‘Round Midnight (25. Purple)

Purple, durple, doop.

I’m in a weird repressed mood tonight.

I could have been a contender!

Half the day trying out new material for the tour with Etienne and Jamar, then a quintet, adding the star-crossed lovers, Stacey and O’Leary. I say star-crossed, but they haven’t been dating for 15 years. Neither has moved on, and neither have I. They have a connection, that golden thread that connects all lovers.

Adrian!

I’m standing next to O’Leary, minding my own business, demurely dressed (for me) in cut-offs, open men’s dress shirt (maybe Zip’s – I’ve had it for ages), and lace cammy. Enough skin for the regulars, but I feel exposed next to Stacey’s Finn – that’s what she calls him. His Christian name is Finnegan, although he isn’t particularly Christian, but he’s laced with Irish Catholic blood.

I feel like a fish.

It doesn’t help that we’re playing Green Dolphin Street. I’m a green fish, and I’m sucking on my trumpet. I’m too fucking repressed. I don’t touch O’Leary. I can’t. She’s watching.

She doesn’t care.

I know. I do. Akira’s hot tonight in the front row at my feet in an LBD. Cleavage down to her ankles. My brain is lodged in her short and curlies, and I need to escape. She’s wearing less than I am. The AA’s are busy playing gigs.

The band is hot and I’m a passenger.

Everyone in the band, at least, knows it. Everyone is looking at me. Hundreds of brown eyes staring, thinking I’m an idiot. The other six eyes are thinking the same (Etienne, green, Stacey and O’Leary, blue).

My blue eyes are listless.

I need to find the purple place. I need to let go, take my metaphorical clothes off. I’d start with the dress shirt, but the air is a little cool tonight, Jimmy’s letting too many people in the back. His personal VIPs, sports stars, friends from school.

There are no empty seats, and the place is bursting at the seams, even the balcony. I’m the dog in the pony show, the pig in the dog show. The ca-ca waiting at the bottom of the carriage step. I’m the Cassandra whose prophesies nobody believes, the empty prophet, the empty pitcher, the pitcher who’s lost his fastball.

Everyone has an off night once in a while.

Not me. I’m not making mistakes. I’m just not the Goddess that everyone has learned to expect. I’m so fucking human. The break can’t come soon enough.

Akira hands me a pitcher of Bud. Sticks a hand down my shorts. Penetrates. Fuck. A whole pitcher of beer down my front.

She planned that.

What can I do? She cops a long sensuous feel before letting me off the hook. Damn! Dress shirt off. Soaked cammy and shorts, not to mention panties.

Sticky.

Back to the restroom to sponge-bathe, rinse out my clothes. Akira hands me a beige tank, a little too large. I’m still too wet to put it on, but it is time to go back out. I’ve got a black mini in my bag. (Not sure why.) Commando? Surely not on Thursday, center-stage. No. Wet whities. No bra.

Shit. Beige. Almost the same color as my skin, and soon it will be damp enough to see through. A tiny mini. That’s all anyone will see, punctuated by frequent glimpses of my cotton whities. About as much cleavage as I can muster.

I might as well be naked.

Time to let my hair down. Akira’s brief violation has also started the juices flowing downstairs. I’m wet, virtually naked, and extremely horny. We start with a new chart, Bullseye, one of mine. Lightning fast solo unison to start. We’re flying and I’m dangerously close to Etienne. He may be interested, but he might be getting more of me than expected. (He may not be able to sleep tonight.) I give him a little twerk. O’Leary gets an ass-bump.

Now that’s more like it, you Vixen.

I’m the cunning little vixen, and I’m on the prowl. Solo time, and I’m sitting on the edge of the stage, feet on Akira’s table. Yes, have a look up my skirt, you pervs, or maybe you are more interested in the flames coming out of my trumpet. I’m a dragon. I lie back and belt out a stratospheric inferno. I’m blowing a giant silver erection.

This is definitely an adult club.

Just sayin’. Flamethrower. I’ve just renamed the chart. I hand over to O’Leary. I’m soaked. This tank is hiding nothing. I sit next to Stacey on the piano bench. She makes room for me. I reprise the end of my solo at the top of the keyboard in counterpoint to O’Leary’s pyrotechnics.

Incandescent.

Fucking exhibitionist! And I don’t fucking care. Fuck me. You can fucking leave if it bothers you.

Nobody’s going near the doors. Cassie’s giving you the hard on that you came for. Back to the unison avalanche of notes.

I’m taking you out!

