him once. God, they love it. You walk into any jazz club in Tokyo
and you feel nothing but love.
C.J. would be hard-pressed to say what it is that Allen does, exactly.
He has never seen business letterheads, briefcases, neatly pressed
suits, anything to suggest the man has an office life outside his
home. And yet every time he visits, Allen's cell phone is glued to
his ear, or he has notes and doodles laid out in front of him like
some mad inventor, plans for worldwide takeover that never quite come
Today Allen is spread across the living room floor, Roman God of his
domain, head propped on his elbow, his back to him, intently studying
album liner notes. The remains of one cigarette pack have been stabbed
into an ashtray just beyond his reach. His shirt is fully unbuttoned,
allowing his generous gut to spill onto the floor, and yet
nothing about him seems slack~somehow he always maintains his almond
tan, the impression that he could spring up and perform cartwheels
if he so wishes. Before him is the flawless silver block of his mini-stereo,
orange LCD lights bouncing with every snare hit and tinkle of the
piano. C.J. recognizes the music immediately: Herbie Hancock. Herbie
is playing Tokyo next week along with Wayne Shorter and Ron Carter,
and Allen has toyed with the idea of being there. C.J. is pleased
with his own discernment, and then apprehensive~does this mean that
someday he will be just like Allen, entirely comfortable within these
walls of space and sound, not caring a whit about venturing into that
god-awful pollution and traffic outside?
Hey, C.J. Allen rolls over to face him. He is dressed
in his usual khaki shorts, his hairy legs pink with warmth. What
do you have, and what do you say?