Foot pedal and cymbals, the beat, and the girl and the hi-hat solo.

The audience watch her deliver from the shadows.

“Hello Mr Jackson, your table is ready.”

Last minute folly, the table reserved from the back of a deadbeat bus, at a late-night jazz-hall at the end of a downtown boulevard.

The sound terrific, the saxophone, the beating in my veins, the bass lifting my pulse. And on the back wall, a kaleidoscope of jazz bar musicians – Jolson, Davis, Berry, and Baker, all framed complete.

And the audience roars like thunder.

five or six cognacs,
excessive, heavy drinking,
turmoil and decline.