A slightly, spellbound, encounter.

I miss the one thing, about the United States.  Is occasionally, running into someone, that leaves you, a bit spellbound. I remember the first time, it happened. I went to  the House of Blues New Orleans. I was in the bar. I had my hair done. I was wearing a cute black dress. The dress  was a vintage night-gown. My hair was in a kind of sixties hair do. It was loose big curls. I had it was secured with a clip made of feathers that looked like a butterfly. My eye make-up had been executed with a lot care. I was heavy-lidded. I wore lip stick, high heels, and cute underwear. Not for show, but for confidence. I wore platform shoes that were sexy. They were sandals made of lavender glitter. I wore thigh high stockings and my dress was really short. Over the dress, I wore a lavender cashmere sweater. It was fall. I could catch a draft. I felt nippy. But, I was drinking White Russians without ice.

I had gone there to pick up these tickets. A guy told me, he would give me, two. But, it was not a date. I get to the venue with my girl. She was also dressed in a lace blue top that was really lingerie it was, light blue. She had on no sweater. Her skirt was made of Black Chinese silk brocade. She wore a pair of high-heeled sandals, that were made of silk brocade.

We still lived in the dorms. I had to go over to her dorm, to get ready. We did facials. We washed and moisturized. We did our make up with skill. And, we curled each others hair. While we did that, we generally listened to music  and smoked. That year, it was Biggie, Tupac, maybe a bit of Al Green, for that touch of romance. We smelled to us like a night of sophistication. I that time, wore only Poison, or Opium, I was a dark girl, in spirit. My girlfriend was into a floaty, flowery, scent.  We dressed with great care, starting to get ready, as soon as classes were out.We drank a bit at the, dorm. So by the time, we tumbled in to the taxi. We were giggly, silly, and nerved up.

I was nervous about this encounter. Men, who tell  you, that you are not, about to go on a date. Generally, lie. I had to go because I had to go to a Jazz concert for my class Jazz, in American culture. I had to do my homework, and I was on limited funds from my family.  So this creepy guy, was helping me with, my education. A , very, weird position. I did not want to fail, a class that allowed you, to go out, every weekend. So, short on funds and trying to get an A. I had to seek this guy out. He left the ticket at will call under my name, something that only happened, once before to me. I was nervous. I was nineteen. Newly single, from a nasty break up, with a guy. I had moved to that city, for him.

He had fucked up, then. Closing my heart, forever.  he got fat, and joined a frat. A fat man frat, at that. He is now married, to a nice woman. She is a bit older than him. They have a son. They go to church, twice a week. He talks to and about his pastor a lot. He still harbors something about me. He emails me randomly, small talk, mostly. Although, my 18-year-old heart broke completely, when we broke up.

I was good. I never searched out or called him. We met at a party, once. I was, twenty. I was a touch plastered. He escorted me to his apartment. We had the most mundane sex, ever. I shamefully collected, myself.  I promptly left at dawn, alone via a cab.

So, my friend, and I were a bit, nervous. We had dressed up, like girls going out. And, had landed in a nightclub full of men, of forty and up. Then the guy with the ticket showed up.  He bought us drinks, the house of blue glowed with blue neon. It was dark. You had to stand very close to talk to people just to see. He then invited us to go to the back to the VIP.

Thank Christ, it was a jazz concert. It, was a Smooth Jazz, concert. I hate Smooth Jazz. My father really killed that, for me. He blew out the speakers of my Nissan Pulsar blasting Najee, of all things. I was pissed. I had to go to Mobile One, and cry a lot to get my car’s system. I forgot what I spent, from my long hours, at the Gap. But, let’s just say a small cluster of hard-won bills. So, I was slightly resentful of Najee, for this. Back stage the guy was chuffed. Here he was with two, overly sophisticated, 19-year-old girls. We had no idea what concert we were about to see. Then the guy was introduced, by a sheer force of cosmic irony it was Najee. He was polite and old. We looked at each other and helped ourselves to more free drink. While Najee interrogated me about my jazz class. Which was just listening to Jazz. Thinking about American Culture, then writing about it. He then asked me, if I was a fan of his music?

I blushed. My face felt hot, the cashmere had gone itchy. I did not know what to say. So, I admitted that was in fact a fan of jazz. I listened to it all the time. I liked Cassandra Wilson, Joshua Redman, Grover Washington Jr. and Incognito.

Then, he look at me and asked me “What about me?”

“Oh, Mr. Najee, My father, is a huge fan of, yours. So, big. He listens, to you, all the time.” I said rather wide-eyed, and innocently.

This statements, brought guffaws of laughter, from two young dudes, sitting on a couch. The lanky dude was a bit twitchy, had on glasses, and a had very deep voice. The guy next to him was shorter. He was wearing a printed silk shirt. He had a very boyish face. The face of a very clever boy. But, he was definitely, of age to be in the nightclub.They were similar in color. A kind of light brown. So my girl and I, inspected the young dudes. They were the same age as, us.

Najee was god knows how old. and the guy with the tickets seemed ancient to me at the time.  So, we asked them, why were they there? They piped up that they were in fact Jazz musicians. I was slightly shocked. I remember being really impressed.  A touch, spellbound, wondering.  If, I was going to, see that guy, again?  And, that guy gave his number to my girl.

cassandra wilson

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