It had been almost three months since we had said goodbye. There was crying and raging and my favourite vase got smashed. The nice blue one my mother gave me just before she died. It had all been too much. The late night jam sessions fuelled by booze that brought a black clouded mass to our white washed apartment. The filthy dishes piled up in the sink, the overflowing ashtrays, the empty syringes. You had me so trapped with those addictive poetic mumbles that spurt out your mouth into mine before travelling down to settle in my heart.
Farewells are rarely forever and your sugar-laced voice still holds me tightly against the wall, your fingertips remain gently entwined around my wrists. “Just one more time” you promise me.
Saturday night comes around quickly and I make my way downtown. The last glimpses of sun highlight the sky various shades of orange. I slip through a crack in the doorway and wander down the cement smeared corridor entering the dark intensity of the club. The walls are painted smoky shades and people are already seated three feet from the red and blue illuminated stage. The tables are small and candle lit. The naked flames dance away in the reflection of my eyes. I drink down the cool, clear sparkle of my vodka tonic in silent anticipation for all the players to take their places.
It takes two shots of whisky and a flat, foreign beer before finally the trumpet player arrives. Slowly and gingerly, three men leave their drinks at the bar and make their quiet way to the platform. Each one is about forty and dressed in a bohemian array of old suede sneakers, faded black jeans and corduroy. They all have a fine shadow of stubble and their hair generously licked with grey. The trumpet player lifts himself up from his chair and stalks his way over to join the other musicians, a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Once positioned, he unwraps his instrument from her velvet shroud and runs his fingertips along her thin neck. Wetting his lips in anticipation, he tips his face towards the sky. Cautiously he begins to weave his humming breath and the crowd is suddenly charmed like cobras with taunting bursts of sharp melody. The kaleidoscopic judder hits the ceiling, fractures and scatters down greedily consumed.
The supercharged drummer taps away furiously. An exotic explosion of tribal Moroccan beats reverberates around the room, moving bodies in seats and feet in empty spaces. Every now and then during one of these solo confessions the trumpet player crouches down on one knee. Cradling his instrument like a lover in his arms he looks down at her with a glimmer of contempt while nodding his head to the strong, bird wing flutter of the bongo drums. He takes a quick sip of a pink alcoholic mess of a drink and wipes sweat from his heavy brow. His glassy eyes flash a cold razorblade gaze through the soft naked flesh in front of him. This executioner raises his brass seductress back to his lips and breathes into her, bringing the world back to life. In the planned chaos, a complex fusion of deliberate composition and improvised verset resounds through the crowded floor space embedding dynamic vibrations in every open ear. An exquisite clamour in the lust speckled, spirit soaked room.
When it is all over I am left supercharged, my body enticed, my blood churned. Then suddenly you are there surrounding me. Your sweet, electrifying touch envelops me and claws away at my senses. “Just this one more time” you whisper in my ear. We stumble out into the hazy night, sensually infused and ride in the back of the taxi seated like anxious lovers. Back in my den my blonde mistress prepares herself. She is eager and warm and ready to penetrate. The silver spoon already discarded I press the needle tip into my arm and I admire the way the light dances in her amber coloured tears. I slowly inject the yellow junk into my vein before leaning down and picking up my trumpet. As that familiar rush surges through me I place you gently against my lips and begin to play our song, one last time.
© JULIETTE GILLIES