The Busker

      —What the fuck you know about Miles Davis?

The accusation was that my Miles Davis t-shirt—Miles with the oversized bug-eyed sunglasses, short-cropped hair, that blue In a Silent Way fusion jean suit thing with the hipster Rat Pack Conquistador ankle boots and that gold filigree Prince of Darkness monogrammed trumpet—the accusation was here he was sweating his ass off playing his dusty white food-grade plastic bucket drums trying to scrounge a few bucks in change off a bunch of white folks going to see Eric Slowhand-Cream-Crossroads-I-Shot-the-Sheriff Clapton. Here I was wearing this Miles Davis t-shirt.

      —What the fuck you know about Miles Davis?

      —What do you know about George Washington?

      —Motherfucker had wooden teeth. Ain’t got nothin on that Honest Abe motherfucker.

I had to stuff my fiver in the drummer’s dented coffee can till. It was full to the brim.

Eddie Jeffrey's work is forthcoming or has appeared in O-Dark-Thirty, Thrice Fiction, JazzTimes, The Alexandria Times, among others. He is an editor of Baltimore Review and lives near Baltimore with his wife, daughter, and two dogs.