The club had a happy vibe, patrons moving to the music provided by a combo in one corner playing an eclectic blend of jazz, blues, and pop covers and originals. The combo was playing loud enough to enjoy, and yet quiet enough to hold a conversation. The short bar in the far corner produced the usual assortment of craft beers and mixed drinks. Somehow when a drink needed shaking the music was suitable and the bartender always kept the beat.
In another era the room would have been filled with smoke from patrons and musicians alike. Today, everyone knows better, and those who dare light up are quietly ushered outside. The atmosphere is better for that, although occasionally the ushering is done at the hands of a self-righteous bastard who also needs to be shown the error of their ways.
I aim to run a happy joint, and won’t allow overindulgence in most things. But especially not in pious blustering.
Tonight the only smoking was the smoking hot lead singer, crooning the sorts of smoldering torchy ballads you only hear in film noir. She was backed by keys, bass, and a drummer pulling an extraordinary range of sounds out of a simple kit.
The room was full, the crowd was thirsty, and I had no complaints.
Then he walked in.