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When I die, bury me in jazz

Updated: Jul 19, 2018

When I die, bury me in jazz.

Soft saxophone notes electrify my soul like Southern moonshine. When I listen to jazz, I think of all the beautiful and sad things that have happened in my life. And all of the beautiful and sad things that have happened in everyone else's.  

I think of sultry French cabaret clubs filled with dazzling women and silkscreens of cigar smoke. I think of the kind black men in New Orleans, handsome like Nat King Cole and smoother than velvet. I think of my lover's calloused hands, warm from plucking at his guitar strings, and the way they feel on my bare waist as we slow dance across our bedroom to Thelonious Monk's 'Round Midnight.

I think of my father's hazel eyes, the way they smiled even when his mouth didn't. The crow's feet etched symmetrically onto either side. His hair just slightly peppered with gray. His smile just slightly peppered with nostalgia. I think of his fondness for Billie Holiday, and weep at his memory when I hear Louis croon on the radio: no, no, they can't take that away from me...

I think of the pictures of my mother in her hometown across the world. The slight pink flush of her cheeks as she stares at my father beyond the camera. I think of her beautiful life. From her youth in hot and humid Havana, Afro-Cuban jazz floating through the fiesta-filled streets on a Friday night, to her new life in America. In her eyes, I can see a lifetime of bravery and hardship whenever Frank belts her story: I've traveled each and every highway, but more, much more than this, I did it my way...

All of my memories and experiences are wrapped in jazz. So when my time comes, wrap me in it too. Send me on my way to the soft and sweet voice of Ella Fitzgerald. And promise that you won't get Misty.


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