I’m featured in a new ballad next. How do I follow that? I give them introspective dreamy Cassie. Cassie fantasizing about sex. Not Pagan. I want pure loving sex, not experimental.

Playing purple.

Just sitting on a stool, masturbating in my brain for the crowd. Ooh, yes, that little twitch meant something. Akira would notice it. I’m a little wetter now, and dripping with sweat. Jimmy hasn’t opened the back door since the set began. He hasn’t taken his eyes off me.

Stacey gets her spot next, leading into O’Leary’s feature.

Fitting.

Just Etienne and me next, one of his new ones – a chance for me to play some trumpet on the tour. I play it for him. Close. No Miles’ wandering around the stage now. I’m giving it all for Etienne. I love this chart. We close the set with Billy Cobham’s Spectrum, giving everyone a chance to air it out.

Akira says I can’t keep the tank on for the last set. We swap clothes. We’ll she puts on my dress shirt, which is now reasonably (but tantalizingly still a little damp – she looks so hot). I’m a little smaller on top than she is, so I’m showing a little more – OK, a lot more, but not illegal. If I bend over, you could probably see my toes.

The last set is electric, starting with a cool version of ‘Round Midnight, an electric Straight No Chaser, and extended Eye of the Hurricane, and finishing with a lightning Some Skunk Fuck, with Herbie’s Chameleon and Actual Proof as encores.

I’m a wet dish rag. It’s time to go home. Akira drives, but keeps her distance. I’m out of control, and she wouldn’t want to get in the way.

‘Round Midnight (16. Fetish)

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Photo by andres chaparro from Pexels

Speak to the chest.

More Bird tonight, with a twist. The first set is the same, but Etienne Boissart is sitting in, and Pete is on drums. Yorick is on emergency pastoral duties, and Vic wasn’t available. Etienne and Jamar were in the studio today with me recording retakes on Gus’ album, basically just some rhythm section over-dubs and fixes. We finished early, so we recorded the original trio version of Breathe with an improvised piano intro and extended solos. One take was all it needed. We nailed it. 25 minutes: Too long to add to the album. We’ll save it for a later release.

Ophelia’s on the floor tonight, showing off her sister to her new man, or more likely showing off her new man to her sister. She hangs on him. Do my extreme wardrobe choices distract him enough?

I doubt it.

Etienne kicks the second set off with a blinding walking bass in the changes for Airegin, soloing after Jamar joins in. Then wham – O’Leary and I hit the head; I’m on trumpet while Stacey sits in on keys. Michael has asked me to play more trumpet in the second and third sets tonight. His guest is in the house again. O’Leary gets to try Breathe next. I’m on keys, but back on trumpet for Aftershock, and the rest of the evening.

Breathe Cassie.

Akira is here again, but on work duties, dressed in her black power suit and white silk blouse, perched at the table with Michael and the mystery man. Let them do the talking, and my musicianship answer the questions. She illuminates between the lines. She’s persuasive, adding just a little bit of sensuality and elegance into the conversation. Not me, I’m in my frazzled cut-offs with a new top that I saw in a shop window this morning, nominally a brown halter with laces down the side, the back, and between my breasts, almost to my belly button. Serious skin on four sides.

All eyes are drawn to my chest tonight.

Even those who are used to it. Do I dress this way to make up for my deficiencies in playing?

I play more loose when I am feeling free.
I surely do not care what people see.
By showing off my skin diverts their charms
from flattish chest and skinny legs and arms.

Ophelia says I look like a very tall 14-year-old, although I’m more than twice that.

Does she hate or envy me, her only sister?

The band is ultra hot tonight, and even after midnight the bouncers are turning people away. I’m doing my best Dizzy Gillespie imitation, but not the cheeks.

Not those cheeks. The crowd digs my ass.

I’m dining with Michael’s guest tomorrow, before my gig. Mitchell Tomlin, I haven’t heard of him. Akira hints that it might mean an appearance at a jazz festival on the east coast. A headline gig.

Cassandra Sommer. Who dat?

Me, myself, and I. Three in one. A trinity of divinity.

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date

Tuesday methinks.

Perhaps a little Sting shall play my heart
To sing or do another thing I might,
in thy distraction will I be alert
to bare my soul or something set alight.

On Commando night.

‘Round Midnight (7. So What?)

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Photo by Hywel Jones from Pexels

It’s Commando Tuesday again, and I’ve brought my trumpet. Must not forget myself and dance too hard or too suggestively while I’m playing. Then it really would be X-rated. It may be alright uptown and fully clothed, but flashing here needs to be an accident.

