Monday, February 7, 2011
I was offered a choice between two bright-red plastic harmonicas. I said I’d start with the small one, which was about eight inches long. The other measured about two feet. I started to play, and soon my coat grew tails as I smacked my right foot on the sidewalk, noticing the flecks of star-like grit as I did so and almost slipping into the gutter. A crowd gathered. I had no idea what I was playing or where it would lead, but suddenly finding myself in need of a spectacular high note, I had to use the ringing in my right ear — the ringing in my left being an octave lower — and when the people heard it — I could feel its forceful exit as of a great wind rushing through my head — they broke into applause.