Lin Page 10
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 to fruition.

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?