From Where I Sit: The Christmas Party

I am laid-back, six bottom tall, New Mexico born, adequately able-bodied spoken, absolutely spiritual, a dark-skinned atramentous man active blocks from the bank in the cher bank boondocks of Santa Monica, California. I’m affiliated to a tall, blonde, energetic, and hard-driving, New York-born Actress/Writer /Singer.

I’ve included these facts in my addition so that you’d get a bigger account of the appearance from area I sit.

When you abound up as allotment of socially aware, urbanely acquainted family, you accept no best but to blot a fair bulk of your time busybody watching the apple as you move through it.

The accurate accident I’d like to allotment with you began at 6 pm, according to the advice accustomed to me by wife, who absurdly appear to me the account that we would be traveling to a Christmas Affair befuddled by a well-connected musician, teacher, and accompanist she had afresh befriended.

My wife… a Professional adjudicator of Character was afflicted by the woman throwing the affair afterwards affair her and alert to her sing ancient before.

“She’s about a Los Angeles Institution, we accept to go!” said insisted, alive abounding able-bodied that I was rarely aflame about gallivanting to places area I was not alone a drifter but absolutely acceptable the alone atramentous being in the room.

“That would be strange, because our host was not alone a singer, but a teacher, and apprentice of Jazz,” she assured me. “We’re going… It’s absolutely no big deal… be accessible to go by 7 o’clock sharp!”

My wife came home from plan just afterwards 6:00 pm.

I was accessible to go… I was calmly dressed in a hardly channelled dressed shirt, and atramentous pants, and atramentous sneakers.

She accustomed and bound vanished into the bedchamber closing the aperture abaft her.

After what feels to be hours, my wife re-emerged… She looked perfect! Her hair, her makeup, her smile, her essence… perfection! She was decked in a adapted atramentous Donna Karan dress, well-matched jewelry, and a analogous wrap, (that I didn’t even apperceive she owned).

We accustomed at the affair anon afore 9 pm.

The anniversary were in abounding swing. A few humans agitated out of the abode assimilate the accomplish and foreground backyard of this small, but a apple-pie postcard of a house.

We greeted… We smiled… We entered.

Huddled anon central was a accumulating of actual absorbing writers, actors, singers, musicians, and a scattering of old fogies.

While I stood accurately in place, my wife smiled and greeted everyone, amphibian carefully through the allowance with the aplomb of Grace Kelly. Without acquainted intent, I bent myself demography a calculation of the amount of “African American,” affair goers… Three, I counted. Three exactly.

Seated abutting to the aperture was a accumulation of older, abundantly ample men; who absolutely acutely accept accepted anniversary added for absolutely some time. Crumpled, Rumpled, and adequate these men sit amidst by affected images, of pets, grand, and great-grandchildren, and atramentous and white reminders of the activity that existed somewhere, and ancient afore they’d been captured by the accessible comforts of life.

A colorful, and cornball accumulating of big-ticket overstuffed chairs, acceptable wallpaper, attenuate autographed photos, music programs, archetypal portraits, blimp animals, and a abundance of smartbooks, magazines, and albums.

Not absent to fit in I accomplish a sad attack to hand-press my shirt.

We’re spotted and acquiescently greeted by the owner, hostess of the party.

She is a baby dream. A missionary of music. She’s LA’s absolute saint of the scat… a abounding aigrette of salt-n-pepper accept breadth hair, falling bound on the amateur of a well-preserved woman in her 60′s, dressed in a academic white pantsuit, with a analogous cardigan sweater and top heels as she floats calmly beyond the active room.

While still demography in the room, my wife & her hostess exchanged alternate flatterings, and afresh I’m introduced.

“This is my husband. He’s a Writer and Artist… “

“Really, that’s great! Accomplish yourself at home,” replied this lovely, apple-pie woman, who befuddled my hand, smiled politely, and as if accustomed an offstage cue, bound aerated my wife away.

I am apparently, was on my own.

I move carefully about the active allowance if a rather large, banausic man sitting in a worn, ass-brown colored, lazy-boy chair, appropriate I acquisition a abode to sit because “like parking downtown… accessible amplitude was harder to find. Accomplish them accompany the food, and ball to you.”

This man had allegedly been sitting in the aforementioned abode aback the war and wasn’t about to move unless, and until attributes fabricated a demand.

I stop, locate an humble bench in the bend of the room, and confused my way beyond to it. Upon extensive my destination, and afore I could sit… she (my wife), grabs me by the arm, and pushes me against the affection of the party… The Kitchen.

The acid abundance of the foreground allowance opens into a food-filled accumulate of beastly energy. There is aliment everywhere. Bite plates, and bite cakes. Wine, Ripple, and Rum ball on the aforementioned table as kool-aid, and cola.

Chips, Chocolates, and craven dot every corner, still abrogation just abundant allowance for soups, sauces, and sundries.

Keeping clip with all of it is our hostess. She holds court, answers questions, and acme off capacity with the affluence of Ellington, and the chic of Cole.

There were, of course, added introductions to be made… “This is Mr. so-and-so, he’s a Bassist… This is Carolyn whats-her-face, she’s toured with Missy Struggs.”

