It’s Monday and here is part six of my serialized story Grandma’s Note.
You can find the first five chapters here: Chapter 1-5
With drowsy, tired eyes Winston inspected the posters from the wall of the jazz club, now hanging on the mirror on the wall in his hotel room. It was already past lunch and he was still in bed, despite having promised himself to rise at dawn and get an early start this second day of his journey. To his defense that promise had been made in the haze of excitement the night before and he hadn’t gotten to bed until it was already almost morning. It seemed as though the storm had finally hit sometime after he had fallen asleep as well since, although only a light drizzle could be heard against the window now, the world outside was all grey and wet. Waking up and realizing it was already way past any kind of early start he hadn’t felt any urgency at all but had rather decided to stay a while longer still in the comfort of the bed. He had after all found out more the day before than he had hoped to accomplish in at least a week so it wasn’t like he was in a rush to get out there and dance around the puddles.
Winston had debated long and hard on whether or not he should take the posters down and bring them with him or let them remain where they had hung for more than half a century. On the one hand he thought them to be a valuable piece of local history that really belonged where they were but on the other hand he of course realized that they were not likely regarded as such by the local authorities and could be torn down on any given day anyway, in which case whoever got the job of taking them down wouldn’t give a fraction of the shit about them that he did. In the end it had been a fairly easy decision and the two posters now enriched his temporary accommodation with their presence. He sat up for the first time in the day and, leaning in closer, inspected once again the two faces he was now convinced belonged to his grandfather and his great uncle. He smiled to himself, shaking his head. Looking at Winston and his father next to one another no one would have guessed them to be father and son, and since none of them bore any noteworthy resemblance to Winston’s grandmother either Winston had always considered that branch of his family tree to be a lineage peculiarly lacking in family resemblance but he knew now that that wasn’t true at all. He was himself apparently a spitting image of his grandfather and he recognized quite a few of his own father’s features in the face of his great uncle Erik.
What otherwise occurred to him as he looked at the poster was how cool they all looked. In their loose fitted suits and fedora hats, if he had seen the picture in another setting he could well have taken them for a modern jazz fusion band rather than an actual jazz band from the forties. A few of them, including his great uncle Erik, even wore shoes that looked more like sneakers, in a variety of colors, than the shiny black ballroom shoes you would have expected. All in all, this effect worked to strengthen the sensation he was already having of that he might as well be looking at a picture of himself.
The larger poster of Alice, other than the fact that she had obviously been a popular headline performer, didn’t appear to have much to tell him as it said little to nothing of what she actually had looked like. She was heavily made up for her stage performance, complete with glitter and feathers and what not, to the point were, based on that picture alone, he couldn’t have picked her out on the street had he ran into her as she was out to buy milk. With that concluding thought he finally dragged himself out of bed and walked over to the window and, inspecting the scenery, he thought that, if nothing else, it was at least a perfect day to spend in a vault looking through dusty old documents.
When Winston roughly forty minutes later stepped out of the hotel lobby, showered and shaven, into the street he was actually greeted by a pleasant early afternoon sun and, deciding that the hunt for documents could very well wait a while, he steered his steps toward the piers, anxious to see what he could find to eat for what would now be brunch. Despite it being earlier in the day than when he had rolled into town the previous evening the streets were just as empty now as they had been then but knowing now what he would find once past the crumbling fishing huts it made a rather different, kind of expectant, impression on him and he was not to be disappointed. Taking a different little gravel path between some huts, a few blocks further down the river, from the one the day before he found a string of them that, joined together, housed a small riverside barbecue restaurant with the chairs and tables in the open air along the water. There were currently no customers, which was understandable since there was no roof and the chairs and tables alike were home to puddles of recently fallen rainwater but, watering as he was at the mouth, Winston simply flipped one of the chairs over and then used the sleeve of his shirt to dry it off, and before he had time to wonder what was next a short, rugged looking, old man appeared before him with a menu, eagerly waiting, as he read, to take his order. Glancing at him through the corner of his eye while reading Winston guessed the man to be an old fisherman, having turned to cooking, rather than catching, the fish in old age and he wandered how long he might have lived in Black Reef and what, if anything, he could possibly tell him. Since there were unlikely to be other guests turning up for quite some time, Winston thought he would have a solid chance at inviting the old man to join him at his table for a chat.