I’m Not Moving: Part 5

Disclaimer: I do not own the movie Once or the musical Once or any of the songs written by The Script, clearly. This is purely for entertainment purposes, based on an idea that my friend and I riffed out while cutting through the crowd in Times Square after seeing Once the musical.
Part Five
            The song was finished. The guy pressed a few keys on his computer and listened to the playback. This was a more restrained song that any of his past ones. It was less morose as well. The guy supposed he was moving on from his ex-girlfriend, which was good. But if he was moving on from her, what would he write about now?

            Going back to the corner where I first saw you
            Gonna camp in my sleeping bag, I’m not gonna move
            Got some words on cardboard, got your picture in my hand
            Saying, “If you see this girl, can you tell her where I am?”
            Some try to hand me money, but they don’t understand
            I’m not broke, I’m just a broken-hearted man
            I know it makes no sense, but what else can I do?
            And how can I move on when I’m still in love with you?
            ‘Cause if one day you wake up and find that you’re missing me
            And your heart starts to wonder where on this earth I can be
            Thinking maybe you’ll come back here to the place that we meet
            And you’ll see me waiting for you on the corner of street
            So I’m not moving
            I’m not moving
The guy listened to the song all the way through. There were no other instruments except his voice and his guitar. It could use some drums and maybe another guitar or a bass or something, but even this plain acoustic version packed some power to it.
            It only took him a few days after the first lyrics flashed into his mind to have it all worked out. It sounded poppier that his other songs.
            But who was the song about? He wouldn’t sleep out on a corner for his ex-girlfriend, not now. Maybe back in Dublin he would’ve.
            The girl. Would he? After everything she’d done for him? Yes.
            He was absolutely certain he would do something as outlandish as sleeping out in front of her building, if he could win her. But she had her husband and they were working things out and really, had there been anything there besides their shared passion for music?
            There was. They exchanged stories and opened themselves up to the other. He liked her, was confused by her, charmed by her.
            “A married woman? Really, mate?”
On an impulse, he surfed to Babelfish. What the hell was it that she said to him when they stood by the shore? He knew it was important by the way she said it, but he didn’t understand Czech.
It sort of sounded like “miluju” something. What was the second word? Started with a “T.”
He typed in the first word, unsure how to spell it. Several links were on the screen. He clicked on the first one. Czech phrases.
Miluju Tebe—I love you
He glanced at the clock, calculated the time difference. Da would still be up.
            He reached for the phone and called his father.  
                                                           *             *           *
            “Hey!” Reza called across the room. “Look!”
            The girl came into the living room, holding Ivanka’s hand. “What?”
            Reza turned the volume up on the TV. The girl heard a familiar reporter’s voice off RTE narrating.
            “…The song went up on iTunes only three weeks ago and it has already filled the popularity bar. The poignant song was written and recorded independently by an Irish singer and he is surprised at just how popular the song is becoming…”
            A man appeared on the screen. The girl gasped, nearly jumping.
            Reza pointed to the TV and said, “Your Irish man!”
            He was speaking: “I was in New York, writing songs, and only having a bit more success than I’d had back home. I was busking near Bryant Park when the first line of the song came into my head and it really wrote itself after that…”
            “People seem to see it as a hopeful love or break up song, don’t they?” The reporter asked.
            “Yeah, they seem to,” the guy replied. “It’s a simple little song about a steadfast guy who waits for his love to come back and find him.”
            “There’s plenty more where that came from, by the way. His two EPs are available on iTunes and Amazon.com and there is a full-length album in the works. For now, this talented singer/songwriter is back home in Dublin after some time away.”
            “‘I’m looking forward to being back home for a bit.”
            “Did you write this song for anybody in particular?”
            “Em,” the guy said, with a little half-smile. “No comment.”
             Reza jumped up. “You!”
 The girl shook her head. “Me?”
 “Yes, you. He wrote it for you.”
“No, no,” the girl protested. “It’s probably for his girlfriend. Or for nobody. Songs fall out the sky sometimes.”
“Oh, and sure,” Reza replied in a very Irish tone. “But my God! Irish man on the telly!”
The girl grinned. “I know! I wonder if his Da knows!”
                                    *          *       *
“Fair play to you, man,” Eamon said to the guy. “You could’ve stayed in New York or gone to London to record an entire album.”
“I wanted to be home, though,” the guy replied. “You’ve got session players that can be a backing band, haven’t ya?”
“Yeah. Your Czech friend is my session piano player. Bloody brilliant.”
“She is? Oh, that’d be great. Haven’t seen her since I left for New York.”
With studio time assured, the guy went on the next step of his journey for the day. He was in front of Billy’s store. He bought some guitar strings off Billy, who told him, “I saw you on the telly!”
“Not bad, eh?” The guy replied, paying for the strings. “When does she get in for work?”
 “Who? Oh! ‘Round about four.”
He set up his guitar case with a card inside that said: No money here, please. Then he began to play “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved,” singing as loudly as he could manage. At first, the people ignored him. When he finished, then began singing a cover, a few people looked his way. He interspersed covers with his own songs for a while, then checked the time. Two to four. Where was she?
He started the introduction of “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” again, dragging it on for a few measures. A couple people stopped to look, curious. He heard one lady say to her friend, “I think I saw him on the telly today!”
“Going back to the corner where I first saw you/ Gonna camp in my sleeping bag, I’m not gonna move,” he sang, keeping his eyes peeled for her. “Got some words on cardboard, got your picture in my hand/ Saying if you see this girl, can you tell her where I am?/ Some try to hand me money, but they don’t understand/ I’m not broke, I’m just a broken-hearted man/ I know it makes no sense…”
She was walking down the street. She was almost at the storefront. Bloody hell!
“But what else can I do?/ How can I move on when I’m still in love with you?” He stretched that out, adding a run or two. Turn round. Turn round. “‘Cause if one day you wake up and find that you’re missing me/ And you heart starts to wonder where on earth I can be/ Thinking maybe you’ll come back to the place that we meet/ And you’ll see me waiting for you on the corner of the street…”
She was nearly at Billy’s door and she hadn’t turned around. Was she listening to something? Did she not recognize his voice?
He put more power into “I’m not moving.” Finally, she turned her head quickly in his direction.
She stopped, turned more fully. He kept singing, a silly grin coming across his face as the girl’s jaw dropped.
The small crowd applauded when he finished. They dispersed after a few minutes, after he told them that he’d be playing in one of the tiny clubs nearby the next night.
She stayed in her place.
“Hello,” he called.
She stormed forward, a hand digging in her pocket. She stopped and held out her hand.
“Here,” she said. “Five euros.”
“Keep your money,” he told her. “Have dinner with me?”
“I—but I,” she turned to look at the store. Billy stood in the doorway, both thumbs up. The girl turned back. “Then, yes.” She cocked her head. “Maybe a little hanky-panky after?”
“Da said he went back.”
“He did. We are divorced.” She grinned. “I’m a divorcee.”
“Scandalous.” He returned the guitar to its case, closed it, and picked it up. “Let’s go.” 

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