Something Jazzy

by Walter Bjorkman

At the top of the subway stairs a line took him down into the depths of the tunnel, musky grays with vile creatures darting out of corners. It proceeded out into a sky of late Autumn sun desperately clinging to life in a shroud of winter air. It veered up five flights to a sweltering summer night on the roof, Sande in his arms, the barely moving air holding back suffocation from rotting streets below. It climbed a ladder to the stars where he rode a moonbeam to other galaxies. On the other side of the universe it took him to a tropical beach with piñas and niñas waiting for his delight. It boarded a catamaran sailing him back to the city, now in a Cuban-Chinese on eighth avenue, ropa vieja on his chin as fat ladies danced in the laundromat next door. It boarded a bus that clanged its way up to a bucolic meadow where people laughed, threw frisbees and fucked out of sight of police. A pelican picked up the line, drawing lazy patterns in the now gloriously blue sky, swooping him back to the station.

“Hey, pal — you gonna buy a token or just stand there like a looney from Bellevue?”

He dropped out of the token line and threw a twenty into the saxophone case of the player that layed down the solo line. Took off his coat and tie, dumped them in the trash, headed to Central Park to look for a moonbeam.