She flies through an array of names, places, and careers that she knows I’m never traveling to remember, and knows that I apperceive she’s never traveling to remember.

“Are you hungry? Go get something to eat… go grab yourself plate.”

She is in her element. This is the affectionate of affair she was built-in to do.

While abstention plates, feet, tortilla chips, and the casual over dank drinker, I acquisition the best atom in the absolute house… The Music Room.

Suddenly I feel affected with a accustomed faculty of amore and acceptance. I ankle my way appear the access of the room, area “My People”, these music-infused, tune-soaked, Jazz-loving artisans improvised smatterings of applesauce standards no one but those in the apperceive would recognize. Yes, these are, My People! This affair is traveling to be alright.

I achieve in to adore the moment if in my ear, a deep, baritone articulation rumbles in…

“Hey Brotha’, you wish to’ apprehend some poetry?”

I about-face to acquisition myself contiguous with… Atramentous Guy #2.


“I address poetry. Do you wish to apprehend some?”

(Exhaustive Pause)

“Sure, why not.”

We acquisition two stools abreast the music room, and just shy of the kitchen madness. He bound explains to me that he alone address balladry if aggressive by a woman and that every chat of it is true. I sit nonplussed, cat-and-mouse to be engaged. He begins…

Switching amid his accurately added and consistently alternating bites of baby crackers, and cake; he runs through a account of what turns out to be appealing well-written prose.

When he finishes, he stares at me as if cat-and-mouse for applause, if I realize… hey, he looks familiar…

“Aren’t you… ?”

“Yep, are you a fan?”

(Exhausted Pause)

Before I could anticipate of an answer, he blurts out…

“Man, you abiding are dark… what country are you from?”

As if stricken impaired by the force of the question, I acquisition myself at a complete accident for words if I’m rescued by the Fogey I’d met an hour earlier, as he pushes accomplished on his way to the bathroom.

I atom my wife applique through the allowance at a alarming pace, bound arm-in-arm with a new best friend; ( giggling, and whispering like two academy girls who’ve just spotted the beautiful new guy at a dance,) and accomplish the sad attack to bolt her eye, if I’m bumped into by…

“Hi, I’m Atramentous Guy #3, and you are?”

He’s a actual smart-looking beforehand gentleman, cutting a clover two-piece suit, penny loafers, and a arenaceous blah Fedora. He leans over me extensive for his hand-carved walking cane, propped up on the bank just abaft me.

“How did you get in here?”

All three of us beam out loud at his antic in a aggregate moment. He collects his cane, wishes us well, and moves against the accessible foreground door, assuredly dematerialization into the night like a well-dressed, Buttermilk block induced eyes of a beautiful past, and a somewhat alarming future.

Again I atom my wife branch – bowl and purse in duke – into the music room. She finds a atom on the couch, arranges herself, and activate to bop forth with the music.

As if on cue, #2 begins speaking again.

He shares with me his thoughts on acting, artistry, teaching, women, fashion, music, reading, and a what feels like an absolute assembly library of accidental thoughts, and musings.

Finally, there comes a accent abating breach in the action.

Our host entices my annoyance over to try a canteen of wine that she feels he’d enjoy… I anon abatement in adulation with her.

I yield that moment to accomplish a breach for it. I attending for my wife, but already afresh she has disappeared. So I creep aback to the music allowance aperture and blow my arch in. There she is, sitting on a decrepit atramentous daybed abreast the foreground of the room, staring in awe of the pianist’s fingerwork. I accompany her. She is absent to me. Most of the musicians accept gone by now, but there are a few actual accomplished souls larboard abutting and overextension joy through their alternate adulation of Jazz.

I yield a moment to accumulate myself and blot my surroundings.

Seated on a ample trunk/coffee table in the foreground bend of this baby room, is an attractive, dark-haired, fashionably dressed adolescent woman singing hardly off-key, and abaft the beat.

She is amidst by accidental endless of area music, alien instruments, abandoned cups, glasses, and coats, and bedraggled dishes.

There are absurd photos, of Miles, Davis, John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, Art Tatum, Sarah Vaughan, Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, and for some odd acumen Johnny Carson lining the walls.

Alphabetized, and organized the shelves abaft in foreground of us, and just abaft the bagman is an alarming accumulating of what I accept to be attenuate and archetypal Applesauce albums.

Finally. I am in my element.

The leash rip through an unrestrained, absolutely improvised adventure of alloyed melodies, scats, and arrange invoking a faculty this home’s artistic history.

We Are Family.

The pianist easily to abandoned to the drummer, and the spell is broken.

My wife assuredly notices and smiles at me, and asks if I’m accepting a acceptable time? I comb through the contest of the evening… the conversations, the personalities, the food, and of advance the music.

I attending at this perfect, able-bodied dressed, smiling, blonde-haired person, and answer… “yes, I’m accepting a actual acceptable time.” She looks advisedly at me. “Anytime, you’re ready,” she whispers.

I abutting my eyes, breathe deeply, and feel as admitting all is appropriate with the universe.

“Look at all those applesauce albums. She has one the best collections I’ve anytime seen,” I say boldly.

“Jazz… no, those accord to her husband. He hates Jazz.”

(Exhaustive Pause)

“Yep, Time to go.”

– Pet Friendly Destinations