April 16, 2005
Inevitably I ended up at the post office today trying to get my taxes off. Every year try as I might I always end up in long lines on the 15th. But today was a bit different.
I was at the Atlantic Avenue station (The one across from the "Islamic Fashions" shop offering books on fun headscarf ideas). The crowd was your normal Brooklyn multi-ethnic stew. Women and their girls in full chadors, West Indians in bright colors, and your basic yuppies. Only two glum slightly mustachioed Chinese ladies were attending to us. Progress was painfully slow. Inexplicably on The Sound of Music was playing on the television, sound cranked up. Everyone was fairly quiet resigned to the wait... Nobody paid attention to the television even when the first musical number started, and but I noticed the little girl in the chador was transfixed.
Doe a deer, a female deer, ray a drop of falling sun.... By the second verse the little girl in the chador started singing from under her robes. The post office went quiet. And it was as if someone filled the room with oxygen. Everyone, suddenly awake, looked at the girl and up at the TV. Before you knew it two other people joined in, a Jamacian man, and another young girl. Even the glum clerk squeaked out a slight grin.