Saturday, January 4, 2014

Flash Fiction by Marianne Szlyk

“It’s For You”

is going through the aging pop star’s head as he pedals downhill and then across the village green,  doing his five miles of cardio in case the guys reunite one last time.  He imagines another life, one where he played guitar like Pat Metheny.   He’d be touring with friends who loved music, not the limelight, who were musicians, not actors too typecast for another show.

But jazz wasn’t for long-haired kids in jeans when he started out in the Village.   Jazz was standards, something played with horns and pianos, sung by a lady in a satin sheath dress, something performed in night clubs for men who could not cry or laugh or love. 

He still can’t get over Mark’s fingers stumbling, slowing down the beginning of their most famous song.  He nearly grabbed the guitar from him then and there.  From that night on, he played lead.

Taking off his helmet and locking his bike up in front of the library, he pictures himself like Metheny on stage, not looking up, bent over his guitar, playing what comes, playing with his band, building the song together with his friends, while the audience is with them, listening.

Marianne Szlyk is an associate professor of English at Montgomery College.  She and her husband have far too many CDs, especially jazz and '60s pop.  Her poems have appeared in Kind of a Hurricane Press' print anthologies beginning with Of Sun and Sand as well as in online venues such as Linden Avenue Literary Journal, Aberration Labyrinth, and The Blue Hour.

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