I met Robert Adams today. He’s a tall African American man with dread locks that reach the small of his back, pulled in a low ponytail. When I first walked into the historic looking high-rise building on Vermont avenue NW, Washington DC, he greeted me with charm and eloquence. He had been typing an email.
“Hold on a second, I’ll finish this email and I can be out of your way”. Just a moment later, he asked – looking down at his computer screen; “So are you in school? Or…” I smiled and told him my education spiel and how I’m working a new job now in addition to this concierge gig (updates about this in a new blog coming soon).
In the few minutes we talked, I found out he’s been playing guitar for 40 years.
“OMG that’s crazy cause I sing too!”, I said, gushing as he pulled his guitar from under the concierge desk and put it in its bag.
“Well then, you should come to our Live Music Monday shows in Silver Spring” he said, the sound of his guitar bag zipper subtle but noticeable as he spoke.
For a moment, I did consider it. I mean, I’ve been thinking about a venue where I can sing with a live band and just have a relaxed time on stage, sharing this gift that God bestowed upon my vocal pipes. As I processed his invitation, he pulled out a card and handed it to me. I looked at the card thinking; I’ll keep this. Maybe one of these evenings. Who Knows?
“I wanna learn to play. I bought a guitar once, and my fingers just wouldn’t cooperate.
“Hah! see? You know what they say… when the student is ready, the teacher will appear”, he said in response. I smiled at his subtle invitation be my teacher.
A few minutes later, his girlfriend came down to meet him in the lobby for their lunch date. As she stepped out of the building, he stayed back, pulled out a black newsboy hat, the kind with extra room for long locks like Bob Marley’s, and he put it on.
In that moment, I saw the artist in the man. He had gone from a suited up, prim and polished look, to an approachable lover of the arts, just by adding a hat and removing his name brooch.
When he finally stepped out to meet his woman, no sooner had they taken 3 steps before he extended his left hand and placed it on the small of her back; a gesture of protection, and affection. I smiled in admiration as they disappeared down the rather quiet street.
I met Robert Adams today and I saw the meaning of simple happiness. I saw love, passion, art, and life in his eyes and heard them in the words he spoke. It was my pleasure Mr. Adams, and maybe I’ll visit and listen to your show one of these Mondays.