Jazz Club Friends


Like most people in modern city life, if asked whether I have friends, I’d say ‘few’, and what do you mean by friends? Are friends the people you work with? Surely not! No choice there, and wouldn’t any friendship be encumbered or overwhelmed by various needs of professionalism? 

People do even find fiancé(e)s at university or school, but if that didn’t happen, they’d now go on line to find each other, because we spend 100% of our working lives divided between working and commuting, and recovering from working and commuting. 

So. Assuming one can meet people and make friends, I head off to the jazz club. Mary has an art class upstairs at the same pub. It could work out well. There’s modern jazz these days; compared to when I’d go with my dad in 1971 to see trad’ jazz. Back when they all wanted to be Louis; whereas now they want to be Miles, or Wynton. But performers and audience alike are still 40 years behind in their musical taste.  

So I take my pint of Doombar to an empty table and wait for the place to get full enough that someone will have to sit in my conversation zone without anyone appearing over-keen. Looking about the place, there are a few other early loners, silent at separate tables. I resist the urge to make sweeping generalisations of superficial impressions. For about 30 seconds. 

Then I decide that I’ve possibly come to the AA meeting by mistake. There are two normal young guys at the bar. Everyone else looks like escapees from various residential institutions run by social services. Only one stares at me ..worryingly, and the rest seem troubled merely by loneliness. 

 In fact a gentle man joins me at my table and we converse easily, to my great relief. I am a player, he is a listener. The company is enjoyable though we will be hearing and seeing differently. 

I try to take lessons from my experience:  people look different from me because they are indeed different. I should not be looking for people like me who will endorse me, but rather I should be willing and looking to like and endorse others for being who they are. Thus I advise myself as an introvert who needs to be more open and interested in others. Hopefully, probably, you don’t need to be told! 

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