Saturday, October 18, 2008

Harlem’s Love Story…
For your reading enjoyment, find the sixth installment of “Harlem’s Awakening”…This is the “True Hollywood Story” (as it were) behind the love affair between Joe and Harlem that plays out in the cabaret, “Harlem’s Night”.

Fine Time to See You - Chapter 7
Cora ran over to Joe, who, if it were really possible, woulda been as white as a ghost. Harlem imagined he knew he’d done wrong by humiliating her last night at The Coronett Lounge by inviting her and another woman to come see him play his upright bass.

Joe started to sputter, then completely changed is tune. He blurted, “Harlem, what has gotten into you?!”

Harlem, caught completely off-guard, whined, “Meeee?”

Cora joined in, “What the hell you talkin’ ‘bout Joe? Are you simple or somethin’? You invited Harlem down to see you and she thought you meant somethin’ by that ‘cause most boys mean somethin’ when they do somethin’ like that and then all of a sudden there’s this other dame there servin’ you --- and my boyfriend Harold – a load of champagne!” Cora was circling Joe; she was on a roll. “Why, I’d like to ask what has gotten into YOU, Joe?”

Joe was reaching a boiling point, “Why you gotta tell her everything, Harlem?”

Harlem could barely get out an utterance of a tiny syllable before Cora chimed in with, “Harlem didn’t have to tell me nothin’! When Harold got to my place, naturally I’m to ask him why he reeks of alcohol when I know damn well he ain’t got nearly enough dough for as much sweet juice as he smelled like. When he said some woman named Honey bought it, well then, again, NATURALLY I’m to ask who this ‘Honey’ is and he tells me she’s a friend of yours, Joe. Who is Honey and why she buyin’ champagne cocktails for the whole bar?”

Again, Harlem stared at her dear friend and smiled. She loved Cora. She was an Ace.

“If you must know, and I know you must, Cora, Honey is a woman who hires musicians – such as myself – to play in the studio. For big folks, too. For money. Not the measly pay I make at The Coronett.”

Harlem finally piped in, “So what you’re saying Joe is that she came there for professional reasons, not personal.”

“That is what I’m sayin, Harlem,” Joe said. “Had you stuck around, I woulda told you that.”

“Hmmm.” Cora mused. “How’d you meet this silky smooth Honey?”

“I met her at The Coronett last week. She was there to see some other cats and approached me. She was fine, so –-- oh.” Joe looked like he swallowed a raw egg.

Cora pulled Harlem by the arm, nearly pulling it out the socket. “C’mon Harlem. We don’t need to hear no more right now. Good day, Joe.”

It was July, but Harlem felt a cool breeze fall over her cheeks and down her spine like when it’s October in New York City. She stumbled after Cora but not before she got a good look at Joe.

She knew now for sure she was crazy, because in spite of everything, she secretly hoped this wouldn’t be the last time she’d see him.

(c)2007 Pen and Peppur LLC

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