The three of us shared a common bond of music: the
baritone saxophone. The other was a penchant for destruction and the lesser
forms of mischief. It was after a jazz concert.
people clean up nice. Josh was not one of those people.
We called him Big Dan for a
reason. He wore a white tuxedo jacket with black pants. His curly blond hair
was unusually styled. I suspected it had something with a particular girl, but
theirs was a torrid romance to which the best option remained quarantine. It
would be his basso profundo that would set our night’s adventures in motion.
It is a voice that is hard to
resist. Girls have asked him with intentions undeclared for suggested
recordings of that voice. The voice is the antithesis of Big Dan, an otherwise
thoroughly repugnant person. When he said he was a jazz musician (just got done
with a gig in fact) in his deepest growls, you’d believe this 5’10” white boy
from the suburbs actually was. And that’s exactly what Earl did. So convinced
was Earl that he extended an invitation right there, right in the middle of the
Chevron station, to some party he had heard would be “off the hook.” As a bunch
of painfully white, embarrassingly prude, and thoroughly intrigued high school
boys, we could hardly decline when he ran over to the window as we began to
pull away, just to make sure we’d come.
It was at this time that the
distant chirp of sirens set off the danger epiphany and we unanimously declared
it in good character to resolve our call upon Earl’s party. Perhaps if we met
him later, we’d stare long enough to try to remember who he was, why he seemed
familiar, and break the glance with the slightest indication that he had become
aware of it. Big Dan was getting tired, as was I…
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