It was difficult to explain, my friend told me, why she was so affected by seeing the famous Dutch conductor on one of the main streets of the city the next morning.
All he was doing, she said, was walking up to a rubbish bin to put out his cigarette and then, turning, heading to the newspaper stall on the corner, near the station, his hand already in his pocket ready to buy something.
It was these simple actions in the street that affected her, she said – she hadn’t felt the same when she saw him with his friends in the artists’ bar not long before the concert. In the artists’ bar, even though she knew who he was the moment she saw him, he had seemed just to be one of the many artists and friends of artists that are always sitting around in that place during the festival.
It was only in the street the next day that she could sense what it might mean to be interested only in music, to talk only of music, as someone had once told her when describing the conductor. She said that it had almost broken her heart to see him in the street the next morning, but she was still at a loss to explain why that was.