You continue along the river. Just ahead is the Ponte Vecchio, the old
bridge. It is the oldest of the bridges and one of the few that survived
the German occupation in WWII. You wonder what you would be seeing right
now had they been successful in blowing it up. You could not imagine being
deprived of this vision.
The bridge is reflected in the river. You should take a picture, you think
to yourself. You reach into your pocket. Oh, why bother. A picture could
never capture this. But then you think there could be more to it than
just capturing the view. It is the confining to internity a single moment
of this walk, having it as a reference point to all the moments preceding
it and following it. Those other moments that just flow one into another,that
have no idividual identity,all becoming just one memory.
You lift the camera to your eye. You try not to be dissapointed. The
moment is there. This moment with its blue sky and brown water. The birds
flying through the viewfinder are now your birds and the river flowing
is your river. You feel good about what you are seeing. This picture will
be rich, you think.
You cross the street before you get to the bridge. Something else attracts
your attention. It is the sound of a band playing somewhere behind a short
narrow street leading to who knows where. It is jazzy and just odd enough.
You follow the sound and come out into the a large arcade, with a straw
market on one side and the Uffizi Gallery on the other. You spot the band.
They are young and dressed the part. One has a beret and goatee while
another is wearing a loud scarf and a tshirt. The three others in the
band are going for the rumpled rather than the bohemian look. There is
a small audience of appreciative young travellers. They clap wildly when
one song ends. You hear the band speak English. They sound like yanks,
you think to yourself. The band loses its charm and they strike up a rather
bare sounding Sympathy for the Devil. You recognize the melody immediately.
The young audience cheers while the rest of you move on. You walk through
the arcade, past the portrait artists, past the museum and into the Piazza
della Signoria. The first thing you notice is the copy of the David in
front of the Palazzo Vecchio. At first you are confused and think you
are seeing the original and your heart sinks with the feeling of dissapointment.
The statue is spotted and stained,with large dark streaks running down
the cheek as if David were weeping over his predicament. How could they
leave him out here with all these pigeons. Surely there must be someplace
better. Cleaner at least, for the Piazza is a magnificent location. Just
as you are getting comfortable with your indignation you happen to hear
a tour guide explaining to her party that this is just a copy and that
the original is not far away in the Galleria dell'Accademia respectfully
displayed. For a moment you feel foolish but quickly you feel relief that
this is not what you thought it was.
The David will be special,afterall.