He never fails to tell me how much he loves my songs – he never heard a single one. But he never knew what it meant, and honestly, I thought I would never get the chance to tell him. Until today.
Years ago, Don and his wife, Kathy frequented the pharmacy where I had worked. We’d always get tangled in some stories about music, his life & love story, his brother who’s a musician-whom he keeps mentioning because we share the same names -and other random stuff. But there was something weird about Don. He kept telling me he could hear my music. “Oh I love that sound” he would tell me emphatically. He would then lean towards my ear as if to whisper, “You know I can hear it, right?”, he’d say. “Play it so others can hear it too” he’d add wearing an infectious smile. Of course this is crazy but I just nod and say yes politely. He would go on to tell me every time we see each other.
Until one day, as he was showering me the same generous words that I had heard many times, I couldn’t escape but feel a sense of deep emptiness. This day was different. His wife had just passed away. Somehow I could hear him. There was only silence, gentle & comforting. We hugged.
Not long, I released my first EP, Bipolar Happiness, and dedicated to Don and, the love of his life, as he would often refer to his wife, Kathy.
This was 5 years ago.
I never got the chance to thank him for instilling hope in me, if I could only tell him how much it meant. Unfortunately, this would be the last time I see him. He never heard any of my music or that I had dedicated the album to them.
Until today when I saw him on a bus and followed him to Target in San Jose.
An unmistakable smile beamed at me from a few steps back. I was surprised he still recognized me after all these years. It was a rare occasion and I finally got the chance to thank and tell him how much he inspired me.
We both got beady eyed when I told him I finally finished that album I was working, dedicated to him and his late wife, Kat. We hugged in the middle of a busy aisle, we may have caused a traffic jam.
Wearing his ever generous smile, he leaned slightly towards my ear and said “you know I can still hear it”.
He still has never heard any of my music. What a weird guy.
Thanks Don 🙏🔥