Monday, January 12, 2009

"Open Mic, the Best Medicine"

By Camincha

Arriving full of frustration, headache. Alba smiles feebly in answer to Big Hello from Reading Host, and swallows an aspirin. Looks ‘round for Julia.

The host starts the reading.

The two Features are women: The first one has PIZZAZZZZ. Cadence in her words. And that delightful sound, what is that instrument?

Ahhhhh, it's her right hand beating against her large, well-built thigh. What a sound it makes! No wonder! She’s reading a love poem:

Your manly beauty,
resplendent, covering me
along side me, behind me...
thump, thump, thump, pan, pan

The second Feature is reading about a friend she’s just lost:

I miss you in small quiet ways
When I look at the geraniums under
the front porch and find your smile
floating among the red and white petals...

Alba is paying attention. Listening. Absorbed, she forgets her headache, all those frustrations.

Julia walks in. They embrace. I'm so happy to see you! Alba smiles.

Me too, Julia whispers in her ear, her long ripe-wheat-honey-blonde-hair falling, brushing her knees.

Tear Drop––Alba’s favorite regular––is on. He pummels his words with raised fists, his thumbs high up in the air for punctuation. He’s passionate. No wonder, he’s reading about his favorite subject, defending the homeless:

Holding his plastic bag
he reaches 11th and Folsom, one
more corner, just like all the
others he’s passed tonight, empty.

All doors are closed
No lights at the windows
No one’s waiting for him...

Alba’s headache? What headache?

And Alba doesn’t feel frustration anymore.

Camincha, a regular contributor to MyStoryLives, is a pen name for a writer living in the Bay Area of California.

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