Ray’s Sugar Shack

satchmo

He opened the door with the light spilling out onto the street, diffusing into the Day’s light.

I put a seashell to my ear and it all comes back…

Like a locomotive gaining speed, the trumpets set the cadence while the drums marched on the in-betweens.  Men in tuxes draped by silk scarfs criss-crossed the room arm in arm with women in flapper girl costumes.  They milled through the roulette and black jack tables with glasses in hand, on tables, and pitched near lips.  Smiles reflected the light in every corner of Ray’s Sugar Shack.

Nearer to the stage, people crowded the floor in the amp’ed atmosphere.  Fingers snapped, arms reached, and feet hopped, scatted, and slid.  One after the other, the sax, violins, and flute took turns leading the floor, before the trumpets and drums returned with that wickedly building beat. He did a double take.  Is that her?  No way.  He saw whom appeared to be the Hypnotic, Exotic, Brown from the convertible moving through the crowd. There!’

“Fifteen black!” yelled the house.   He rounded the nearest roulette table. Passing by a few chips, in mid-flight, thrown into the center; flicked from nervous fingers walking one stack of chips from one hand to the other, in slow motion.  The din of the crowd was thick. The hive was alive with the noise of a thousand conversations and laughter.  Despite his speed, he lost sight of her near the bar. The place felt twice as large in the reflection of the mirror behind the bar. This might take some time.

He asked the bartender for a rum and coke. Pausing for a second because it wasn’t his drink of choice, but rather his drink of image. “Change that – Lemme get a caucasian.”  The bartender looked at him quizzically with annoyance.  

“Clearly you’re not a bowler.”  He said in response.  “Sorry, I meant a white Russian.” 

He dropped two singles on the bar excitedly, with a head nod, “Tip.” Looking out into the crowd, he resumed his search in pursuit of the Hypnotic, Exotic, Brown.  He took a couple of sips of his drink.  Shit!  With disappointment, he inspected the glass for a trace of alcohol. This is weak as hell.  He’d have to raise his courage organically.  Pushing into the crowd, he made his way to his last sighting of her.

Standing near the back of the room, he scanned the crowd when he noticed a silhouette moving across the stage in darkness.  A woman approached the front of the stage, emerging from shadow, framed in feather and tresses that shown like a corona under the light.

It was her.

Seashells in Your Pockets
Ray’s Sugar Shack

By malakhai jones
(C) copyright 2016

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