Judgment is a terrible disease of humanity.
In elementary school, I plotted and planned: I would marry Horace Silver. I didn’t tell because I doubted anyone, other than my teachers, might know who he was. Plus, the thought of hearing that my plan was preposterous and unattainable was not something my young stubborn ears desired to acknowledge.
It mattered not that the Horace my heart desired was many years my senior. The Horace on the cover of Filthy McNasty or the one pictured above was ageless, timeless, and once he became aware of my intention would be powerless to resist me. He would remain forever that age, at least until I was closer in age to him, at which point we could grow old together.
Time machines are real, after all. Just ask Rod Serling or any of the writers for One Step Beyond or The Outer Limits, right?
I did sneak away at the lunch hour to nab a sandwich from Jersey Mike’s because it is after all double points day. I drove over and was thrilled to see parking spots right in front. Through the window, my arrival was observed by a man at the tall counter and two women at one of the tables. I went in and the woman facing me had a look of disdain. Two of the people at the counter greeted me amicably while the third, who was busy building sandwiches, looked indifferent. I could feel the women at the table watching me, their conversation silenced as I chatted with the two at the counter. We said good-bye and when I turned to exit, the woman seated closest to the door drew back, as if I was diseased. Sure, I had thrown on a pair of flip flops and a hoodie. I had no meetings today and had not done up my hair. I was wearing a pair of kick-around tights and a long sleeve shirt (they couldn’t see the shirt fully because of the hoodie). I saw them watching me as I started the engine to my car — I suspect Osiris looked rather imposing right there by the window.
Judgment is a terrible disease. Like those women I suspect, I selected that establishment for a meal (or two, because I won’t eat all of what I bought in one sitting). We’ll all come away with bonus points that will lead to a free sandwich one day. They were attired in office wear, while I was much more casual. It should matter not.
But it does. It is a pain to be judged.
As I left the lot and drove toward home, Horace Silver came on. While African Queen does not feature his piano stylings as predominantly as some of his other works, it was still Horace. I could do no less than smile and let the crummy feelings of the looks I received from those women drain off me as the tune progressed and my mind turned back to my grade school crush.
Thank you, Horace. Maybe one day when I cross the Rainbow Bridge, I’ll hear you playing and I’ll stop by to wink at you from afar …