This was around the time I first started playing piano on the streets. It was a pleasant end of summer day and I was playing piano in front of the fountain in City Hall Park. After about an hour, 2 Cops came over and told me that because of complaints coming from City Hall, I needed to leave. How ridiculous is that! I was playing beautiful classical music and someone from City Hall had the nerve to complain. I didnt argue and went to look for another spot.
I wheeled the piano over to another spot about 4 blocks away near a Whole Foods. They were having a food drive and I figured it would be a great way to accompany their fund raiser.
I played for about an hour and a half and even met some of the friendly employees at Whole Foods who hooked me up with some free food. I packed up the piano, finished my sandwich, and started to push my piano back home when suddenly I hit a pothole. The piano tipped backwards and I tried to catch it but the weight sent the piano crashing on my middle and index fingers of my left hand.
I stood there with my broken hand, in the middle of the street in New York City, staring at my crushed fingers with blood gushing out. I was in disbelief, I looked around at the people around me and didnt know what to do.
A woman rushed over to me and sat me down near the fundraising tent. She spoke in a very soothing tone to calm me down, reassuring me that I will be able to play again. And that's when I began to cry, thinking, “Is this it? Is this the end of my piano playing career? What will I do with my life?” I sat there holding ice on my hand, not looking at it.
The ambulance never came and I was forced to walk 5 blocks to the downtown hospital, leaving a trail of blood drops on the sidewalk. The doctors told me that they couldnt give any definite statements but that I had multiple fractures in my middle finger and one fracture on my index. This is when the pain began.
The worst pain in my entire life was when they were injecting my hand with numbing solution using an 18 gauge needle. They stuck the needle into the tips of my fingers, the palm of my hand, and the side of my hand. But they didnt just do it once, they did it 15 times. I screamed my head off even with the Morphine and pain killers they gave me. I never experienced that much pain in my entire life.
All in all it was an experience I will never forget which changed my life forever. Its the point in my life that solidified my endeavor to become a musician. I was a total wreck during the healing process. 90 Days of agony and pain, I did alot of thinking and stayed home for hours in deep depression. Eventually I got over it and started playing about a month later with the remaining 3 fingers in my left hand.
I began seeing the positive side of the incident and about a 2 months into healing I started planning for my trip across America. This was definitely the big turning point that made me realize, if I dont do this now, I probably never will. There is no better time than NOW.
Below is a video I made in Washington Square park about 3 weeks after breaking my fingers.