Brubeck and Desmond have risen from their graves, and they’re on Cheston Avenue. Brubeck is playing a rusty old, discarded piano near a few tree stumps and a small cottage; Desmond’s next to him, juxtaposing his flow with his alto sax. They’re playing ‘The Lonesome Road,’ and Desmond’s in his element.
They’re wearing hipster skullcaps and T-Shirts and faded jeans. They look odd like a couple of old farts trying to emulate Gen X, but who fucking cares. It’s jazz, jazz and more jazz here on Cheston Avenue. We put our iPhones in our pockets and start listening. We’re swaying and then dancing, but we don’t realize what we’re doing.
Some washed-up musician walks to the shady drum kit behind them and augments the experience by playing an odd-time signature. Time-out or Time-in; it doesn’t matter. Jazz is here to stay on Cheston Avenue. Some old beer-bellied, bearded, sweaty artist picks up a Double Bass and starts strumming. The Dave Brubeck Quartet Gen X is playing right here on Cheston Avenue.
Come ye sinners; come ye vagabonds; come ye soldiers of misfortune. Jazz is here to stay on Cheston Avenue. We start smashing our phones and give up going places because we want to listen to what’s here to stay on Cheston Avenue.
Time is no longer linear. Regrets don’t plague life. Hatred and bitterness lie six feet under here on Cheston Avenue. People pour in from different parts of the globe. Religion doesn’t keep us apart; caste can go to hell; guilt can suck it, here on Cheston Avenue.
We’ve stopped talking, but we’re scat singing; keeping to the rhythm, here on Cheston Avenue. The birds in the sky swoop down and perch on rocks. The mongrels are quiet. The frogs stop croaking, here on Cheston Avenue.
There’s no dividing and conquering; just surrendering and loving, here on Cheston Avenue. So, lay down your burdens friend. Board the bus, plane or train, and come here to Cheston Avenue. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich, poor, weary or excited. It doesn’t matter if you’ve wasted your life or lived it fully. Can’t you see? Don’t you realize? Don’t you understand that Brubeck and Desmond are back, and here to stay on Cheston Avenue?
© Nitin Lalit Murali (2019)