Joseph Trance

Lake of Blues


     The music faded as the light of day subsided to a dark blue hue.  Twilight was edging toward night as Jackson Rantell began to move away from the lights surrounding the lake. He got up slowly from the park bench, adjusted the collar on his lightweight jacket and pulled up the zipper.  He took a deep breath, and hunched his shoulders as he prepared to take the walk from the lake to the car.  He shivered as a cool wind blew through the neck opening in his jacket and snaked past the flimsy shirt material causing him to shudder.

      He had come to the park for the blues concert, needing the thump-thump of strong twelve bar blues.  The piano, guitar, drums and harmonica had not disappointed him.  The flashes of jamming in basements and garages had filled his mind as he soaked in the sorrow of old blues songs. So many visual memories had passed through his mind during the last two hours.  The first time he had ever jammed was at sixteen when he blew his first blues harmonica chords to accompany a guitarist he had met at the same park he was now leaving.  Jerry was the first musician he had ever met who didn't chase him away when he took out his harmonica to play along with him.  He just smiled as Jackson began to blow some chords as his fingers danced along the guitar strings mixing chords and blues lead.  Jerry began to scat some blues sounds as they came together in a slow twelve bar blues progression.  Jackson's heart raced as he got more comfortable with providing chords and eventually blues lead to the guitarist's music.  He began to get more bold and bend notes that sounded like so many of the "harp greats" he had listened to on his blues record collection. All his insecurities melted away during that jam.  The fact he had never kissed a girl, wasn't the brightest student in his class, or wasn't very good looking were all blown away as he blew his life into that ten hole piece of metal.... 

     But that was a long time ago, when the breathing had been easy and not a chore. Another cold breeze moved over his skin like a piece of ice. He adjusted the coat once more, pulled it around his shoulders.  He took a step and felt a tightness in his lungs.    He took a breath, and then felt for the inhaler in his right pocket.  He took it out and placed the tube in his mouth, pumped it once and felt the rush of air enter his lungs and calm his heart.  He slowly took the harmonica out of his left jacket pocket and made a fist around it.  He stopped, turned and looked at the lake one more time.  It was now just a black surface reflecting the lights that surrounded it.  He gripped the harmonica hard and the flung it into the lake.  It hit the water with a splash and then sunk to the bottom of the lake along with all Jackson's memories of jamming and blues music and that happier time of his life.



This "Lake" reflects my experiences with learning blues harmonica when I was in highschool.Authors comment


All rights belong to its author. It was published on by demand of Joseph Trance.
Published on on 03/14/2009.


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