The International Writers Magazine: Too Cool for Cats
Prelude To Everything
A new trash can had been placed against the brick wall and an eager stray tabby leaped on top of it to claim the new highest view in the noir-like alley. It was just after two in the morning and the Jazz Club had just closed for the night as the trumpet player left out the back door tipping his hat towards his manager. He took his trumpet out and sat the case on the floor and leaned the top edge of it against the middle of one of the lighter shade bricks on the wall that spread sporadically amongst the majority of the darker ones. He checked his Cyma watch and glanced towards the end of the alley where the friendly tabby wagged her tail as if in anticipation of what he would play.
Miles Davis’ “Concierto De Aranjuez” quickly permeated the ambiance of the long alley; the trumpet player closed his eyes as he entered his musical trance. A serene shadow key stroked its light to dark patterns amidst a lonely ember light that scattered across the tabby’s stripes as she meowed at the presence of the new visitor. He nodded at the cat, and after a few steps quickly cringed his brows puzzled as to why he’d just done so. If he hadn’t enjoyed the music so much he would’ve questioned the reason he agreed to meet one of his former flames in a place like this. But this wasn’t just any former flame; it was the one who got away, Stella was her name, the reason to why he drank several months of his life away. “How cliché,” he thought.
The trumpet player opened his eyes to catch a glimpse of him walking towards his direction. There was a captivating smoothness to his walk; it was effortless and calm, upright and confident. It contained an experience that only years of careful analysis into one’s darkest desires had. It was the type of walk that insecure men criticized and later mimicked. One foot naturally laid itself in front of the other as if he just slow danced his way through life.
He was a handsome man but long relationships had eluded him for much of his life. The intimacy he received was always in powerful spurts of months and quickly faded, leaving him with a deeper understanding of solitude each time. He was only in his late twenties and realized he still knew close to nothing about real love. He wasn’t naïve; he just knew there was plenty more to learn. So here he was, meeting up with Stella just a week after he ran into her in this Jazz Club. The passionate night they had then wasn’t enough to devour the anticipation he had for meeting up with her again. They hadn’t seen each other for ten months, and within just one night, it seemed as if that didn’t matter. Amidst their new reconnection, they had made plans to meet up here as she was to leave her current love interest and had promised to flee with him. The possibility of her giving herself to him completely loomed large in his own mind, and he allowed himself to replay the times they had together, specifically their first kiss. A year ago they had been in a boardwalk on Brighton beach holding hands like young lovers tend to. Even then he believed he knew enough about courting beautiful women as to know when they were ready to be kissed.
He remembered they stopped at the end of the boardwalk and decided to stare off into the sea before making their way back. Her lips were so pouty they looked as if she was always awaiting a kiss. It wasn’t that she was gorgeous; it was that she believed the universe owed her something for it. After gaining enough confidence to make his move, his forefinger carefully guided her chin towards him and she smiled before forfeiting the splendor of her lips. They each orchestrated their heads slightly to the left as the protruding gentle flesh of her upper lip embraced his bottom one. Her warm breath undressed his lips and revealed a vulnerability that he didn’t know existed before. The softness of her lips in bloom and her nectar sweet taste hypnotized him; he could not believe such combination could ever exist in one smooth motion. His sense of wonder was toppled by her epidermal delicacy. The gentle sounds the kisses made clasped heavily into his mind – it reminded him of raindrops falling into Koi ponds amidst many distant lands and caramel flower petals falling in unison atop one another. Alas, there was poetry in her lips. She rested the palm of one of her hands on his shoulder, and ran the other across the back of his neck claiming what had always been hers. This caused a rush to flow through his entire body as he felt himself surrender to such female enchantment.
The sensations he felt couldn’t travel fast enough to his brain as he was overrun with another troubling one. He wished he was a better kisser. He wasn’t any amateur by any means, and all the women he’d been with always complimented him on it, but at that very moment, he wished he was perfect. He opened one of his eyes slightly because he wanted a memory of how her face would look like during that moment. He hated that he was thinking so much of all this instead of simply enjoying the kiss. Each of them would pull away ever so slightly as if they were taking turns showcasing their skills. Finally she backed away and carefully bit down on her own lip as she turned and started to walk away reaching out behind her grabbing his hand. “Lips are the portals to our intimacy” he thought as he sped up to follow her. Maybe she was making a poet out of him, but at that time, the kiss, the moment, was everything.
The trumpet player had finished his song and pulled out an envelope with the young man’s name on it. He bit the letter down with his lips as he put the trumpet away. The young man recognized Stella’s unique nick name she’d given him on the letter as the trumpet player handed it to him. Right there he knew she wasn’t going to show. He knew that he felt a strong affection for her, yet dared not call it love, for he believed anything regarding love and him, was doomed to fail. But it hurt him to know that she would never really make him happy. Maybe he could fool himself into finding his own joy by being with her, but he knew that her nature was to always stray. She had paid the trumpet player to deliver the letter to him. The song, he did for free. He figured it was his duty as an artist to do so while having to be the bearer of bad news.
He tapped the young man’s shoulder as he walked by and said, “Happens to all of us kid, better that it happened to you while you’re still young. Never trust a woman who’s way too aware of her own beauty.” Switching the trumpet case to his other hand, he petted the tabby as he walked by saying, “Good night doll face,” as she meowed back to him ever so pleased. She still had the highest view in the alley.
© James Novoa Jan 2010
jymsnanito at gmail.com