Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Nurse the Hate: Dexter Gordon Record

The Dexter Gordon record crackled on the phonograph.  Jazz was always better at night.  The breathy saxophone lazily worked through the melody.  She rested her head on his chest.  She slowly ran her fingers down his abdomen.  The bass was noteworthy for what it didn’t play.  The music created a mood.  It sounded like 330am in Paris to him.  Walking back from that café in the alley near the Siene.  He used to sit in a corner with a book on the table like a prop hoping one of the graceful French girls would talk to him.  They never did though.  He would nurse small glasses of pastis (which he secretly hated) and try to appear worldly. 

There was a certain smell of the wet cobblestones when he walked home.  An urgent siren cut through the mist blocks away.  A drunk screaming at the moon, trash cans knocking over and glass breaking.  He would jam his hands in his pockets and hunch his shoulders to try and keep out the cold.  His tiny room was a few blocks away.  He was on the top floor.  There was a small window that looked out on rooftops and wires.  It may have been the worst room in Paris.  He shared a bathroom in the hall with the other renter, a quiet Asian student that he had never heard make a single noise much less speak in three months.  That was a long time ago.

She adjusted her thigh across his waist.  Her skin smelled like salt and coconut.  They had found the record that afternoon at a thrift store for $3.  It appeared almost like a miracle in a stack of records amongst normal thrift fare like ZZ Top “Eliminator” and Huey Lewis and the News “Sports”.  He looked across at the nightstand to judge if any wine was left in the cheap Chianti.  It looked doubtful.  His mouth tasted sour.  The record popped as it moved into the next song.  It was another slow moody number.  She jerked her head up off his chest in a sudden movement which usually meant she had something important to say.  Her eyes locked into his.  “Do you know what this music makes me think of?” 

He felt connected to her knowing they were of the same mind.  “Paris?” 

“NO!”  She sat up completely, her face losing all the drowsiness that had been there only moment ago.  Her eyebrows crinkled as she took a moment to think of the exact image.

“A clown.  A clown smoking a cigarette.”

She smiled slightly, pleased at the image and re situated.  She rested her head again on his chest.  The saxophone moaned on.  He thought about a clown.  Smoking a cigarette.  At night.  In Paris.        


At March 16, 2017 at 7:59:00 AM EDT , Blogger kk said...

Coincidentally, a college friend rented that very same apartment. He cooked dinner for me on a strange tiny burner and we climbed out of the single, ancient window in the space and dined on the roof. Oddly (or not?), I cannot recall the specific meal.

At March 16, 2017 at 10:04:00 AM EDT , Blogger Greg Miller said...

It's a pain in the ass to have to flip the Dexter Gordon record when you have to climb in and out of a tiny roof window I'll bet.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home