Tag Archives: music

Cat on a Hot Piano (Revision)

“Just push out the seat for him and he’ll play for us.”

“Excuse me?” the young man barked out a derisive laugh over his whiskey. “Did you just say the cat would play piano?”

“Sure did. Kick out the stool for him, will ya? He ain’t as young as he used to be.”

Old Tomboy must have been impatient or offended or something. His old bones leapt right up himself and played a jilted version of “Skimbleshanks.”

“Ooooh. Wow,” the young man murmured.

The cat didn’t even look at the boy. He just walked away, tail in the air, puckered asshole pointed in the direction of the bar patrons.

“That cat’s a helluva piano player,” the old man nodded.

 

* * *

 

Old Tomboy’s real name is Tomas Alfador Perry, but the locals have been calling him Old Tomboy since long before he was old. For seven years, that cat had played for the regulars at the Dirty Lyre. The patrons and bartenders fed him as much as he could eat and some to carry back to his wife and kids.

The regulars were violently protective of their bar’s mascot. No out-of-towner would have been able to get his in clawing range before someone threw him out of the bar. The bar was still a tourist spot for the curious traveler, but folk learned fast the proper decorum around Old Tomboy.

 

* * *

 

It was on that seventh year that the owner, one Jerry Talbot, accrued some serious debts with the mob. Gambling on top of skipping protection dues–the only reason he’d stayed in business for so long was because of reverence for the cat. But they’d reached their breaking point with Jerry, and Mr. Talbot left this world twenty-three minutes after closing time on the eleventh of May. The bar was closed for almost a month until it opened up again as Cat on a Hot Piano. It had big blue neon sign and everything. The regulars didn’t show up so much, but the tourists came in by the taxis. The drinks came in all sorts of different colors, and the bartenders were a million times hotter. They even had jazz bands and dancing. There was only one problem: nobody’d seen hide nor hair of Old Tomboy.

 

* * *

 

Townhouses around the block still leave little bits of dinner scraps and booze on their front porches now and then, though all the stories of seeing the cat are all hearsay—somebody’s aunt heard from a lady from the knitting group that the cat was prowling around Fifth and Acorn. Some folk say he might be dead, that he got sick or died of exposure. Others say we turned our backs on him, and so he left.

A lot of times people hear cats fighting in the alleys near Cat on a Hot Piano. Old Tomboy beating his wife, they say. Who knows who started that rumor, though it rings true for a lot of us.

That cat’s spinning out of control, they whisper to each other. That cat ain’t what he used to be.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XXIV

Cat on a Hot Piano

“Just push out the seat for him and he’ll play for us.”

“Excuse me?” the young man barked a laugh. “Did you just say the cat would play piano?”

“Shoot. Sure did. Kick out the stool for him. He ain’t as young as he used to be.”

Old Tomboy must have been impatient. He leapt right up himself and played a version of “Skimbleshanks.”

“Ooooh. Wow,” the young man murmured.

The cat barely acknowledged him and just walked away, tail in the air, puckered asshole pointed in the men’s direction.

“That cat’s a helluva piano player,” the old man nodded.

* * *

Old Tomboy’s real name is Tomas Alfador Perry, but the locals just called him Old Tomboy. For seven years, that cat played for the patrons at the Dirty Lyre. The patrons and bartenders fed him as much as he could eat and some to carry back to his wife and kids. This was a cat no man would try to pet and no local would let him either if he tried. The regulars were protective of Tomboy like the secret service to the president. Everyone left the cat well enough alone. Strangers and tourists got the stinkeye and a knuckle sandwich if they weren’t too careful. The Dirty Lyre was still a tourist spot for the curious traveler, but folk learned fast what was the expected behavior around Old Tomboy.

* * *

It was on that seventh year that the owner, one Jerry Talbot, accrued some serious debts with the mob. Gambling on top of protection dues–they decided he was expendable. The bar was closed for almost a month until it opened up again as Cat on a Hot Piano with a blue neon sign. The regulars didn’t show up so much, but the tourists kept coming in. Oh, but there was only problem: no cat. Old Tomboy was nowhere to be found.

* * *

Houses leave bits of scraps and booze out for the cat now and then, though all the stories of seeing him are all hearsay. Folk say he may be dead, from exposure or getting sick, though most of us think that’s all a buncha hooey anyway.

Truth is, a lot of times people hear cats fighting in the alleys near Cat on a Hot Piano. Old Tomboy beating his wife, they say. Who knows who started that rumor, though it rings true for a lot of us locals. Out of a job, living off scraps and booze. They only thing that would make us angrier is if someone tried to stop us from beating our wives. That cat’s spinning out of control. We all are.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XX

I’ve Got My Philosophy

I came up with this theory that man can live off music alone. I try this while recovering from my concussion. I put in my earbuds and begin listening to my ipod library with the intention of listening to every song (which will take over three days). In the meantime, I have to keep myself occupied. My car needs its brake pads changed, so I decided to start there. I took out the brake pads and figured my bandages needed to be changed. I’m not really sure how the concussion happened, exactly, but I guess that’s the nature of concussions. I looked it up and it’s called retroactive amnesia. It probably had something to do with my lamp broken and in the garbage can, though. Dizzie must be pissed at me for what I did. My head feels like a shitstorm. Dizzie must be mad at me. I tie an ice pack to my head and do a line. It’s a strange sensation. When I go outside again, I realize my car needs a better radio, so I begin taking it out of the car. I’m not sure why I didn’t do this before. It’s such a simple thing. I probably need more oil so I pour a little in. What’s Seamus doing right now? He’s a good kid. If I ever have a son, I’m naming him something Irish like that. Like, you know, Colin or Roland or something. I take the radio and the brake pads inside with me and set them on the counter. I’m not sure but while I’m taking a piss, I realize the bathroom needs to be cleaned. The chemicals smell bad but they make the floor shine. All the while, I’m listening to my ipod with no food at all. Man can live off music alone, I think. You just need to keep your brain alive and you’ll be okay.

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Filed under Novel, Session XIX

One of Those Guys

The beginning of summer. Time to roll down my windows and blast some tunes for the world to hear.

I’m at a stoplight when the guy next to me rolls down his window. “Hey!” he shouts, “Will you turn that down a little?”

I stare at him blankly. “I’m just trying to spread some music to the world.” I turn the knob counter-clockwise a quarter turn.

“If you want to call that music, fine. Just keep it in your car.”

“You realize,” I shrug, “that I’m just going to turn it back up when you’re out of earshot.”

The man throws up his hands in exasperation. The light is green. He makes a left turn. I turn my music back up and eighth of a turn clockwise. What a strange person.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XVII