Susanne Langlois's continuing Novella Blog:
"Dial 'L' for Lounge".
Chapter 8 -- No Ax, No Charts ... No Clue--
No Ax! No charts! Ric had neglected to mention we were the blue plate special on this evening's menu.
Harleigh and I, the twins -- Slack-jawed and Dumbfounded, froze while the crowd whistled and stomped. Mr. Lounge, who had been waiting just behind the 'teaser' curtains wetting his reed, stepped into the spotlight.
Gone were the trench coat and fedora, replaced by a short sleeved Guayabera ( Cuban wedding shirt ) and white linen pants. The felt trilby he parked with Sharon at the coat check had been replaced with a straw pork pie hat with a bright blue band. A vintage Selmer alto saxophone, silver with a gold bell, rested in a stand nearby.
The jewel box stage at the Modern Lounge was barely big enough for three musicians and their instruments. There was tall, thin Ric and his saxophone, a primo three piece kit of vintage 'Sonor drums' for Harleigh and a fine old German gamba style doghouse ( in walnut ) for me. Out in front was an upholstered podium with the double R which I assumed stood for 'Retro Rockets'.
The rowdy crowd at Modern Lounge wasn't having any no. Harleigh was game ... after all he is a drummer.
I could only hope that Mr. L was going to call a set of standards ( war horses we could fake without charts ). Or ... that the crowd was already drunk enough and all they really wanted to do was dance.
Squeezing the giant wedge of key lime, followed by a quick twizzle, I tossed back my perfect double 'Sapphire and Tonic'. The Gin was smooth ... even smoother than I remembered. The cocktail was strong but not 'burnt'. The tonic, handmade small batch, lots of fizz, one of those up market designer brands that cost nearly as much per ounce as the booze.
Ginger materialized at my elbow and replaced my drink. What a great waitress, I thought. Later I'd like to throw her a really big tip. I downed that one too and jumped the footlights.
I'm pretty sure I remember what I was wearing when I left my flat this morning ... and it wasn't white linen pants ... must be the gin.
Ric called his first tune.... "Sapphire & Tonic (with Extra Lime)" in A minor.