What happens when one of the world’s greatest violinists busks in the DC subway? Three years ago now, Gene Weingarten of The Washington Post convinced Joshua Bell to help him find out. The resulting essay is one of the most exquisite accounts of modern life I’ve ever come across.
Weingarten presents a short slice of a day, just 20 minutes or so during the morning commute, told from many perspectives — Bell himself, commuters interviewed after the fact, a shoe shiner, a bus boy. It forces you to question what your own place in the scene would have been, and what your role in your own life is, and what you’ve let slip by along the way.
Saying any more would risk a spoiler. Just read it.