This is part of a series of posts on observations and people I meet in D.C. While based on actual events, it is a creative writing exercise and not 100 percent accurate.
They rise and fall in unison, an athletic tribute to the drums and horns blasting 10 feet away. Most are women- tight pants, plain t-shirts stretched over bulging breasts, stray hair escaping from a bun while sweat runs down their face, mixing into a puddle of makeup on their neck. Hands and arms stretched, no one notices that half the circle is taken over by hot sweaty women and the occasional man, burning off the calories of last night’s drunken debauchery.
A girl lies on the fountain edge, eyes closed, a book clutched to her stomach, long brown hair drifting into the pool of water below her. On the bench opposite her a young man in a tan suit reads a novel, suitcase of brown his only companion for the evening. Above the fountain flows from a bare breasted woman frozen in salute to a battle won and lost long ago.
The circle is silent from tongue and only the sound of the cars and the click of heels is heard below the bellowing horns of the homeless band across the street. Musicians playing like they haven’t a care in the world, like there’s no tomorrow and for half of them there won’t be. Life becomes simple when you’ve got nothing else to lose.
A man walks by briskly, cell phone in hand, sharp words to the system that never ends “we’ve got a big problem with those reports.” A dog barks, an artist paints and the circle disperses, bringing in a new wave of bodies and sweat.