Monday, August 20, 2007

Before the Rain, a Flautist

Ready to buy some lunch, I stepped out of an elevator into the long, golden hallway of an East 44th high-rise, which once headquartered The New Yorker and now hosts GMP. I pressed through a revolving door and into a more business-like nook of Times Square.

I could guess by the talk of umbrellas on the elevator that rain was nigh. Outside, office executives, firemen and tourists alike went about their city business. I passed down the sidewalk to my regular deli, the one with a maroon overhang. It was your average summer day, only the weather lacked an oppressive humidity. Rather, it was misty and still--silence before a downpour, indeed.

Still, no threat of rain warded off the flautist I passed. He was a stocky fellow with a comb-over, wearing a dress-shirt, a leather belt and pressed, grey dockers. He nestled into an alcove along a wall across the street and jerked his elbows back and forth, up and down, to the rhythm of his free jazz flute riffs.

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