Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Story-A-Day #138: Cool Guy


The voice came out of nowhere, reedy with a hint of smooth jazz. “Hey cool guy, how’s it goin’ with you?”

I looked around, but as far as I could tell, I was alone in the muddy parking lot. I waited for a few moments, then dismissed it as another odd moment in a day full of them.

“I asked you how it was goin’ cat; don’t think of turnin’ on the cool with me.”

“Hello?” I called out into the barren lot.

“Well, hey there. ‘Bout time you cast a wave at your main man.”

I whirled around in confusion, looking this way and that, but I was definitely alone. There only other person was a young girl staring at the end of the parking lot, a goofy grin smeared across her face. She darted off around the front of the building.

“Who’s there?” I asked, my baritone voice quavering uncertainly.

“Only folks I see, is you an’ me,” the voice replied. “Ba-da-da Zee!”

I pulled a crumpled pack of smokes out of my jacket pocket and tucked a cigarette into my quivering lips.

“Down here, bugaboo!” the voice erupted.

I glanced down and at first, everything seemed normal, but a sudden trick of the light caused me to jump backwards.

“Hey now,” the voice shouted. “You gave me a proper start there.”

My shadow extended out from my feet and although it should have been a motionless black expanse with arms akimbo, it actually appeared to be dancing. Not just a wavering either, but a full on Charleston.

“Wha…” I managed to spit out.

“Dee daa daa cha,” the voice replied. “Now you’ve got the groove goin’”

“How are you…who’s doing that?” I scanned the empty lot, and even the roof of the nearby building to see who was playing this joke on me, but there was no one else around.

“Don’t be so surprised, my man. I’m the only one here with you and I’m always here with you, dancing along through your dead dull world.”

“It’s impossible.”

“You ain’t tellin’ half the truth. How is it you got me attached at the soles but not an ounce of groove in you?”

“I don’t understand what you are saying,” I said. “This doesn’t’ make sense.”

“I’m just jivin’ my man. You got soul. You got lots a soul, you just ain’t figured out how to groove it.”

“What do you want?”

“I want you to dance, cool guy. Not such a tall order is it?”

“I guess not,” I replied.

“Then dance for me, boy-o. Show me what you know.”

I did a quick little juke and finished with a solid kick at a clump of snow. It was far from graceful, but surprisingly liberating.

“More!” the voice called out.

I whirled around for nearly ten minutes, flailing my arms and letting my motions run wild, finally, gasping for breath, I stopped. I rested my hands on my knees and slowly caught my breath.

“You looked like an ass, but I’m proud of ya cool guy. Those were some freewheelin’ moves, cat.” My shadow extended a hand in a small gun shape and pulled the trigger.

“Thanks I managed,” and turned to walk back into the building.

I felt like an ass too, but it felt good.

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