Monday, December 8, 2008

9 trombones a-playing

Christmas in Houston.... Zero snow, overtly conspicuous consumption of a money soaked town, and a general level of stress (I am the worst person at gifts, ever. Like, running shoes for Steven Hawking bad.)do not a cheerful Justin make.

So I was out shopping yesterday. I dislike shopping. I cannot emphasize enough how much "dislike" in that context is grossly underestimating my disdain for the sake of politeness. I had spent a grueling 45 minutes...(I'll pause to let the ladies, parents and more commerce oriented gentleman stop laughing uncontrollably..) at the frou frou shopping "destination" near us. (Imagine a strip mall that struck oil, packed up the family in a rickety old car, and moved to Bev-er-ly. The epitome of Houston) I finally made it to the semi-acceptable safe haven of Barnes and Noble.

As I opened the door, the ubiquitous Christmas music sounded different...warmer, fuller..somehow... As I stalked through the racks, I suddenly came in to a cleared area, face to face with....

9 trombones. Held by 9 trombonists. Playing Christmas music. (Quite handily.)

The surreality of it took me aback at first, but having been a trombone player in my formative years, I took a seat. I listened. There was no explanation, just a row or tw0 of chairs, and 9 trombonists belting out some beautifully warm brass music.

I couldn't help but smile. And relax.

The rest of the trip was a swirl of harsh lights, frenetic motion and price tags. But that five or ten minutes of 9 random trombones completely made my day. There were old trombonists, young trombonists, men, women, tall, short, round, thin, etc. It was a trombonic spectacle.

I don't even know why...maybe just passing sentimentality...a familiarity of sound, maybe just that the trombonists, while quite capable, weren't dressed or appointed as puffed up professionals. It looked like a community band, or just a group of random trombonists who had miraculously met and decided to hold an impropmtu concert. It was a little piece of home and past and I thank them for it.

I have a sneaking suspicion that if you massed enough trombonists in any one place, you'd be well on your way to solving something.

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