Yesterday provided an interesting dose of sturm und drang, as the skies opened up dramatically for the second day in a row. Whereas Tuesday the storm–hurricane-dark skies, searingly bright lightning bolts and near-instantaneous thunder, and fierce winds–already had passed an hour before the show began, last night the skies opened up mere moments before Ben Folds took the stage, sheets of impenetrable rain causing the fabric tarp sides of the pavilion’s cover to shed waterfalls. The thunder of the quickly passing storm rivalled Folds’s athletic pounding of the leftmost quarter of the piano keyboard, while the lightning flashes provided a counterpoint to the subdued stage lighting during his opening act. Neither Folds nor Tori Amos, for whom he opened, disappointed last night, proving more than equal to the awesome intensity of the storm.
The night ended with another interesting and dramatic encounter. A lack of sufficient planning on my part had left me standing on 14th Street at midnight, nearly certain that I’d missed the last subway train back to Virginia. The walk to the Metro station, however, just in case there were still one more train, added a surreal highlighting to the evening that I wouldn’t have missed, no matter how tired, cranky and with an uncomfortably full bladder. As I passed the intersection with Vermont Avenue, I was presented with the unexpected sight of a practically naked prostitute (the prostitute herself was hardly unexpected on 14th Street, obviously, but her state of planned and stunningly executed deshabille was). As I approached her, she stood looking away from me. From the rear, her dark ebony skin was barely visible in the streetlight, at first apparently stark naked save the heels, but then a reflected beam of light caught the presence of the slimmest of cord separating her buttocks and continuing in a “Y” to her shoulders and over. Perched on her three-inch heels, stockstill in the shadows, she looked like some sculptural homage to a Nubian goddess.