Observations on a Saturday afternoon at Dupont Circle

As I sit here at Dupont Circle, a spontaneous decision after working with B. for an hour or so in Farragut Square, my coffee has run out and I’m fending off gnat-sized bugs I’ve convinced myself are biting me. The remnants of the day’s sun are providing ample lighting for reading and writing. Passersby are conversing about their issues du jour while a couple (perhaps newlyweds, perhaps not) play Frisbee. There’s a noticeable age difference between the pair, but he works hard to keep up with the game and not seem as out-of-shape as his body appeared. Across the sidewalk, yet another friend coaxes her companion to rise from her nap to wipe off the dead grass and leaves clinging from her shirts and pants. A scraggly squirrel sporting a thin tail, undoubtedly desensitized by the tourists whose trash s/he feeds on, scuttles by fearless; another comes along the same course, stops in front of me, boldly stands as if awaiting me to present scraps and hops along after sufficiently giving up on me as a resource.

Bride and Groomsmen Taking Wedding Photos at Dupont Circle

In the distance, a tattooed bride in a sleeveless cream-colored wedding gown accessorized with a bright-white, Jackie-O-style pair of sunglasses and a spiked hairdo, perches on the fountain steps surrounded by her bridal party for some matrimonial photo opportunities. People stop and watch. Couples embrace and wax sentimentally with each other. The groomsmen group together with the bride and are all proudly wearing black, low-top Chuck Taylors which they kick into the air for a can-can dance-like pose as the photographer catches their gaiety. A trumpeter––a black man in his fifties wearing a green, long-sleeved shirt and dark blue jeans––appears almost from nowhere playing spiritedly an unrecognizable classical tune. His CD player plays the accompanying parts as he sounds in and out with his. His presence tempts a larger audience to gather and admire the spectacle. Cigars are now lighted by the groomsmen in their black suits adorned with bright red carnations and begin to be smoked, and the bridesmaids gather to flank the bride for more capturing of today’s memories, cheering some inside joke that gets them smiling and laughing for the shot.

People start to disperse. Traffic flows again through the circle at a steady pace. The bride thanks the people who moved off the fountain for her photographic interruption. As quickly as the scene came into focus is as quickly as the tiny insects begin to bombard my personal space again, while an improvisation (not concert-worthy but enjoyable) of “When the Saints Go Marching In” wafts off-and-on from the trumpet.