From the Community Band Concert

Sure, the band was interesting, and they were pretty darn good, too, but it was the people who made it truly a sight to remember. Humanity at rest on display.


Photos from Whitegate Villas Neighborhood Concert featuring the After Hours Community Band on June 28, 2016 in O’Fallon, Missouri.

photographs ©2016 Stuart Dummit



[Author’s Note: I’ve made a few slight changes to the text, most notably, the last name of the protagonist. I think it sounds better. Other modifications are minor but help the reading flow a bit better.]

with words and ideas swimming between ears that haven’t heard anything new in forever, the brain encaged mind of Sobriquet Jones tried its best to arrange things in a usable sequence.

My hand hurts, my stomach protrudes, my dick is only half hard and I have no food in the fridge, he said aloud to no one in particular. No one was there to hear it. I know there isn’t anyone here, and we are all on the same page anyway, so it might as well be an empty room. The walls here have no ears.

He turned around, his blue plaid bathrobe, beltless and flannel in its warmth and flow, followed absently in a swirl and then hung lifeless from his shoulders once the turn was completed. No food on the counter, either. But there was coffee.

Coffee! The nectar of the Gods! Nay, not the sweet syrup that kisses the lips and licks the tongue and coats the throat, but more. Again, talking to the earless walls and the feckless fridge, ’Tis not nectar of the Gods, not Ambrosia, but Ichor. Miraculous lifeblood of the immortals. Hot and black and bitter and searing and all the things a man could need to clear out the gunk from throat and thought.

Rinsing the plastic bound glass tube of yesterday’s scum and grinding the beans, roasted to an imperfect pitch, like a well sung song by a slightly deaf amateur, Sobriquet prepared the press to brew a pot. It isn’t food that will nourish, but it will be food that can motivate. Motivation is an important thing, but only when there is a goal. With eyes half closed he said aloud making signs in the air of various geometric shapes and 2013-02-07 13.46.21potential forms, Yesss. The goal for which I require motivation is the acquisition of a worthy goal. I bless you in the name of Plato and Aristotle, Zeus, Odin, Krishna, and Jehovah and Heisenberg. And Schoenberg.

There is no knock at the door, no person with whom to share the silliness or the snobbery. Sobriquet is alone. He has been for quite some time. No one enters in from another room, there is no stairway that leads up to a parapet nor is there a portal from some unseen fold in the metaverse, a brane as it has been called by some theoretical physicist who wrote a book once that was devoured by artists and laypersons and other brain encaged minds looking for answers to questions they hadn’t the synapses to articulate.

Sobrie, he said to himself, pour the fucking water into the pot and let it brew. Four minutes to make it strong. Strong like you. Yes, yessssssss you. I am happy I am healthy I am wealthy I am wise.

The water, boiling in the white plastic hotpot, gurgled and spat its desire to be fused to infuse, and the old sagging man in the blue robe used his powers to make it so. He stirred the grounds with the end of a chopstick that was laying across the top of a dirty water glass, then replaced it after a rinse in the sink. Drawing the robe close around him, his semi hard dick was now flaccid and hidden by the dark blue fabric. He padded lightly into the adjoining room to gather dirty coffee cups and possibly to take a piss. Four minutes it would take for a strong pot of ichor. Four minutes.

No urination necessary, and only two empty cups abandoned on the same table were retrieved, and the four minutes were not quite up. He rinsed out the cleaner of the two cups and wiped the inner tubular side with his index finger, then wiped his finger on his robe, and then took the chopstick and stirred the slurry again. He rinsed the stick again and again laid it across the top of the used water glass and then fitted the screened plunger to the top of the glass tube and slowly began to press presss pressssss like a Frenchman until the black blood of the bean was separated from the chaff, and with a solemn incantation the pre-transubstantiated communion was decanted into the cup, decorated with a faded design, ignored since forever.

Bless this cup of coffee which is the blood of the gods who are immortal and who bitch and moan and fight and frolic and urge and purge and don’t give a fuck until after the fact. Let it quench my thirst for purpose, let it strap soft and supple sandals with the wings of Hermes to my aging cracked feet, and propel me to prosperity and lack of want, that will signal the end of all things. Amen.

©2016 Stuart Dummit