Check the email, type the needed documents... another day of corporate drudgery lingers too long. I pry myself off-leash for a moments drive to the post office and fast food, before returning to the daily ball & chain.
However, it only takes a second before the air around my ears stirrs with something exciting and different. Did someone put speakers in the parking garage? Joyfully, I discover no. This aural bliss is nothing short of live clarinet jamming.
Having lived the first two years of college with a classical clarinet major, the sound of that particular instrument is one I know very well, and one I can't resist. Linked to memories of youth and discovery, the clarinet speaks to me in a way that few other instruments can.
I follow the sound, like a dog on a scent, to the edge of the garage. Stretched out next door is a parking lot, but across that, a quiet unassuming apartment complex provides a home for some melodic soul. 3rd floor, just inside the screen door to his balcony, he sways, gently playing. I stand transfixed at the railing, riding on the tune. Melancholy, but not despairing, it dips low and trills up, and feels akin to a magic carpet.
I wonder if he knows he has an audience, or even if he cares. Is he playing only for himself, or would he be amused at the girl, holding KFC in one hand, car keys in the other, slowly swaying at the garage's edge? With my eyes closed, it ceases to be a parking lot in the vast Lost City of Angels.... it is only a moment, rare and magical (like today's simmering storm clouds), that feeds the soul and keeps one afloat.