The Last Beat: Pt.2

A few years back; I was at this Jazz bar one December evening having drink with some wannabe intellects, the closest one of them to being a beatnik was a young man from San Francisco who’d been on the road for quite some time now, searching for an answer to his simple question: What is the meaning of life? The young man went by the name of Gregory, or simply “Gee”, a smooth talking kid who blew my mind when I first met him a few years before; he looked like a handsome drifter but spoke like a prophet, wearing blue eyes gleaming with excitement.

The music boomed from the vintage jukebox along with the sound of the storm banging on the bar outside; Bird eloquently blew notes and notes of rocking bebop; I remember thinking about how it would feel like if Bird was really there, or Monk or Dizzy Gillespie. I gulped down a shot of bourbon when Gregory began explaining to me why he’s back in San Francisco.

“You gotta go back to your roots, man.” He said “You gotta return to the source, and when you’re done; you return to that road again, but you don’t miss home. Because sooner or later you’ll be back here once again, and if you don’t, so be it.”

I understood him; every word he said made sense to me, which was what I liked about him. I liked how he always spoke his mind clearly and without barriers. I took another shot and nodded in agreement.

“It’s the energy you gather when you’re back home that pushes you to go further on your travels,” I said, my voice a bit husky from the booze “it gives you a clear vision on what you’re looking for and where to look for it.”

At that moment, the door to the bar slammed open and in walked this dark hair goddess floating on high heels, covered in a long black coat drenched from the rain outside. She looked around for a bit then walked inside, taking a seat on a stool at the bar. I forgot about Gregory and the conversation we were having and merely watched her lighting a cigarette, holding it with long elegant fingers decorated with nails painted in bright red. Her thin face was too pale for San Francisco, almost anemic but not quite so. I sat at a wobbly table close to the bar, so I was close enough to see her stunning facial features. Other than the dark eye-liner highlighting her hazel eyes and the red on her lips, she did not wear much make-up. She ordered a shot of rum, placed her smoke on a metal ashtray and got up to take off her coat. She wore a man’s shirt, white in color, unbuttoned half way to the top and half way to the bottom, her hair hung only an inch above her shoulders, neatly cut and glossy. She went back to her cigarette and rum, and I went back to my conversation with Gregory –who by that time was staring at me with a smile on his face, understanding why I was baffled by the angel-headed goddess who sat at the bar.


About Ahmed Gretly

Ahmed Nader Gretly. Construction/Site Engineer, fiction writer, poet, psychopath, researcher, a book addict, and a daydreamer from Cairo, Egypt. Currently doing Construction Project Management, MSc, at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.
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