Sounds of the Summer.
An exaggerated truth “Encore… une fois!”
“A sweeping encore my friends!” declared Martin. As he stood upon the bar stool with his bedraggled beard he conducted his silent tunes for the whole group to hear. Martin was covered with tattoos on his right arm, but none on the left, thus he made sure to conduct with the tattooed arm; looked cooler. Swaying to and fro he gazed into the eyes of Lucille, as she stood there, solo cup in hand surround by a bakers dozen of their mutual friends. About at 155 pounds, Martin prayed for the stole to hold fast, “I so am drunk…”, he whispered to himself, “…it’s disturbing”, the room was too loud for him to hear his own thoughts.
The room was rectangular, a portly dark blue, dimly lit by 40 watt bulbs crammed into mason jars. In the middle was one large counter, littered with beer and champagne bottles; typical christmas decorations of the 4th year college student. The tiny jars of light poured over the many types of sneakered, heeled, and bare-footed companions as they clicked into place. Martins voice cracked, “Today, I say my dear, we shall dance to Balkan Folk music…” he motioned to Jennifer on his far left, standing by the champagne, and gave her a beat. “This bubbly drink is for your dancing shoes!” he shouted, and on queue, Lucille’s solo cup began to overflow by the hands of Jennifer. Jennifer was tall with frizzled brown hair, had that neo-hippie vibe, smelled of Egyptian incense and had peacock earrings with a torn punk shirt. She could never pour a drink, and being drunk didn’t improve her chances of not spilling. “Thank you for my bubbles Jenn, but it’s going to make this floor incredibly sticky in the morning” said Lucille. Jennifer curtsied, and began to polish off what was left in the bottle, lifting the bottom to the sky and chugged.
“Maestro! We can not hear your music!” barked Daniel from the center. Martin glimmered and held the beat over Daniels head, ”Then press the rewind button and stay fast! For you my friend are the repeat button for the night”
Daniel, his dusty ginger look made him the center of attention, for better or worse. He climbed through the crowd and found the tape player. Drunkenly he managed to jam Lucille’s favorite tape in the machine and in the flashes between beat one and four, delicately timed his play button ability just right. Daniel, what was there to say about him, besides that he was as loyal as a dog. There was a tight click on the tape machine and whole room came to life as the tape hissed,
“Encore… Une Fois!
All I want is the best for our lives my dear,
and you know my wishes are sincere….”
The gumdrop keyboard bounced around the walls, and such as magnets attracted the closest metal — bodies began to waltz. Spinning in circular motions, like an old telephone dial they gathered around Lucille and her flowered dress. Martin, never lost the beat and steadied his eyes on Lucille’s smile.
“Just like a Gypsy…” he thought, “…she’ll be gone with that dandelion smile before I know it.”
Lucille was the kind of girl that deserved post cards and never looked bored. She was fair and earthy, and what little makeup she decided to wear was like carmel on an apple. “Blondes,” Martin thought, “…Eve must have been a blonde”. Tonight was her going away party and like as good catholics came to mass, Lucille’s friends religiously showed up intoxicated just for her. “Clearly, a girl that would be impressed by my Slovak steps…” Martin thought.
Martin leaped off the stool, a grand hop at that, and offered his hand to her with a wink. She grabbed his hand and Martin pulled her in close. He he sang in a whispered tone “…A Sunday smile we wore it for a while…”. Hand in hand, he twirled her around the sticky floor. She giggled and cupped her mouth, burped and politely said, “Excuse me Martin, but perhaps we should play the next track?”
“Daniel!” Martin squawked,
Daniel bobbed up from the crowd like a redhead flamingo. He twirled his nonexistent mustache and in his best french accent, which oddly sounded like the cook from the Muppets, he belted,
Martin held his fist in air, trying his best to sound french as well,
“Our fair lady has requested Nantes!”
“Oui oui!”, Lucille cried.
Daniel grabbed Jennifer by the waist and followed in suit. They rushed to the tape deck, and once more magically found the perfect spot. It wasn’t before long that the others in the room began to clap harmoniously. One two three, one two three, one two three… and so on.
“Martin,” Lucille began to sing,
“well it’s been a long time, long time now since I’ve seen you smile…”
Martin placed his hand upon her hip and they both began to sing, “And in a year, a year or so this will slip into the sea…”. She was leaving tomorrow and Martin had never felt so happy but yet alone before in his life. “I’m going to miss you”, trembling he steadied his hand on the small of her back. Lucille smirked, “That’s not part of the song.”
“Are you sure?”
“Well…” she looked down at the floor, “It is now.”
Lucille grabbed her solo cup and handed it Martin. He took the cup and the liquid courage vanished down his throat and trickled down his beard.
The radio continued to sing,
“Well, it’s been a long time, long time now
Since I’ve seen you smile
And I’ll gamble away my fright
And I’ll gamble away my time”