“I’ve submitted it with my strong endorsement, but you know how tight funding is for any off-site training,” Gemmy’s boss had said, shrugging and sounding discouraged.
And, yet, somehow, just on the final day for registration, Gemmy’d gotten approval for the “Writing Government History” workshop she’d been wanting to take. And so it was that Gemmy found herself climbing the broken escalator steps at the Capitol South metro station at eight o’clock on a steamy Summer morning, pausing, and looking around to get her bearings. Just as she sighted the Library of Congress, she heard music. The musical buskers at metro stops were, as far as Gemmy was concerned, one of the more delightful things about public transportation in DC.
Standing nearby was a young man in tattered jeans and a white t-shirt, printed to look as if it were made out of bird feathers. He played an old-fashioned pan-pipe. Gemmy listened, enchanted, as he performed The Lark Ascending — a piece Gemmy had only ever heard on strings. Her budget was tight, but, when he finished, Gemmy walked over and put some coins in his hat. “Thank you,” she said. “That was lovely.”
“Lovely music for a lovely lady,” the musician said, pulling a white feather from behind Gemmy’s ear and handing it to her with a flourish.
“Oh, you do magic tricks, too,” Gemmy chuckled.
“No, no tricks. I do magical treats,” he replied, winking at her and launching into a pan-pipe rendition of the sixties hit Windy.
Gemmy looked at her watch, realizing she was about to be late for the workshop. As she began to turn towards the Library, the musician stopped mid-note and said, “Enjoy your encounter with Minerva,” picking back up with the chorus.
Gemmy shrugged. “Bit of a trickster type for someone who doesn’t do tricks,” she thought to herself. “I wonder what he meant about Minerva.”