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Original artwork by Lance Dornan

From the Archives: Do It Again

David Capps
Featured • Flash

From the archives: as we head into 2024, we are featuring some of our magazine’s earliest publications. This piece was originally published in issue number two.

I was sitting on my stump (really just a log) in Wooster Square the other day playing the violin, unwinding my spool of days as I usually do, where the spool is my lifetime and the days are the thread wound around the spool. Then a man approached, a sketchy guy on a bicycle who reeked of beer. He asked if he could listen and I said I didn’t mind. So he listened for a bit, then explained how his daughter LJ wanted to learn violin, then asked if he could record a song on his phone, which he did, then asked if I could record a message for her: “LJ, you can accomplish anything you want in life.” I agreed, but changed this to: “LJ, you can do anything in life you want, as long as you put your mind to it,” which was closer to what I believe. But I must have spoken too softly, as he advanced with his phone, saying, “Do it again.” I’ve known when to withdraw from a situation about to turn bad, and when to keep on, so I said, “LJ you can do anything in life,” which despite his “Godbless” struck me as lacking certain riders: if you stay in school, if you put your mind to it, if you practice, if circumstances don’t intervene.  All these things I wanted to proclaim, not as qualifications, but in the spirit of a toast like my father used to give, conjuring up smiles all around, if not grace. Mostly I wanted to add that her father loves her.