Coltrane in the Avenues (Part 3)

Titina finishes her beer and then asks what I have in the fridge. “No beers. Do you want whisky instead?” I say this, ever the good host. Boy did she flip! Weed makes some paranoid and others sleepy but boy did this joint make her flip all of a sudden!
“You KNOW I don’t drink whisky. I’ve TOLD you this before!” These words came out of her in short bursts.
I feel really bad. This reminds me of way back in my twenties. Blokes know what I’m talking about. The second, third, fourth time you’re with a girl and you’re asking her all these questions to get to know her better and stuff. And she keeps saying, “I told you this already at that party that night, don’t you remember? Were you drunk?” And you’re now afraid to ask anything more so there’s weird silence because you really don’t know. And sometimes she’s just fucking with you because, well, she can, and you actually haven’t already asked her that question … and that’s just how girls are sometimes.
Sex is not happening tonight. The mood is gone. The sex slipped through the cracks between her silly tantrum and my pride. I mean, she’s standing there and she knows what the deal is. Throwing a little test at me. So she starts a little fight thing just to get the tension up and she does it so that I’m somewhat in the wrong and I have to suck up to her. I hated tests in school and I’m sure as potholes not going to take one in my own damn flat. Not just to get laid, at any rate. I can be such a prick at times.
Resolution fades out and I reach for a Mapfumo LP. I’m not sure which one it is but it is one of those with his portrait and the flying dreadlocks and the red, gold and green bands. I like the old function on the old turntables. You could stack ten records, and at the end of each record, the next one would drop in turn. The needle arm moved out of the way automatically of course. This is an old turntable and that function probably still does work. Only issue is that when four or more records are now rotating, the records start getting a bit wobbly, like wavy and stuff, and the music also starts to sound a bit wobbly and then it’s not music any more. I’m not one for unnecessary fancy gimmicks; a lecturer I had the one time, when I still dabbled in education and stuff, he said, “If it’s not there it can’t break”; well this IS there, but I’m not going to use it. I remove the old, slide the new down the spindle, and drop the needle on the record. Chamunorwa slams in and in that moment, I realize that Thomas Mapfumo is the Thomas Mapfumo of our time. The opening guitar licks jump in with a revolutionary bravado and then step aside for the Mbira. The Mbira stomps in purposefully yet with a haunting refrain – stubborn guitar strings echoing in the distance. Hosho an unashamed third wheel – smirk on its face like a whore at her wedding. The lead guitar shoulders its way back to the front and starts an earnest dialogue with Mukanya’s pleas.
I look at Titina, she’s done with looking through the books and her fascination with the LPs in the crates. I know she wants me to start something. Apologize or make amends for that silly whisky thing. She’s lying on the bed, on her back, with her eyes closed and her feet still on the floor. I shall not fall to temptation. She doesn’t react throughout Chamunorwa and this gets me thinking she might have gone deaf from lack of alcohol. I don’t know how I expected her to react. I expected SOMETHING. Some acknowledgement, like “Fuck! Who IS this!?” or maybe a “Good grief, this is really good” or at the very least, you know, she could have taken a glance at the cover or the spinning record. Alas. Secretly I hope she passes out from the weed. Sleeping would suit me fine tonight. I’m like this after a night out. Sometimes I get wound up from all the legal and definitely the illegal substances swimming and floating around inside me. At times so hard I start going through the dark parts of my phone contacts. Other times, I just feel like coming back home and playing my records while having debates in my mind. For example I sometimes pretend I’m Aime Cesaire and I’m slamming down all the colonial writers and their nonsense about uncivilized savages and whatnot. Tonight, I’ve had strong notions of the former and tugging hints of the latter. Neither shall prosper. I walk over to the turntable and lift the needle to repeat Chamunorwa.


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