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Farragut West metro station is a congested toilet bowl. Swarming with dazed somebodys and nobodys, dark and light suits alike, marching monotonously towards the escalators, towards the light, towards the freedom of the outside world, but not really towards freedom, towards nothing, really.

The creaking escalators cheep churning and churching, transporting the somebodys and nobodys up and up. Perhaps moaning and groaning. Autumn is definitely here, you can smell it in the air, you can feel it in the wind, you can see it in the sky.

All of a sudden, as if in a dream, as if in that ephemeral place between sleep and waking up, the sound of harmonized brass soars through, ever so slightly, yet ever so majestically. Bach?

The 18th Street exit at Farragut West may still be a toilet bowl, but now it is transported to the Kennedy Center, or a local high school brass quintet performance, or anything in between. But ears are perked and necks are craned, wondering the origins of such harmonies, questioning their presence and purpose, their placement.

The trombone is flat on that F-sharp, and I cringe. Imbalance of chord structure is not acceptable, certainly not as I near the top of the escalator, breathing in the crisp air, the espresso aroma, the stress and solitude permeating the atmosphere. Damn trombone, you almost ruined it.

As I refuse a morning paper for the third time already, the earth is once again flat, and the toilet bowl is no longer. The marching continues.

The brass and the harmonies slowly fade as distant memories, lightly tugging at my jacket sleeve. Briefly, indeterminably, I hesitate, the melodies and counter melodies colliding with every force of organized thought. But with a shrug, I move on.

Bach moves on as well.

 

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