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Jazz Night This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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I had to get out. I had to escape the emotional anguish, the stress, the complications of life...it was a Saturday night and the rain was just pouring. Just the way I liked it.

"Ah, 21st street, please." I told the man in the cab. I stepped into the car, stilettos clicking softly on the floor of the vehicle. As I sat, I smoothed my deep purple dress. I caught a chance to peer into the front mirror, seeing my curls were still in tact.
We drove along for some time, my heart beating in time with the windshield wiper. I lowered the window just enough to wriggle my fingers out of the car and feel the blessing that was the rain.

"Here you are, miss. 21st street. Going to meet someone special?" the man's kind eyes seemed to smile at me. I looked at him for a moment, and then said, "Why yes. Yes I am. I've got a date with a minty drink and a jazz ensemble. And maybe a curly haired boy who just wants to hold my hand.” The cab driver smiled. Usually, the riders just wanted in and out. No conversation with a lowly driver. I needed a break; he deserved one too. I tossed him a little more money than I should have, and walked slowly in the rain to the door of the club.

It was a nice place, the little jazz joint. Deep blue walls, classy furnishings. There was a small couch in the back, and a booth along the side wall. The lights were dim, but it wasn't dark. I found a glassy-topped table and sat down. The distinct sound of a trumpet snaked its way over to me, and wrapped itself around me like a shroud. “Hmmm.” I closed my eyes and hummed along to Blue in Green, the indescribably beautiful Miles Davis tune.

“Good evening, miss. May I get you something to drink?” a tall, slender boy, probably of 17, asked me politely. “Yes please. Virgin mint mojito. Tall. With an extra mint leaf, if you could.” The boy looked at me for a second, and then said, “Right away, miss.” He strode back to the kitchen. I turned my attention to the jazz band, who was now playing Flamenco Sketches, another work of Miles Davis.

“Yes, I’m looking for- oh. There she is, thank you.” There he was, my curly haired friend. He grinned as he walked to my little table and sat down. “Hello, there. You look ravishing.” I blushed and couldn’t help the little smile that escaped me. The waiter returned, carefully setting the tall beverage down on a treble-clef shaped coaster.

“And would you like anything, sir?” he asked.

“Diet cola.”

“Coming right up.” The waiter left again. I looked about the club, admiring the paintings of people like John Coltrane and Duke Ellington. The trumpet player had closed his eyes, no longer reading the sheets of music before him. He seemed to be in a world of bliss, just him, his trumpet, and the band.

“Care for a dance?” I looked at the boy sitting across from me. We both stood. He took my hand, and we walked leisurely to the dance floor. Couples were dancing slowly to the music, looking calm and relaxed. As I saw the waiter return to our table with the diet cola, my friend glanced down and saw my black stilettos. I looked up and smiled at him. I let my head sink to his shoulder, and we danced to the alto sax and the piano. My eyes closed, and the pressures of the day dissolved...I decided to stay on the floor for one more song, which happened to be What a Wonderful World.

When my feet ached from moving so very much in those torturous shoes, I slipped my hand into my boy’s and we headed back to the table. I sipped my drink, while the boy sitting on the other side of the table gazed into my eyes.

“You ever wonder what life would be without music?” he asked me, with interest. I chuckled and sighed a deep sigh. “Ah...life without music. Life without music isn’t much of a life to me.” Well, I guess that upright bass player heard me, because he looked up at me and grinned, just nodding his head. My date pulled up his sleeve, but there was no watch. “There’s just no use with watches and clocks on a night like this. Late Saturday night, cooling rain, and a club like this...it all washes away any troubles. You don’t need to know the time...there’s no time here.” ‘Round Midnight started to play, and we both smiled. A perfect end to a not-so-perfect day. It’s all going to be alright.





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