've never seen before.


We had a lunch of fried chicken at one of the park's rest stops before piling back in the car and driving around some more. At a lookout point, we met a park ranger who showed us the coat of a lynx found in the park and suggested a trail for us to hike. We fou…

My Move to Mumbai: Frequently Asked Questions

Hello, dear readers!

By now, you've probably heard the news: in Ratna's-gap-year fashion, I've taken a leap and moved to Mumbai for a one-year consultancy with Aangan Trust, a nonprofit that works to make sure that even the most vulnerable child has the right to a childhood free from trafficking, child marriage, child labor, and abuse.

Transitions are tough, and it turns out that this one is no different, even though it's one that I've chosen for myself and been very excited about for a while. It's one thing to pack up your bags from New York and move to a new place in Mumbai; it's quite another to adjust to the daily reminders of the little things you don't yet understand about where you live, and the small ways in which you don't fit in.

Part of what has made the transition tricky is a stream of (well-intentioned) questions that sometimes make me feel like I have to justify why I made the choice to be here. These can be hard for me because someti…