Yes, I am the only man sitting outside as this jazz quartet performs for me, myself and I. How did this happen and what does it mean about me? Maybe it means nothing. Maybe it is a clue to the malaise that besets my life.
I could still be at work, building up steam on Monday to propel a strong finish for the week. People are still at work, in meetings or programming at desks. I am not one of them. People are at home cooking supper and I am not one of them. People are playing volleyball on the beach and I'm off the blacktop of Sherman Boulevard, enjoying a patio near a woodlot of oaks. I feel as if I have stumbled upon the wrong place, although the music is cheerful and inventive and promising. Couples are closing the door and undressing for an interlude of lovemaking and a radio might be playing jazz. I am decidedly not one of them.
What have I done wrong with my life that I have wound up here? Will these jazz improvisations deliver me in the moment of my death? Can I exchange this moment of sky, sun, fresh air, breeze and music for next month's mortgage payment?
Hold the dying for now. Next month's mortgage awaits next month's pay. It is fairly certain I will arise for another day and have another opportunity to stay late at the office. It will be Tuesday and arriving home early to cook a simple meal of rice and fish might be my focus. If I fire up my laptop and log into the company's systems as soon as the dishes are cleared. I doubt this summer will see me at the volleyball courts on Pere Marquette's sand, except to watch the games. As for a romantic interlude on Tuesday, it's happened to me before and one never knows what awaits in the country of love.
This scene has no reason for existing except for the generosity of the musicians, who use this gig as a Monday night practise session. I just had the initiative to walk up and sit down. I chose to be glad I chose to walk up and sit down.