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It’s a still night, TV off, crickets, grandkids out of my hair, dog’s passed out. The third bourbon kicks in. I work the mood for memories… all the false starts… false mates… steamy years of cultivated urbanity… that small jazz club on 4th Street…
packed with Saturday-nighters, where I’m grooving and flirting, until the jukebox dies and the musicians step up to the platform, lead off with Lazy Bird; as the audience goes silent, sweating and riveted to each note; as the gleam of the saxophone fills the air with a pulsing mystery, and my love of jazz and crowded rooms expands, holds me there for that one-hour set; as the night waits outside to fold me back into the dark wings of the city.
I sit a while. The ice melts in my glass. I study the flea-bitten arm of the recliner, rise and pick a paperback from the pile on the floor, coyotes howling in the canyon near the small desert town I have come to.
I mark my place
with a dollar bill