Midnight Smoke


The hour of the moon comes. The strangeness of the empty day and empty routine settles. The roads and streets become partially deserted. The only noise is that of stray dogs in cold corners of the wet streets. The only other noise is that of the birth of a life after midnight. The songs and the lights and the drinks and the adventures of copulation. Soon the rancid odors will fill the air. The heaviness of the music will lift the dark. And all will be forgotten. Movement will take the midnight.

Thus comes the hour of the moon and what follows after.

Beyond the greys of the sleeping buildings, outside a small shabby parlor with no roof–no doors and no windows–are gathered a bunch of hooligans. Yes, hooligans for the sane! Playing a sombre tune and two. Now three and now fourth.

Nothing fancy. And everything fancy.

And soon. There comes a shadow. Walking towards them. But they play. Unawares. Around them are the insane–drinking cheap drinks and having a go of cheap cigarettes. A cheap show indeed.

Nothing fancy.

So the shadow moves closer. Closer. There is a noise of the clunking of heels. The first sound of something rich. And the rancid air is suddenly filled with the rich scent of an exquisite odeur. The shadow is a figure. The figure is a person. A woman. Red amongst the dead grey.

The music stops. Heads are turned. There stands glory. There stands grandeur. An emblem of respect. The royalty. Blue blood in all its bloom…. Forgotten the way perhaps, of the mighty rich clubhouse down the lane.

The music starts again. The cheap drinks get passed around. 

The red against the grey. Nothing cheap. Everything fancy.

She sits. She stares. She listens. The midnight. The stray dog whines. Eyes stare at her.

Cigarettes get passed. She takes one. Lights it. The cheapest of all. Inhales. And lets out the smoke of all the richness. Now mixed with the cheap air. Lets out all that is crass. Lets out glory. Lets out all the years of encapsulation, power and delicacy. The fine red silk against the rusty grey. No more.

There is smoke. Common smoke. She dances. No one stares at her anymore. They all dance.

Nothing cheap. Everything fancy.

Thus the midnight smoke comes to an end.

Far away in the parlor, with no roof, no doors and no windows–comes the sound of saxophones and guitars and pianos and tenors and drums….it fills the air. Along with the smoke.

“Midnight comes and out come the dead for a smoke–so they may live again–with those who are dead”

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