Jazz Coma

Jazz Coma

A Story by moksha


                                     Jazz Coma

      By Heidi Kline


            Chopin whispers from the back room of the old house like a secret. The woman sits in contemplation on the floral sofa her grandmother left. Feet resting on the makeshift coffee table, she c***s her brunette head upon hearing the first chords of a beloved tune. “Is that Bella’s Eulogy?” Her very focused husband offers no response. Too caught up in the musical moment. The woman draws in a deep and thoughtful breath, closes her eyes, and drifts into a jazz coma.

            “Liz… Elizabeth…sweetheart, wake up Hun. I made us dinner.”


            “While you were sleeping, I whipped up some spicy curry. Hungry?”

            Elizabeth smiles. “ OH man! How long did I sleep? I have a ton of homework due tomorrow. And yes…famished! By the way, I love that piece you were playing…Bella’s Eulogy? It always puts me in a trance. That and Bill Evans. Thanks for playing me to dreamland.”

            Her husband wraps his arms around her and kisses her freckled forehead. “You’re welcome sweetie, I love you so much, and I’m very lucky to have a beautiful wife who enjoys my music.”

            The couple’s coffee table, appropriately stained with coffee rings, doubles as their dinner table; not ideal for having guests over, but it is the perfect place for genuine conversation. As they fill their bellies and sip hot toddies, Chopin continues to serenade the iTunes library.

            “So, what homework do you have to do tonight? Anything I can help you with?”

            “Ah, not really. I have a few pages to write for my English class, and some computer stuff to finish up. I was considering writing a story based on you. It would involve the piano…but maybe a different piano… with glossy white finish and beautifully carved feet. I wish I could write an entire story based on one key on the piano…you know? So, what could I say…you know, about the sound, about the emotion attached to that sound. Would there be a crazy history to tell? Anyhow. I don’t think I could ever pull it off, at least not so that it would appeal to anybody.”

            “How about if you just write about a down-and-out jazz musician. He maybe lost his life’s work, I mean all his compositions… in a crazy fire…or flood or something. You could always incorporate aspects of our reality into the structure of your story. How bout that?”

            “That’s such a great idea!”

            “And what about using your white piano…and, maybe he lost that in a flood too...or, maybe he was forced to use it as a floatation device, or…maybe that is the one and only thing he has left. His family perished, or perhaps he just didn’t have any. Eh?”

            Elizabeth is so extremely thankful to have Thomas in her life, and we know that by the way her eyes smile at him. In total admiration. “Okay, I love this idea so far. What should his name be? And, in what era is this taking place? Like, the forties or something? Or should it be modern day? Wait! I have an idea! What if he is somehow affected by World War II? Like maybe his house was bombed, and his whole community practically perished…and he has this long, sad story about his road to salvation. Whuddya think?”

            “Well, you have to be careful about using cliché plots, but I think it could be really good. But also, wouldn’t that end up being more like a hundred pages long?”


            “You should stick with something more defined for tonight. Don’t forget what we have going on tomorrow.”

            “Oh, I didn’t forget. I can’t wait to sing with you! I love you so so so so so so soooo much!”

            “I love you too so much. Now, you really got to get that paper written. I’ll be in the other room, reading. Good luck sweetheart!”


Elizabeth begins to anxiously map out the story line. Brainstorm. She hums.

“Elizabeth, time for your dinner”, a motherly voice calls gently to her. “After that, we need to take your bath, and make sure you’ve taken all your meds for today.”

            “Mrs. Wiley, can you hear me? Oh… Do you like that music? That’s one of my favorites too…Chopin. Elizabeth, do you remember Thomas? Do you remember how marvelous he played? I’m sure he is with you now. (Sigh from the nurse) Okay, come on and let’s get this bib on you. Don’ want to wreck this gorgeous blouse.”

            “Tom, you sure do play that piano marvelously. I need to finish my paper. I need to write my paper.”


© 2012 moksha

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Added on November 30, 2012
Last Updated on November 30, 2012
Tags: Heidi Kline, Heidi Green, Moksha Lives, short story, dialogue, music, love, aging, art



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