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瓦哈拉的塗鴉簿  Ce qu'a vu le vent d'ouest  (Apr 17, 12)
Kennedy Center was one of very few good things actually took place in Washington D.C. The grand foyer was tall and deep and covered with Burgundy red carpet. On one side there were concert hall, opera house, and a theater. On the other side there were ceiling-high windows facing the Potomac River. And there were crystal chandeliers, many of them, classical yet modern. It was a good place to meet people and share passion of music. Most of the time, I would add.

It was the intermission of a National Symphony Orchestra concert. I tried to start a conversation with an attractive woman next to me who looked as if she just suffered a migraine pain.

“Mozart was fantastic. I am looking forward to Mahler Fifth in the second half,” I said to the woman, who had a colorless cocktail.

“Mahler is transcendental. But don’t you think he tried too hard to be grandeur at the same time?” asked the woman.

“Otherwise how could he reach the bar set by Beethoven?” I said.

“And everyone approves his greatness by the same value system,” said the woman. “Let me ask you a question. Should you become the only survivor upon the destruction of the earth, and had a chance to grab the music by only three composers with you to the escape pod. Which three would you pick?”

“Bach, Beethoven, and Mahler,” I lied for the third one.

“Because you love them or because your peers love them? In other words, do you value their music, or the implication that you picked them? You see, In the movie ‘I Am Legend’ Will Smith saved some paintings from the Museum of Modern Art. Do you really believe he enjoyed looking at Starry Night every night while being attacked by the Dark Seekers, or is it just because the filmmaker wanted audiences to think Will Smith had good taste?”

I felt uneasy by the challenge so I asked back, “Then what composers will you pick?”

“For the moment, Prokofiev, Messiaen, and Tavener,” said the woman.

“I love Prokofiev, and Shostakovich, too,” I said, and felt glad I knew some Russian composers.

“You can try Schnittke if you love them,” said the woman.

“Schnitzel?” I asked.

“And Hefeweizen, they are match made in heaven,” said the woman with her baby-like innocent smile.

“A bar tender with dignity will never use Sprite for Tom Collins. Excuse me,” she said as she left. I noticed she never touched her drink after the first sip.

The woman was a breed apart, I thought, and I tasted nothing wrong with my Tom Collins.

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