Last Saturday night I sat in the “Blue Note,” my favorite blues club, and listened to Leroy sing. “Shake that boogie, all right, I’m gonna find a wife. Shake that boogie, it’s all right with me.”
I lit up a joint and passed it down the bar. “Somebody bought you a drink,” Squiggly the bartender set down a shot of Cutty Sark.
“Give me a beer to wash it down, Squig.” I gulped down the shot.
She walked in just as Leroy sang, “Shake that moneymaker. Nothing in the world could ever make me stray.”
She shook it all the way down the bar before she found an empty seat. I wished I was the seat she sat on.
“Come on shake that boogie, it’s all right with me,” hummed from the speakers. I strutted down the bar, taking my rhythm from Leroy’s music and the feeling going round in my head that came from pot and booze and music. I ain’t never ever felt anything better.
I whispered a tune in her ear. “You’re all that it could ever be. I found you here, waiting to find a cure for the blues and that’s what I am, girl. I can’t stop the despair, but that’s all right if you twist your hips, lift your pretty legs, fill my eyes with what you can do with what has been given to you.”
“You’re so cute and so cool. I’ll bet when you dance everyone stops to watch.” 71
“Hold on, girl. Never expect me to boogie or I’ll never cure my blues. My bones aren’t made to move with musical rhythm. Only my heart is made like that. But like you, I sure do love those blues.”
“The blues are all right, but if you can’t dance, you’re not the man for me.” She turned and looked the other way.
I shuffled on down the bar where a beer waited for me. I, for one, didn’t plan to cry into it just because she wanted me to dance and I can’t. I lifted my beer from the bar to take a swig and when I got it close, I saw a roach staring at my face. I let out a yell, threw the bottle into the air. Too late, the roach jumped into my hair. I jumped off the bar stool and jumped around slapping my head, trying to get the roach.
I knew it would crawl down my neck into my clothes, so I started slapping every body part trying to kill that little creature who probably wouldn’t even take a bite. Leroy sang and told me to shake my bootie, and I shook everything I owned. Satisfied the roach was dead or at least gone I stopped dancing around and stood up straight.
Applause erupted from everyone in the bar and I watched my girl sashay on down. She took me by the hand and said, “You’re coming home with me. I knew you could dance.”