Jazz and Tragedy


It was a summer night in the city. I should have gone home, but the mood was just too much. I caught the fever. Something about the hymns from the stage, and the juice in my glass making love like the wind and sea. Into the night sky I was launched, or somewhere dark.
I didn’t even realize my eyes were closed until I heard the voice. As I landed back on earth with a thud, I could barely make out the sentence. “Pardon me sir?” I hoped he noted the harshness in my tone. “I have dreams, dreams far bigger than this place, bigger than your imagination. Elaborate designs and detailed blueprints all tucked away in my head,” he said. I wondered if he had to fold them to fit in there. He went on strumming along a tune of opening a jazz club so bright Ray Charles could see.
To spare you the details, (and because for some reason I cannot educe them) he bore his way into my attentiveness. He like a very skilful knit, with fastidious word choice, weaved his plans of grandeur. “Rest assured”, he said, “This will happen in the next few weeks”, as I ignored the calls from my bed promising me the same rest.
I believed him. There was this passion in his tone, the kind you don’t feel much from others anymore. The conviction was contagious. Not only did I see the lust of the vision but I caught it. More fever.
He left his card and the bill for his drink.
For months I fought myself bravely, but the idea was cancerous. I needed to call him. No answer. Finally someone picked up. I let her know my reason for calling barely concealing the excitement in my voice. I wanted to know how his beautiful vision had materialized. The person on the other line replied simply, as if some automated routine “Oh that idea? He never went through with it”.
I went through a buffet of emotion that left me bloated with confusion. I just couldn’t make sense of what it could mean to believe so strongly in something and not put action into it. Two thoughts ruminated with me, I bought his drink for nothing, and pity. This was absolutely tragic. This stranger I can now barely recall. Actually, come to think of it, maybe it was you.

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