I haven’t done Eye of the Hurricane in a while. The keyboard part is simple once we get to the solos, so I can play some trumpet at the same time.

Now is not the time to go nuts. Yorick is back, but Pete Cimbalest is on drums. He’s a muthafucka, as Miles would say, and there is some Miles coming up next. After the head, an acoustic piano solo, with clavinova accents.

Pete’s tasty, in more ways than one, but he’s married. I’m referring to his playing. We are flying.

Wee doo wee do wee
Do ba dot do ba do-wee
ba di do dil a doot
ba-dot di-dot do-dot squee

sklibble di do-scarittery slooda lobby robby do … chord .. chord, chord

Yorick’s walkin’, but Pete’s like playin’ a melody with his cymbals, hot! The crowd is digging it. Gotta answer. That’s it, this is going crazy, modulating all over the place. It will be a trip to find a way back to F minor, but I get there, just in time for Yorick’s solo.

Relax, let them do the work. Warm up the horn a little. Watch it! They are pushing the tempo, and it is already fast. Play a few chords on the piano to bring Yorick home. Man that was a hot fill, Pete! My turn, start in the stratosphere and quiet down, but Pete’s not letting me. That’s not time, it’s like outer-space, even Zorick’s walking is other-worldly, and it is so heating up. This is like Miles’ Bitches Brew, it’s like bitchin’, and I can’t help but throw my body around.

Back up in the stratosphere, twerking away, giving the audience a show. Don’t face them. Don’t do it! No! This is so fucking hot. The audience explodes.

I did it. Fully exposed undergrowth. Slam a few chords down on the piano. Jimmy’s in the wings. I hope there weren’t any police in the house tonight, just military, just on fire. They are still roaring, and I can’t stop.

This devil has taken hold, and I’m on autopilot. Will this solo never end? Pete’s pushing me through another chorus and Yorick’s eye’s are firmly shut. My mini is glued to my sweating hips in the back. That’s why Pete’s driving so hard. I’m giving him a private show.

I have a recording of Herbie doing this live for a half hour, and we’re pushing that right up to the minute.

Sklee ba diddle-e do scrawba do ba doo, rickety kat kattery jiggery dooba do, ba doo

Another notey stratospheric blistering note dump to make the turn. Please let me hand it to Pete, but he pushes me for one more chorus, bringing it down to nothing. He starts his solo almost silently. The audience draws a collective breath. I sit down at the piano again, straightening my mini, drenched in sweat, my cammy leaving little to the imagination of the gawping crowd. Pete, in turn, builds his solo masterfully to a fiery climax, with Yorick and me joining in at the turn.

I give the signal, and we are back in the head, but Pete won’t let it go, Yorick follows, and Pete points to my trumpet. The crowd roars. Nobody has drunk a drop during this excursion. I repeat the head on my horn this time, and we re-enter the inferno, with me twerking, dancing, jumping around and exposing myself for all to see.

Shit. Did I just have an orgasm?

It’s hard to catch my breath. Yes, I did. In full view. The mayhem subsides. I’m spent. I’m not just soaked, I’m raining, glistening with sweat as if I’ve just run a race. The tie has fallen out of my hair.

I’m a mess.

35 minutes, not time for a break yet. Maybe I should just strip down. It’s not like they would see anything more … well … maybe my breasts … yeah my nipples are so hard they hurt … they aren’t missing anything.

Gasp.

OK, what’s up next? Miles. Yorick starts the bass riff.

I’m a fucking exhibitionist. Great! I start this one off on trumpet, too. Maybe if I just stick with Miles’ solo, I’ll be able to control myself.

I stand. The crowd roars, and I haven’t even played a note. Yes, and my skirt is sticking to my belly. Should I give them a little belly dance? I shouldn’t have, but I did, and Jimmy saw it all. I’m toast. That freed my skirt.

At least, he is smiling, and the crowd is drinking again. Time for Miles to give his exquisite eternal shrug. My favorite piece.

So What?

Planet Ezzie (13. The Turn of the Tide?)

8 of DISKS. Prudence.

It implies the skillful manipulation of physical material, with prudent thoughts and wisdom coordinating them. Apparently, it can mark the turn of the tide.

I don’t know how that helps me. My problems are on the spiritual plane. I have a ss- … suc- … one of those beings clinging onto me in spirit form and a neighbor boy who can see my only defense against said spiritual creature, and therefore see all of me, i.e. naked, at all times. He says my henna glows various colors, depending on my emotions. We still haven’t discussed which colors mean what.

