Digital Planet Man

there is an old man who sits at the counter of my favorite record store in my hometown. I started coming here a lot last summer, I even bought my first guitar here (although it was broken and not even what I was looking for)… rookie mistake. I came back today for the first time in months to kill 30 minutes before meeting up with some friends, thinking I might buy a cd for the drive back to Knoxville (yes, I am still a cd junkie). I had completely forgotten about the old man until I stepped foot into the shop this afternoon. He was sitting on his usual stool, with a sun records shirt on (only the best recording studio in all the world that produced all the greats – Elvis, Johnny Cash). as usual, he was mumbling on in his normal banter. “now remember, the records are half off and we can order whatever you want if we don’t got em’

yes, sir. we know.

he says this about 5 times while you’re in there. I’m sure he doesn’t remember me, but every time I come in he sees me and instantly I become his target. I don’t know what it is about my face but I think it says something like: strangers welcome, the weirder the better, and oh you want to talk for 20 minutes? I would love to.

I can’t help it with this guy though. I have to talk to him. He has told me the entire history of Murfreesboro about 10 times. I know that digital planet has been open for 20 years and used to be located by the quick mart downtown. He tells me I’m hip and that if I’m in a girl band he’ll promote me by plastering posters all over their windows in the shop.

He talks and talks and I nod and smile and he finally walks away. 90% of the time I don’t even buy anything. I think subconsciously, even though this time in particular I had forgotten that he was even there until I walked in, I go here just to talk to this man.

Maybe it’s because he’s simple. Maybe it’s because he tells me I’m pretty and cool and even though I see through literally everyone who tells me that these days, I sort of believe this old man when he says it.

all I know is that there is something about this old music junky that makes me stop whatever I’m doing, and just listen.

It’s probably the smile.
I love a genuine smile.
And a simple, kind heart.

Yeah… That too.

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