Saturday night. Another page in the chapbook. Paint, ink, paper, and the jazz of Oliver Nelson. ‘Midnight Blue’ from ‘More Blues And The Abstract Truth’
The sweet saxophone riff coming from the left-hand speaker and the drum and cymbals from the right make me feel like I have myself together. Tonight, I am compact and self-contained. I have my world and my preferences. Horn heavy jazz. Big band swing. Memories of stockings and heels. You, in your chesterfield coat, standing in the cold on the sidewalk outside Blues Alley inhaling a cigarette so fast I could hear the paper burn. You stood there in the cold, your face aglow from the music, the drinks, and the long night to come. Smoking like a dragon, smoke rolling from your mouth and nose and steam rising from your body through your unbuttoned coat. Radiant heat leaving wisps of steam as we both walked from the oven hot showroom to the car.
A cold car ride through the sleeping city and then you opened the car door for me in the driveway of your house. I remember the gleam in your eye and the way your tongue brushed your lips when you closed the living room door on the outside world. The smell of gin on your breath and smoke in your hair gave way, as your clothes fell, to the scent of sweet fresh sweat and the dark musk of excitement. We crumpled to the floor, in slow motion, with our arms tangled around each other grabbing and clawing and grasping from one naked place to another. In that tumble, one minute awkward and making us laugh and the next tying us together, I felt alive and real and connected.
We looked away from the other’s eyes. The connection wavered from sumptuous to frightening. An odd place in our lives together, we were all in, and yet still pretending we could easily walk away. So afraid to fall, but we had already fallen.
Then, the chilly practicality of waking up just before dawn laying on the floor with your head on my belly. You were naked, long limbed, and beautiful. I still wore heels and stockings. Tenderly you unbuckled my shoes and slipped them off. You helped me up from the floor, took my hand, and walked me down the hall. I sat on the edge of your bed, unfastened my garters, rolled down my stockings, and returned to the mundane world.
I tell myself my posts are rumble-tumble and nonsense. Not the prose of a popular blog. But I don't care. This little backwater is where I indulge myself with awful first drafts and the abstract hope that maybe I reach you. I know the rules, I know the game...... but I howl anyway.