Thanks to the generosity of my friend Tamara, I found myself sitting in great seats at the Key Arena in Seattle last Saturday. We'd come to see and hear the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO). My first time! We sat in the 12th row near the aisle.
Before the show started, I was watching the people arrive, looking at the staging and just absorbing the ambience.
WHO IS THAT?
Then I saw him...I thought it was a him. He wore a wool overcoat, had matted hair that was pulled back in a short pony tail and disheveled. He had a wool scarf tied around his ankle and walked with a slight limp. He carried two bags. He seemed like a homeless person. He continued down the steps and sat in an aisle seat on the main floor--just 20 rows back from the stage. Once settled, he pulled out a flask and took a swig. Did I just see that? I pointed him out to Tamara.
How can he afford the ticket? Did someone give it to him? Did he just get in? Did he save his money from panhandling and is this concert that important to him? I wondered. I was glad he was there and hoped he was OK.
More people found their seats and suddenly he was not in his seat. Where was he? I found myself scanning the crown, searching. It took a while but I "found him." He was sitting on the main floor, an aisle seat, this time four rows up from the back row...almost directly below my seat. Maybe he doesn't have a ticket? Should I give him mine? I knew Tamara wouldn't be thrilled if I left and this guy took my seat. Then he was gone.
WHERE IS HE?
The show had started and it was great. I looked around periodically but there was no way to find him in the dark. So, I prayed that he would be OK. (It may be odd but I do that kind of thing.)
After several songs and a thought provoking Christmas narration, suddenly...the homeless man is on stage being introduced! "He's collected about $150 from you guys. He takes a lot of abuse but does this every show. We don't know why he does it. Please welcome..."
Then he sang a most touching song--about being hungry and in need every day. "Why can't it be Christmas every day?" Why not indeed?