William Snyder Day 3

Part 2

                                                 Automat. Getta tray get in line.
                                                              Chain gang.
                                                 Came after me. Won’t be murder.
                          Feed money. Open door. Take out pie. Coffee’s always hot. Let it cool.
                                                     Same lady. White uniform. Hair net.
Empty table.Window. Pretty woman. Gold hat.Green coat. Fur collar.Everybody boozed up. She’s not.
                                                          Gotta run away runaway.
                                   Love raisin pie. Sip. Jesus!!! Fuckin’ hot!!! Cool water.
                Nice threads. Loden coat. Button-down shirt. Sweater. Very cool. Very ivy. Peter Gunn.
 Clean glass. Push. Metal holder. Rubber stopper. How come? Glass can’t smash or have a VERY                                    bloody hand. Water’s pretty good. Wonder what they do to it?

                  Still there. Pretty. Looks lonely. Maybe divorced maybe dead husband. Had to get out.
                                       Know the routine put another nickel in the machine.
  Blew it like Pruitt. Old man told me how I should feel. Never told him I was gonna fly away. Come                                                           fly with me go to llama land.
                            Scared. Mom’s always scared. What he does. What he did. Scared both of us.
 No place to go. No money. Oughta be scared. Come on asshole! Where am I gonna go? What am I  gonna do?  Stay cool. Dean cool. Dean cool? Wasn't so fuckin' cool. Was cryin' screamin' at his old                                                                        man all the time.
                                                                The wayward wind.

The late-night customers of the Automat bent over their cups of coffee like a cast of characters from a film noir. Jim sat down by the window, watching the vapor of melting snow rising like sweat from the asphalt. He brushed the snow from his shoulders and dried his head with a napkin from a holder on the table.
“Looks like you’ve been walkin’ in the snow. Car trouble?” The well-dressed stranger straightened his blue Loden coat draped over the back of a chair. Jim noticed the long delicate fingers holding his fork. Stylish, Peter Gunn-thin, aquiline nose, swarthy skin, and deep-set brown eyes made him a strong candidate for a Brooks Brother model.
    “Nah. Just out partyin’.”
    “It’s a brave new world…the world of the inebriate.” The stranger arced a half circle with his arm after dishing chicken potpie from a brown casserole bowl onto a plate.
    “Well I’m not.” Jim wondered if the stranger was one of the inebriated.
    “Not what?”
    “Inebriated.” Jim shifted his gaze and cut into his raisin pie. The last thing he wanted was eye contact. He had a graduate degree in avoiding eye contact.
    “Sonny Rollins took a few nights off.”
    “Sax player.”
    “Yeah, I know who he is.” Jim reached in his pants pocket for a smoke before realizing they were in his jacket at home.
    “Sonny left the world of the inebriated. Stopped doing drugs, stopped playing gigs. He plays on a bridge in Brooklyn now so he won’t bother the neighbors. Not on nights like this though.”
    “I dig the album he made with the MJQ at The Music Inn.”
    “That’s a great album. I’m sure he’ll be back soon. Know a little jazz, heh? Music Inn’s part of my story, morning glory. So is The School of Jazz. I was a student there last summer. Sonny came up for a week. Lotta great stuff goes on up there. Name’s Nick, Nick Rose.” The stranger motioned for Jim to join him.
    “Jim Collins. I didn’t know there were any jazz schools. Can I bum one?” He eyed the pack of Luckies by the ashtray.
    “Go ahead. School of Jazz is one of the first. Opened in ’57. You know the Salon d’Automne?” Peter Gunn’s doppelganger slid his lighter across the table.
    “Salon d’Automne? No.” Jim mumbled the French; not the way he’d been taught by the Belgian priest at Annunciation.
    “A place for innovative art in Paris. Matisse made a name for himself there. One of the Fauves.”
    “Matisse? Fauves? Got me on those two.”
    “Father of modern art. Him and Picasso. Matisse did some far out stuff, kind of like Charles Mingus. Took a beating from the critics but his use of color became a big part of modern art. Until Matisse came along painters had to paint the grass green and the sky had to be blue. He and Les Fauves used color to improvise like jazz musicians do. Like Birth of the Cool, and Time Out. Matisse painted weird colors for a face he called Woman with a Hat. Colors showed the feeling you can get looking at a face or at least the feeling Matisse got looking at his wife’s face. Same with another one he called Open Window Collioure. Lot of red, lot of blue, not colors you'd see looking out a window. Painting was all about the feeling of freedom you get from looking out a window. Matisse trusted his instincts like all great artists. You look at his stuff now it doesn’t look that far out, but when he first did it nobody painted like he did. Has a lot in common with jazz musicians. We like to experiment, play with ideas. Fauvism was no big thing to Matisse he didn’t come up with the name, the critics
did. No Fauvism no modern art - like no be-bop, no modern jazz. Matisse improvised with color, Picasso improvised with form kind of like Miles Davis and Bill Evans did on Kind of Blue.

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