It was raining, a dirty night in a dirty city. Somewhere downtown, a guy was beating someone. Somewhere downtown, a woman was putting a gat in her purse on her way to one last date. Somewhere across the city. a guy was pulling out a flick knife, and another guy was shoving drugs into the boot of his car to make that big score.
Me? I was sipping a long Jack Daniels while listening to Bix Beidferbecke on the electric victrola. I remember my granddad having one of the old windup ones and the wax cylinders. The shellac discs were much cleaner, and I could hear Bix's notes vibrating cleanly. One clean thing in a dirty city. I toasted Bix. Wherever he was.