Dan’s Online Diary 

# 18.4.03 by Dan
I was walking Queen St (something that I do nearly every day, often gets my thoughts rolling, just strolling) and I saw something that, for some reason warmed my heart...

Queen St has lots of buskers - some are homeless people virtually begging for money, while others are serious artists, advertising their CDs while they entertain. However, I have recently noticed one young chap - I'm figuring he's a student at the nearby University of Auckland - who looks quite young, like first year or something. He's clean and tidy and he strums his guitar in a passable fashion, and sings just loud enough that you know he's singing, but just quiet enough that you can't pick the song unless you really concentrate. He'll gain confidence, no doubt.
There's another busker, at the other end of the scale, usually outside Border's bookstore up by Aotea Square. This chap - Gerrad is his name(I know this because he actually came along to our church for a while, many years ago) - is of part Maori/Polynesian descent, is unkempt, unruly, and fancies himself as a freestyler, rapping straight from the top of his dome. Without meaning to sound mean, and making myself available to be corrected at anytime, I would say that Gerrad is not in secure possesion of all his marbles. Whether as a result of substance abuse, or otherwise, he doesn't appear to be playing with a full deck. Gerrad spends his time waving his free arm around (his other is holding a virtual microphone) whilst from his mouth issues a stream of words that actually sound like they rhyme, but rather than coherant sentences, they tend to be simply short strings of 'street' slang and sayings - gleaned from popular('popular' is sometimes a matter of opinion when it comes to rap) rap music - concatenated at random.

... for some reason warmed my heart. Sitting there on the pavement, was the clean tidy guitarist, strumming away with a grin, while bobbing around like a boxer beside him was Gerrad - they were very obviously performing a cover of Vanilla Ice's 'Ice Ice Baby'. I don't know what it was, maybe Gerrad's boldness had masked some of the young chap's uncertainty, but they were both having a really great time together. And the concept of this unusual collaboration intrigued me. There was just something really positive-feeling about the sight of these two unlikely characters working together. For a split second I felt like joining in, but a chap in a suit making their duo a trio could quite possibly have been too much for the universe to handle, and all existence may have ceased abruptly at that moment. Maybe another day.