Grief, desire, memory. When utilized properly, they can serve to provide a sort of forward motion. Even if only down the street for that last drink of the evening. From somewhere nearby can be heard the faint tinkling of a piano as it has a conversation with itself.
What do I have, what do I want? I close my eyes to make the here and now waiver. Her kiss, no, it is just the coolness of an ice cube now left alone in an empty glass.
I am not avoiding going home, but there is an album which goes perfectly with a certain hour that has yet to come.
I must wait a while longer before I can let the needle sink down into the record, following it into sleep.
I look around, a few sleepy eyed refugees from what it fast becoming yesterday. I pull my notepad pout of my pocket. It holds a white envelope which I had forgotten about in its mouth.
I am superstitious, king of the land under the ladder, it's a sign. I will write her, then I can go. I am already humming that first song. I just want to tell her that I am here, that I know. It is a lie only in that it is all more for my sake than hers.
I put it in the envelope, my missive, the doodle of a pinecone, before I can change my mind.
Although I normally don't, I write my name on the envelope's upper left hand corner. There it was, an alien thing, perching on the three lines of my address. I felt like having eggs, with a beauty mark of Tabasco on each yoke. And for a moment I am grateful to have a desire which I knew would be satisfied. The bartender was whipping the zinc with a rag, a jockey in the final stretch. I nod to the waitress now holding up the far wall.
Outside a taxi pulls up, a woman gets out. She is in a black cocktail dress, shoes in one hand, she stretches, raising both arms over her head making the late night air receipt a poem upon her flesh.
The driver leans across the front seat asking me if I needed a ride home. I nod my head no. I have a short enough walk to tomorrow.
I was first exposed to jazz while working overseas in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I would listen to the Voice of America on the radio and they had a nightly jazz program on at 10:00pm. I learned a lot about jazz listening to this program. I also had a friend who listened to real jazz by artists like Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Archie Shepp. On my way home from Africa I landed in New York and had the opportunity to see the George Adams/Don Pullen quartet at the Village Vanguard as well as Kenny Barron and Ron Carter at another club, and was in heaven.