Duty With Pleasure

One day I walked to the architect Brunelleschi’s Cappella dei Pazzi near Santa Croce. There was no one else in the vast, domed room. I sang a note. The inside of the dome was constructed to hold notes for a long time—as if by providence, not physics—and soon after the first note I sang another one, a third above the last, and the two notes joined above me and were sustained, locked together in a buzzing consonance. It was a metaphor, I thought: Here in Italy I was in harmony with myself.
On the bus on the way to pick up the suit from the tailor, I was caught without a ticket. (I’d run for the bus; the ticket counter was closed.) I had to exit the bus to pay the fine, and when the officer noticed that the other side of the chilly street was bathed in sunshine, he suggested that we move and do the paperwork there. He had combined duty with pleasure, the way people did in Italy.

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