Smooth Jazz

image“You’re listening to one-oh-six-five, the city. Smooooth jaaaazz.” Those were the words I heard over the speakers every time my brother and I climbed into the “way back” of our station wagon growing up.

During the day, we would beg our parents to change the radio to “something else, anything else” on the radio. Hustling and bustling from place to place, basketball practice to art lesson, grocery store to friends’ houses, saxophones and synthesizers just didn’t seem to fit. I was more interested in the top 100 or the golden oldies; my brother, in silence.

But once the sun went down and the streetlights started flicking on, bathing the street in eerie yellow circles of light, jazz just made sense. Sitting on the back bench seat, watching the yellow lines of the road zip past like stitches on black fabric, feeling the seatbelt cutting into my neck reassuringly, listening to my parents’ muffled voices as they talked about the things adults discuss: jazz was made for that. As my brother and I drifted off to sleep on each other’s shoulders with our feet propped up on the speakers in the hatch, the music would settle over us like a warm blanket.

And then, without fail, “Smooth Operator” would come on the radio and pierce our sleepy ears, yanking us by the lobes and dragging us back into a confused and groggy consciousness.

-Post in response to daily prompt Smooth


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