I gave Tommy a hand- … no, a ki- … it will come eventually … a hug … erg, a lesson today. While his mother was answering the telephone, he told me I was a unicorn. His mother was off the phone quickly, so we were back to work before he could explain himself, and I was soon back home with my head in a vice … um, spin. What aspect of me is a unicorn? I’m not virginous – quite the opposite. Did he mean I was rare or unique?

I have learned not to question him too much. He has an ancient head on pubescent shoulders.

An interesting unmarked package came in the mail today. It was a bathing costume … suit, that is. (Sorry, I fell back into my Englishness.) It was a strange choice for me, a one-lice, uh, one-piece suit, pink with two unicorns on it.

Pink is so NOT my color. It makes my pale skin look even paler. I tried it on and it fit perfectly, almost better than some things I’ve picked for myself. I left it on for over an hour. I don’t know why. It must be time for me to venture out to the pool again, which I’ve pretty much avoided, since last time it netted me Allen. I’ve been running on a sore ankle for a while, so maybe some time in the pool would be beneficial.

Tommy flushed me out with his flashlight again. His parents were out, and the sitter had put them to bed and was fast asleep on the sofa. He’d caught me in the middle of changing, and I hoped that my crimson satin bathrobe was enough to hide the fact that I was commando – just a t-shirt and the robe. If he can see through my clothes, can he also see the clothes? I didn’t blink, kink … think to ask him.

He didn’t say anything at first. I waited. There was no point asking him something. He would say what he wanted to say when he wanted to say it. He sat down with his back to the fence, knees up against his chest. He was in his pajamas. Was 13 too old for Spiderman pj’s? There was clearly something eating at him.

I leaned over the fence, to look down at him, but he didn’t look up. Eventually, I turned and sat against the fence too, not right behind him, but enough to the side that I could see him through links of the fence. Did he notice that my lip .. straw … strap had caught in the fence when I turned, untying my robe? There wasn’t much to see, had he even looked.

Why do I obsess on him seeing me nude? He sees me nude all the time, whether I am or not! I really should avoid him.

“Dad’s interviewing for a job in California,” he said, finally.

“Is it a good job?” I asked.

“Don’t know.”

“Do you think he’ll get it?”

“Dunno.”

“Why are you worrying about it?” I asked.

“You need me here,” he replied, after a pause. “You’ll be lost.”

“I already am,” I said.

“A unicorn is magical,” he said, after another brief pause. “You need protection.”

I snorted, not at the second part – he was right about that – but the first part. “Magical? You’re kidding.” If anyone was magical, it was him.

“Look at me,” he said.

I had to blink to believe it. I was sitting on his side of the fence. “How did you do that?” I asked.

“You did it,” he explained. “You do it without even noticing. You are in- and outside of your body at the same time. Look behind you.”

I was leaning against myself, sitting on the other side of the fence. “Which is real? I asked.

“Both.” He didn’t explain. “Only one is visible,” he added, letting that set in.

“Which one?”

“Depends on who’s looking.” He fell silent again.

“Who does …” I paused. “Who does she see?”

“The one behind you. You are free.”

He stood abruptly and started to walk towards the house.

It was only when I stood to follow, that I realized that this me wasn’t dressed. “Wait!” I hissed.

Tommy didn’t look around. “Pamela is awake. I need to be inside.” He ran. I didn’t miss that he said “be” inside, rather than “go” inside. In a second he was gone. Had he vanished, or was I too wrapped up in myself?

I couldn’t follow. I didn’t know what to do. I was separated from my body, which was still sitting against the fence. I was free. There was no henna on this body, and I knew my hair was brown again. How far could I go away from my Earthly body? I walked as far as their pool and sat on the edge. They hadn’t started covering it at night yet. I could feel the cool water on my legs. Could my magical body take a swim? The answer was yes. Would that make a noise? I couldn’t know, but hearing Tommy’s parent’s car come up the drive, I leapt out of the water … and …

Did I fly? I didn’t have time to experiment. I started to run, but before I could go anywhere, I was back in my body on the other side of the fence. I didn’t move. Certainly, that body would make a sound. I sat there frozen until Pamela had left and Tommy’s parents had turned out the lights.

Now, I’m back in my bed, having shed the robe and t-shirt. It’s not the same as the freedom I felt outside. The henna, of course, reminds me of my mistress … my … my chains.