The night was young. I had eaten a light dinner and felt like walking. I nodded to the clerk as I passed through the lobby and went out to the busy street. Men and women, some in pairs, walked along sprightly. Cars were numerous, but fairly quiet. The marquee on the next block blazed a gold-lettered “Revival Of Cyrano De Bergerac.” Further down another announced, In sharp bright blue, “The Man Of The Hour—A Heroic drama. A few blocks further along I passed the crowded wide steps of the Verdi Opera House. Tonight continued the long run of the popular “Profits Of Love.”
Being September, it was still pleasantly warm, so I took a right and headed out to Toscanini Park. I remembered that there was an outdoor concert there that night, which should have already started. A slight breeze pushed at my back, as if urging me on, and the streetlights winked through the swaying tree branches above me as I passed the Hall of Science Building with its magnificent statues of Apollo, Aristotle, Newman, Marie Curie, and a few other science heroes. Above them, some fifteen feet tall compared to their ten foot height average, stood the famous and splendid statue Ayn Rand. I stopped and looked up at all the great, proud forms, their bodies lit in pale green, their heads in soft golden spotlights, happy faces looking like full moons in the dark sky. Other people had stopped and were looking up, too, adoring, gathering fuel, feeling exalted and proud.
At the next corner I heard it, a soaring melody of yearning and triumph blended together, passing through and beyond pain and suffering which my every definite step made louder and more powerful. And I noticed that others in front of me were now, as I was, walking at a measured pace, in time with the steady rhythm. We had become a procession of love for existence, for the great city around us for ourselves, and the conductor was leading us, as well as the orchestra. It was as if the composer himself was drawing us on to his ecstatic home of heroes. Even the cars had slowed down, windows open, drivers listening, courteous and patient, no one in a hurry to get anywhere—for “where” was here.
When the music came to its absolute, “I am right” end, with exuberant applause and extra loud bravos echoing its man-loving soul, I stood there, drinking it all in for a moment, then I turned right at the next corner and strolled back to my hotel. As I entered the lobby the clerk looked up and exclaimed, “Whatever it was, it must have been good!” I softly replied at a mental distance, very softly, “Every step of it.” Then the elevator whisked me up and away.