99 Problems but a Busk Ain't One - 7/25/15

This is Danny, the guitarist busker. I walked down Boylston to my usual spot and he was set up in it. "Dammit," I thought as he sat there not even playing. I kept walking, crossed the street and set up at least 100 feet away. He still had not played a note. I began to dance and about 5 minutes and maybe $15 in, he interrupted me.

Danny: "Hey, I'm going to need you to move. I've been set up right there for like an hour already. And I can hear you from over there. I'm asking you nicely, if you don't listen, we're gonna have a problem."

I was already flabbergasted. This wife-beater donning, greasy haired jackass accosted me out of the blue to threaten me? I had faced several difficulties since beginning my endeavors from outsiders but this was my first encounter from another performer. And it was already unpleasant. Every time I danced, I had to arrive on a higher plane of existence. I was in flow, driven by the energy of the music and the crowd. When someone interrupted to try and stop me, I would be brought back down to the world of normalcy. Worse yet, Danny had threatened me without even introducing himself. This isn't the Internet, Danny. You can't just threaten someone emptily and get away with it. Obviously, I was angry, but I held back.

"Why don't you calm down. What's your name?"


We shook hands, "I'm Adnan, nice to meet you. I don't like you coming over here and being rude. You weren't playing when I came over here and set up."

"I have been there for over an hour. You didn't see all my stuff?"

"If you're not playing, I don't know what you're doing. Maybe you're packing up to leave. How am I supposed to know? You think I want your music interfering with me? I don't want clashing sounds. I'll move, but don't be rude to me. And don't threaten me."

I wasn't in the habit of standing up for myself out on the streets. Last time this had occurred with the Downtown Crossing ambassadors, an audience member had stood up for me and scolded them, demanding that I continue. This prior instance meant had meant a lot to me because it showed me what my audience thought of me -- that people were willing to stand up for a good cause, to represent the individual pursuing passion for a higher purpose than self. Such a revelation gave me the courage to stand up for myself as well. Because I wasn't standing up for myself if I asked Danny to stand down. Adnan was standing up for DoctorBeDancing. When you bring me down from my higher plane of existence by interrupting my performance, you transform me back from DBD into Adnan -- the onlooker who admires DBD and his purpose just as much as everyone else. But Adnan is a person, and he feels the fury that DBD can shrug off.

I walked a short way up the street to set up again. But my mind was brimming with aggression. I could have just kept my performance going and ignored him. That would make him angry. But I was more creative than that. I would rather systematically dismantle my assailant. I could set up my sign directly in front of him and dance to his own music. There wouldn't be much that he could do. He would be furious, and I would be laughing because he had assaulted my ideals. The thought frightened me. That I would enjoy it so much.

While I could mentally break my aggressor, this would be selfish. The only person who might benefit would be Adnan. And every minute I spent doing so would be money directly out of charitable funds. This wasn't right. So, I would take the higher road for the greater good that DBD represented. 

I set up a little bit down the road and began to dance again. The anger evaporated in the heat of the act as I again transformed into DBD. I smiled, and the world smiled back.