>NIGHT ONE

>Having trouble convincing myself to go to bed. Three glasses of wine, a light pasta—usually a recipe for drowsiness, but tonight not quite. Brandy then, a thin wedge of soft cheese, a stolen cigarette on the cold balcony, staring obtusely at my city. Three cigarettes, four perhaps: a smoker’s reasoning overtaking me. This makes me more awake, more alert to action. I write a little, taking time to put together my best pen and unscrew the indigo ink. A letter I’ve postponed for some time, and awkward apology to another in another country. Somehow I feel my sentiments are best taken in the post.

A few lazy whiskeys later, my Tarzan arms swing from the bedroom door. I see my bed, swimming there in the soft fog of early morning decisions, and I smile. Some music, at last—this is the key. From a record player, my old record player that I haul from my cupboard’s tallest hiding place. I unplug my sleek silver stereo, rest its slim frame against the television, and plug in the gramophone. Whatever’s left in there, I think to myself, struggling to read the writing on the record.

I sway with a clarinet. I dance with pianola. An old song. A very old song. The very best kind.

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