There I sat.
In a small, smokey ol’ Jazz Club. Illuminated by glowing lights that cast a golden haze… that masked the scars and scraps of the old building and furniture that surrounded us.
Comfortably in my chair, a glass with a splash of a dark golden liquid in my hand. My notepad resting on the wooden table with a pen artfully resting on it’s side.. my social safety blanket.. Haha.
As I reached for my glass and scanned the room for something interesting.. I landed upon the sight of the Singer for the evening..
There she stood.
Preparing to take to the mic, gently flicking aside strands of stray hair that sought to cover her face – And what a tragedy that would have been! … Lifting her bowed head she now faced the room.
By this time I was leaning so far forward I had almost fallen off my chair. The cool, calm composure I had done well to stitch together quickly began to unravel at seams. But I collected myself. Artfully re-wrapping my scarf about my neck.
She greeted the crowd now. Warmly. Coyly. And introduced herself with a soft joke that was greeted by a harder laugh from me than I’d like to admit.
I was transfixed.
On the count of three..
The band began to play. Setting the tone with the slick and nimble dancing of the keys on the piano… woven together with gentle drumming, along with soft – yet sharp – symbol … given power by a bass guitar that brought the music to the glass in my hand with a tap of my finger.. and to the floor with a tap of my foot.. all as I followed the baseline..
Then out of nowhere.
She began to sing. With an attitude and with sheer power that said, ever so clearly – “I am here!”
Conversations around me were brought to a screaming halt. As she claimed the space around us for her taking.
No need to listen to the words to understand this one. It was a clear declaration of independence. A celebration of her femininity. She swayed from side, without inhibition and gestured to the crowd as she pleased.
Like a bird in flight she glided along with the gusts of the rhythm and blues emanating from the band down below.. on ground zero. The airwaves at her mercy.
I was transfixed.
I now began to sit up a little straighter. Lifting up my head. Giraffe like. Hoping to catch her eye.
My gaze scanned her figure for all that it could see. My gaze pierced right through her.. in an attempt to see what it could not find.
I wanted her. For myself.
These songs she now sang.. I felt.. ought to be..
Directed at me.
I wanted to cage this bird. To own and control where she flew and how she cooed. To be the subject of her existence. To have her be the subject at the will of my narcissism.
So I sipped my rum.
And then again I sipped my rum.
Staring. Thinking. Wishing. Piercing with my Gaze.
Until finally… I caught her eye.. she sang.. Our eyes connected. She offered me a smile as if to say.. “Yes.. I see you”
I raised my rum. And nodded my head.
And as she belted her ballad.. I smiled to myself as I prepared her cage in silence.
Transfixed on her movement.
All the while continuing to pierce her, with my gaze upon her.