I was relaxing with my late afternoon Margarita in our hot tub, I was listening to old jazz on Pandora, Paul Desmond, Gerry Mulligan, Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins, Dave Brubeck, Chet Baker and others. Such memories of those days of jazz in underground smokey bars, drinking whiskey sours and smoking my Camel straights, driving home wasted at 2:00 in the morning after last call. Then getting up at 6:00 for work.

Were times better then? Maybe simpler, but not what I would say were better. I remember driving to work during the Cuban Missile Crisis wondering what the nuclear attack would be like. Would I survive? I elected it would be better to not.

Women’s rights weren’t. Neither were any civil rights. We lived in a world struggling to still know who we were after the horrors of WW II and Korea. I realize now how the veterans of those wars drowned their memories in alcohol and drugs, trying to pretend they were okay when they staggered home after work, after drinking in some dive bar, home to a housekeeper woman and children who feared him, his anger, his sorrow.

No. The world is never settled. We aren’t ever settled. Life is the time, the times, we live. Why does it seem always a struggle? Wanting more? A newer car? A bigger house? More wealth? Living in fear of  ‘the other’ as we are told to do on the evening news during commercials selling crap no one really needs.

Some days, some nights, I long for those jazz bars where I spent my time and money all those many years ago, satiating my own fears of what my own life would bring.

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