Smoke wafted through the room, accompanied by a quiet lament expressed in the the classic twelve bar chord progression. Sadly, many in the room were simply not paying the attention the music deserved. The room was hardly full, with just a few scattered occupied booths and hardly any of the tables.
If they were paying attention, they might have been forgiven for assuming that the management had just grabbed the nearest wino off the street, handed him a guitar, and stuck him in the spotlight. The truth is not all that far off the mark. Blind Lime Jones certainly was a classically trained wino, having done his apprenticeship at some of the cities finest dive bars. But he always knew that situation was just a phase that couldn’t last. He knew that one day his luck would turn and there would be a place for his solo act to shine.
Tonight isn’t the night for shining, but he’s certainly delivering what the patrons expected: atmosphere for their seductions, breakups, reunions, and occasional phone calls home to explain to lonely and disbelieving spouses that they are working late once again. Calls that never fail to leave someone envious. Or occasionally furious.
Blind Lime paused for a sip of his beer, and in one of those strange moments of synchronicity every other random sound in the room ceased for a moment. In that brief moment of clarity, the tinny voice on the other end of the inevitable phone call could be head yelling at her errant husband or lover. For a moment it almost seemed like the whole room wanted to listen in, then as usually happens all the conversations, quiet musing, and actual singing picked right back up and the caller was once again bathed in anonymity.
The next number was a complicated tale of what can happen when you take advice from the bottom of a wine bottle. Or from large talking birds. Large talking birds wearing violet. Or purple. Which may be an inevitable consequence of visiting the bottoms of too many cheap wine bottles. Whether the lyrics were in any way autobiographical was never really made clear.
When his set ended, Blind Lime Jones made his way home to his humble abode, his loyal dog, and his loving wife, and was happy to be so richly rewarded by the blues.