He wasn't so bad.

I did not know him well. I knew him well enough. This much I can say about him. While traveling, and even while merely going through daily routines, we come to know so little about people. This little, this morsel of personality, is often just enough for us to decide if someone is worth dealing with, and if found worthy, how much time of our life they should have.

Seth, was, and perhaps will still be, a good guy. His wit pierced through a crowd of indifference at an open mic night when he told us to, "shut up and listen." We did listen. He wasn't so bad.

These streets aren't so big, not with social networks and world wide webs. It wasn't long before friends of friends affirmed his friendship. He's no longer simply, not so bad behind the mic. It seems, he's alright as person. He's worth the handshake, the jam sessions in front of the tea house or cafe. If someone shows genuine interest in your well being, with how things are going in your life, it is simple human to oblige. To earnestly inquire how their path may be faring. I knew Seth like this. He's not so bad after all.

A month or so later, with a tracking monitor on his leg, he reveals that he's being deported. It wasn't him who tried to pull a fast one on the an undercover immigration offer, but it is certainly him who will play this song. It is not the one he sang that night I saw him on stage, but with witty courage, he sings it. Even if he doesn't know the lyrics.

60 days they say. 2 months to pack up, to prepare for life. I've seen a house being moved on the bed of an 18 wheeler, speeding down the expressway. It didn't look safe or easy to do. Moving someone's entire life seems much harder, especially if they have roots with nouns; persons, places, and things, of which they love. It's no good to pick fruit before it's ripe season. His season was supposed to be 60 days. The cafe patrons tell me he's being detained. Almost a month in advance. A fruit picked too soon is so sour, not savory. His show will be cancelled for tonight. There will be no song.

I guess we thought there was more time. His best friend sits, not sure what to do without his ace. I sit, missing handshakes, hoping I was nice enough when lending my guitar to him. He just wanted to sing.

Perhaps, there is a Mexican sneaking across the border, hoping Texas to be his new home land of freedom and opportunity. An Arab cooks fresh calorie packed kebops for French university students. His parents were immigrants, but he is a citizen. Seth hung by a thin thread, not one spun by his own hands.

Obey the laws of the land. Yes, of course. It is just to do justice. Seth sings songs across the Atlantic pond, and I'm not so sure how just is. All he did was sing. I knew him like this. He wasn't so bad.