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Juan Carlos de la Parra



Water drops kept falling from the trees in the central plaza. The musicologist was walking towards the music coming from the other side of the street. When he finally got there, the disabled musician caught his attention; at first he thought: this guy can really play the requinto; and: he sings great! Then he decided the lame street player was one of a kind. A gifted geniusa virtuoso!

The musicologist knows. He has a degree. He is a daydreamer; he immediately starts picturing in his mind all the details of his discovery. He will find a way to meet the musician, he will talk him into doing some recordings, some interviews. He listens, transfixed.

The musicologist even thinks he knows what the musician’s answers will be; he knows his background well enough, he plays with a mixture of son Veracruzano and the mantric indigenous folk-song style from Chiapas. The guy is just amazing, and he is playing for a few pesos in the street where nobody seems to notice him. The musicologist stands there, listening, dreaming.

His car is just a little further down the block from where the musician is. The musicologist is ready to go, he has heard enough. It is difficult to pull himself away from such amazing sound. This musician is the discovery he has been hoping for all his life.

In his mind, as he walks to his car, he is already shooting a video of the guy, who plays soulfully, and then he is right in a recording studio, mixing the final cut, he and the musician with headphones and all. While unlocking his car he never stops to listen, and he doesn't realize that behind his back someone has tossed a coin into the beggar's cup. And that the coin didn't enter the cup but slid down the sideway and ended up in the street just behind his car.

He wouldn't have noticed it because he was already sitting behind the wheel, so intensely in his own thoughts, in a world he understands all so wellinterviews, acclaimed articles, great reviewsthat he doesn't care he doesn't see the musician through the mirror, doesn't miss his image (in the mirror), because in his head the picture is complete.

He does not hear that the musician has stopped playing.

He puts the car in reversehe is thinking of artistic aliases, names for albums, article's titlesand backs up, crushing the musician who had, in a rush, attempted to retrieve a distant coin.

Juan Carlos de la Parra is a multimedia artist and writer. He has receivced grants from Fonca and Foesca in Chiapas. His videos have been shown and awarded in Tijuana, Merida, Monterrey, Cataluña, Malaga, British Columbia and Toronto. He has published short stories in the Sherezade Project from Princeton University, in Ecofronteras, in El Caldero from Universidad Iberoamericana. He has published several interactive documentaries in cd-rom, such as Lacandon Memory and El Ocote, Area Natural Protegida.

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