I sat in the dim lit Elephant Room. The once gold shine of beer and brass had turned Amsterdam-red. Elbows leaned. The tables wobbled. And the piano player, in his newsboy hat, his John Lennon wire framed glasses, rocked forward then back, so that he almost appeared headless. A too-slow shutter. A blur.
Soon the puffed cheeks behind the trumpet deflated. Hands clutched the instrument but the air abandoned the memory of its rasp. In its absence, only the din remained, the jangle, the tumble of voices, of laughter.
The man with the trumpet spoke. “It’s loud in here.”
“I know it’s a jazz joint. I get it. But we’re playing up here. And it’s loud. And people are trying to listen.”
“So talk to us,” a voice called out. “Talk to the listeners.”