© 2015 by Antonio Bernal. 

The Mermaid at Jazz 24.-

The music floated on the wind and carried the salty scent around the streets of the city. It was nearly impossible to feel the darkness of the night due to a wonderful, radiant moon that proudly reflected on the sea.

 

The man in the hat wasnt walking towards any place in particular; he was just strolling, letting his feet carry him around the silent and suggestive alleys.

 

It had been an intense day; in fact, an intense week that now came to an end with a well-deserved break. Too many adventures, perhaps. He wasnt as young as he used to be when he started travelling around the world, and although he wasnt too old, fatigue and lonesomeness started to feel like a burden on his shoulders.

 

The streets interconnected, creating a new crossroad after every corner, where he had to decide which way to go. When he made it to the last junction, he stopped and looked at the sky.

 

"The moon looks like a huge golden cookie", he thought. And there he was, looking up, when the wind blew and carried a few musical notes to his ears. At first, it wasnt exactly music that he heard, it was just a bunch of notes that came and went with the wind. He realised the music reached him every time he turned a corner, but whenever he walked into a new street, the high buildings stopped the breeze and silenced the music notes.

 

 

He decided he would follow the music. So far, he had followed his feet, but now his ears would lead them to the source of those notes. The man in the hat didnt need anything but his instinct to reach a destination. It was like a sixth sense he had developed over the years, during the many adventures lived. He kept on walking. With each step he took, the music became clearer, and now he could even identify the instruments: a sax, a double bass, a piano, andcould that be a drum kit?

 

"Such wonderful music!

 

He came to a sudden stop at the bottom of a building, number 24 of a street unknown to him. He looked around, it was a perfect night. The sea was so calm and still that it seemed that there were two moons, in two parallel skies, both full of stars.

 

"It is an idyllic night indeed", he said out loud, and then walked into that place. He walked up the long and old stairway that welcomed him after going through the door. The stairway went up, leading to a room filled with cigarette smoke and the sounds of glasses and voices. On this upper floor, the heavy smoke persisted, but the noisiness gave way to the enveloping music that had lead him there, and that suddenly materialised in front of him.

He observed the room, walked to the bar and took his hat off. He sat down and ordered something to drink.

 

Meanwhile, a gorgeous woman who resembled Ella Fitzgerald moved towards the pianist and started singing Black Coffee, with unique sensuality and melancholy. Everybody in the room listened in silence, enchanted by her voice. When she finished, the drummer blasted into a solo that Joe Morello himself would sign off.

 

Amazing rhythm! Fantastic music! The man in the hat had made a good choice going in there; his instinct never let him down.

 

After the drum solo, the quartet and the woman carried on with the repertoire, song after song: Take Five, Birdland, All Blues, West End Blues, Blue in Green...finishing up with a stunning cover of Autumn in New York. In the darkness of the room, the voices raised in volume as the musicians took a break. The man in the hat sensed that somebody was staring at him, so he turned around and found two big dark eyes that invited him to sit by their side.

 

He had indeed made a good choice going there. He wasn't as old as he thought he was, he wasnt so tired, and its well known from time immemorial, that behind songs that attract men, there are always mermaids waiting for them to crash on the cliffs. 

 

 

Esther A P Ruinervo.-