Homeless Teen With Physical Handicap Stays Upbeat, Inspires Commuters With Passion For Drumming | New York, New York | New York Daily News
From where Jesus Guadalupe sits – an upside down milk crate in the Union Square subway station – anything is possible.
He’s an 18-year-old high school dropout. He is homeless. And he has a birth defect that elicits stares and painful comments.
But here he is, shirtless, playing a drum for small change.
“I want to be a writer – but later in life, when I’m in my 30s or 40s,” he said. “Right now I’m in my little rocker, teenage jam-session stage of life.”
His immediate plans are to save up for a full drum set and an apartment. He doesn’t rule out being discovered for a small role in a film or television show, possibly the start of an illustrious career.
The subway is often a necessary but uneventful part of daily life. Ride to work with a group of strangers. Ride home with another batch of strangers. On the best of days, you might get a pleasant surprise, or a bit of inspiration.
This is the city where people come to realize dreams, if not completely reinvent themselves.
“I used to get down on myself and say, ‘Everybody is against me. Everyone hates me,'” Guadalupe said one day last week.
“But when I went out on my own, it hit me. I had to stop it. You only live once. Why should I let my disability stop me? Now that I’m in New York City, I have a new vibe about me.”