Bowie Riverton didn't have a ridiculously hot garage to complain about. He didn't have much, in fact. He had his guitar, and he had a backpack full of worn clothes and sentimental items. He had his voice, too, and he made the most out of what he had. He sat outside the Stater Bros. one day, and outside of the local 7-eleven the next. He strummed his guitar and he gave life to words he had carefully jotted down. Beside him lay his straw hat, upside down. It collected change as he sang each day away. The collective earnings Bowie emptied out of his hat provided him with all that he needed to live what he considered to be a fulfilling life: a cup of coffee in the morning, a sandwich sometime around noon, a 40 and a burger in the evening, right after sunset. Occasionally, if he had a little extra change, he would replace a broken string on his guitar. And though he lacked a set of wheels or a roof over his head, Bowie was happy.
Inside a highly air-conditioned office overlooking the city of San Diego, Greggory Helms sat at his computer. He rapped his fingers against the oak impatiently, occasionally glancing to his left at the phone. The call he had been expecting for a good 45 minutes now still hadn't come, and as it was now well after noon, he felt a knot being created in his stomach. Greggory enjoyed fine cuisine, and he had been looking forward to trying a new Italian restaurant just about seven blocks from the office all morning. But as the minutes rolled by and the call never came, Greggory increasingly lost patience. Finally, he muttered "Screw it," removed his sharp gray suit jacket, loosened his tie and walked out of the office. No longer caring about trying the new restaurant, he walked quickly in the direction of the nearest 7-eleven. He would just settle for a sandwich today. As he approached the store, he stopped in his tracks. Sitting against the wall to the right of the store entrance, a man played his guitar and sang, eyes closed as if to shut the world out while he created his melody. It was beautiful, Greggory thought. He couldn't help but walk toward the man, compliment him on his musical abilities, and hand him a business card bearing the name of his record label. With the promise of a phone call if he decided to sign onto the label, Greggory said goodbye and walked back toward the office. He forgot the sandwich.
Years later, Mason Welding found himself driving down the 15 freeway in a corporate fleet vehicle, his Honda Accord. As he sat there flipping through the stations on the radio, his coworker told him to stop at 101.5 FM. The station was playing a slow, acoustic song that had a certain nostalgic feel to it. The vocals had a quiet passion to them that Mason had not paid much attention to in years. Gone were the days when music was his pastime, his passion, his declared future. Late-night jam sessions had given way to early wake-ups and hours spent in a cubicle staring at a computer screen. In this moment, when he really listened to the lyrics to whatever was playing on the radio, he was brought back to a time when music was all that mattered to him. "Wow, I really like this," Mason admitted. "Do you know who sings it?"
"I don't remember his name," the coworker replied. "But I've been hearing him a lot lately on all the local radio stations. He's really good, and a nice change of pace if you ask me. It's funny, he must be pretty old. He has some kind of Flower Child name like Aladdin or Ziggy or something."
"Ohhh, I know exactly who you're talking about," Mason exclaimed. "It's Bowie Riverton."
Use a McGuffin in your story.
McGuffin: An object or person in a movie that has no use other than to drive the narrative forward. (originally coined by Alfred Hitchcock)
examples: The Maltese Falcon in the movie of the same name; the suitcase in Pulp Fiction.