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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

So What




I wouldn't put my finger in that change return slot if there was fifty bucks in it. The greasy handset, battered by a numberless army of salesmen and lovers, hangs like a murderer on a gibbet over the thing. Let the bums get it. She said she'd come. I'm not calling her any more.

I loved the feeling of the neon glowing on the side of my face in there. Don't tell me it's just light. I feel it like the sun. It's the only sun I'll ever acknowledge. The one in the morning rises alone. Mine rises when the manager flips the switch. It never sets on me, that sun.

Man, that scirocco of sweat and booze and cigs and breath like a welder's tank. I feel like I'm born again, from a mummy's womb. Straight on in, just like the music.

The stage is exactly three inches and a galaxy away from the dance floor. Dance? Please. Stumble around with a woman that ain't your wife floor, I think. I like the old dude that looks like Batman's butler or a fruity sort of baron or something that conducts or sways or whatever it is he's doing. He's possessed with it, same as me. He's usually possessed of plenty of cake, a desire to buy a man a drink, and an aversion to arithmetic, too. The waitresses adore that.

The curtain is dirty from wiping your hands on it. Me included. It's dirty like life is. Up high, it's dirty with cobwebs and dust and corruption because you can't reach up there. Down low it's dirty with the grubby hands of all of us trying to wipe off the sweat and grease of what you're doing.

I listen for the cornshucks of the brushes on the snare. He hits it, but I don't care about that. In between -- the faint circular sketching he does without thinking -- that's what I'm after. He's lathering the dry face of the song so I can shave it with the sharp edge of the brass. The bass rumbles like thunder in the distance.

I can taste metal and blood and booze in my mouth. Tastes like life.

5 comments:

Gerard said...

Yeah.

westsoundmodern said...

Extraordinary.

Miles and Coltrane aren't bad either.

Deborah said...

Did you ever hear the swish of silk taffeta brushing against a starched nylon-net cancan? It doesn't sound like steel brushes, but it makes you think of steel brushes, and that's close enough. Of course, girls today don't wear taffeta, much less cancans, and all these young men who don't know what they're missing.

monkeyfan said...

I did not know that jazz could be written so as to be read.

Retriever said...

Better than jazz.