As soon as I walked through the door of the jazz club, I heard blam blam blam and staggered back, thinking I'd been shot. Was that loud and in this day and age, in this country, your risk for dying peacefully in your sleep has been reduced. I heard that somewhere and as it was such a sensational statistic, it stuck in my head. Things have to be sensational to stick in people's heads these days, to override the - whatever that is, something to do with computer screens, the effects of your phone, all that looking down and typing with your thumbs; mind control, they say and I don't know who they are, the people above, the people in charge. I don't know why I said people in charge; I don't have proof of their existence but feel they are out there, or up there, planning more.
Anyway, in this instance, I staggered backward after hearing blam blam blam. I wasn't expecting violence; I was expecting to be lulled by brushes shish-shishing over the ride cymbal, an evening of that. I was going to order a Cuba Libre and sit at one of the shadowy tables to the side; already had that expectation and my whistle was wet, I guess you'd say, when I came through that door, before the blam blam blam. Jazz, it turned out: Three chords that sounded like gunshots. That simple. Caused me to stagger, like I said, but thankfully it was jazz.
I managed to make it over to the bar, looking down at my shirt to check for bullet holes. There weren't any. Things affect peoples minds funny these days. Wouldn't have thought I'd have a close encounter like that walking into a jazz club but I did: Real close; a bit too close; and all in my head.
You're going to say, "Ohhhkay," in that sarcastic way people say it, implying I'm crazy. I hear people say ohhkay like that all the time; it has become one of those overused idioms and a little boring, if you ask me. But my story wasn't crazy. I was revved up looking down at my phone all day, touch typing with my thumbs, barely avoiding walking into people on the sidewalk and nearly getting hit by city buses several times: All that normal stuff. My point is I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms that kicked in the moment I put my phone in my pocket and walked through the door of that jazz club; the three chords triggered something, something I couldn't handle, and were like gun shots to my nervous system; and became what is known as, or used to be known as, a wake up call.
The Cuba Libre calmed me to some extent, and I sat there thinking, imagining, more accurately, the waitress coming over and asking: Would you care for a beret, to pretend you're a revolutionary? I would have said, yes, by all means, please, and would have put it on, adjusted the angle, trying to remember what Che Guevera looked like, then settled in and listened to the brushes shish the ride, sipping my Cuba Libre. See, in this instance, I would prefer if you not saying ohhkayyy, but something like, that's pathetic. I wouldn't argue.
The waitress didn't ask me that in any case. She didn't even come over to my table. I had to get my own drink from the bar. And I could only see half the stage from where I was sitting; half the bass drum and a portion of the ride; and when the tenor player stepped forward, I could just see the bell of his sax. But I had the time of my life and never once thought to look at my phone. Well maybe once. No, I'm lying, a whole bunch of times, but I didn't and it was weird and wonderful at the jazz club.