Juke Joint Love

By WILLIAM PRENTISS

It had been over a year to no avail. Simone and Darryl never met, even then. She had been on stage and he had been hungrily eyeing her– not a morality-leaching hunger, but one of expectancy laced with awe–from behind the fellow in the crazy-ass hat.

Simone had never been stopped dead in her tracks by a single glance, not until then.
The fiery, diminutive red-haired firecracker harp player noticed men whose mere presence screamed “rugged individualist.” But this cat was uber.

Darryl loved the ladies, make no mistake, but he did not freely dispense his “love” the way his less picky mates did. His best friend Steve, known as The Troller, never threw anything back when “fishing” late at night, but Darryl’s upbringing and desire for something approaching “real love” were too strong for him simply to gyrate with the unknown, even if Super Chikan and the Fighting Cocks were “Shooting That Thang” in the background.

So, when Darryl saw the little Irish Generator producing electricity on stage, he was smitten, or as we say in the Mississippi Delta: He was done for! He could not take his catlike eyes off of her undulating form as she produced what he mistook for harmony. He liked the blues before; he practically worshiped them now!

Simone never missed a beat with the harp, but when that cat with the shoulder length hair and wry grin laid the magnetic eye on her, she wobbled imperceptibly. She loved connecting with this laidback Delta audience, but she really wanted to get in amongst them now! But, it never happened.

She can’t even remember what sidetracked her. When she looked back he was gone! Before leaving town for the next festival and venue, she checked Red’s Lounge, Ground Zero Blues Club, and some little joint on Martin Luther King. He was nowhere to be found.

Darryl had received a call from his brother, who was heading back to rehab. He had to leave town immediately! He had spent the last year trying to track down his Babe, as his buddy Steve referred to the mythical sirene from the Emerald Isle. She was not to be found. Over the next year he attended many blues festivals looking for her, but neither hide nor red hair was seen.

Both star-crossed Evangeline lovers came back to the 8th Annual Juke Joint Festival in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. Clarksdale was where legend had the infamous blues prodigy Robert Johnson selling his soul to the devil in order to attain some serious guitar skills. Maybe this time? Just maybe.

It happened at Quapaw Canoe Company. John Ruskey was about to take some folks out on the Sunflower River, low as it was. Darryl had just taken off his shirt and was about to pop a beer before loading his gear in the aluminum canoe, when he felt an electric surge start midway up his arms and end behind his ears. He knew; she was behind him.

Simone had just put behind her a tenuous year. She had lost her mother, lost her job, broken up with a dude she should have never dated. She came back to where it began–her fantasyland. The longhaired cavalier had swept her off her feet so many times over the last painful year that she no longer knew if he was real. She decided to give her dreams the opportunity to get some legs under them one last time.

She hated canoeing, so why did she amble down the hill to the banks of the muddy little river. She didn’t know, well, not really. When she saw the hair flowing beneath a cool-ass black hat with Delta Bohemian written on it, she just had a feeling.

When he turned around, there she was. When he turned around, there he was. The five feet between them was as close as a breath and as far as the moon. What would the intended lovers do?

Find out after the 8th Annual Juke Joint Festival……

 

 

This story is fictional.


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Comments

  1. sweet thang says:

    ahhhhhh…. bunnylicious. nuff said.

  2. See, that’s what happens when you go canoeing! Off the hook Day Day.

  3. You totally had me! Yes love thrives at Quapaw! he-he!

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