Jake in a tailspin he arrives home- Enjoy Chapter 7 -For Every Season
Chapter 7 - Parasails – Scotch andGuitar Inside the hollow of a place stirring with memories, Jake slumped to a cushy sofa for two and poked on the TV. “So You Want to Be a Millionaire” blaring into the room was better than blank confusion. Tasha jumped on his lap and began pulling on his shirt sleeve. “Hey, stop that,” he said as he wrapped his hand around her belly. “Oh, yah, now you’re looking for a hand to feed you. Well I guess you deserve a good treat.” Cupping his hands around her face, “You saved my ass several times today. Thanks my little buddy.” She twisted from his hold and with a ‘woof’ headed toward the kitchen. “Okay, okay,” he said as he pulled himself up. Tasha gulped her food and drank with gurgling laps of her tongue. Food was far from Jake’s mind, but he had this taste, this lingering taste in his mouth. He’d gotten the feeling in his belly even before wheeling into the drive. Scotch, he could taste it on his lips, feeling its gentle swirl in his mouth, Darcy’s lips coming with it. The thought of it calmed his yearning heart. He knew exactly where it was, on a shelf in his studio, but it would take all the courage he could muster to crack the doors on painful memories. Actually it would be like stepping back into his other life. He hadn’t touched a brush to the canvas since the Todd parasail thing. Even now thinking about the parasail and Todd-- caught his breath short. No painting since. But with Scotch clearly etched on his brain's clipboard, he stumbled down the hall to the double doors and with sweaty hands opened the door to this other life. Tasha scooted in ahead of him her nose skimming every surface. She hadn’t been born yet when he closed this place up. In stocking feet he slid across the cool tile floor, and, like it was yesterday he reached for a dusty bottle from a shelf above the small table where Darcy and he spent many a night sipping scotch, and laughing, all as a preview to the main feature of the night. His fingers finding the bottle, he pulled his Johnny Walker and held it to the light--about three-quarters full. Memories simmered at the edge of his brain. His old cane chair squeaked as he let himself down gently into the worn fibers and massaged its frayed arms before reaching for his shot glass. Darcy’s short stemmed glass shuddered ever so slightly as his fingers touched it sitting next to his. Now the air was stuffy and short of life, but memory drew his breath to hot summer nights when they would sip Johnny Walker and he would unveil a circle of paintings for her to see. She’d sing out, sometimes giggling softly, or sometimes her voice would be sweet as spring rain. Still other times, the times he remembered most, were when the air filled with the soft sounds of her breathing close to him. No matter, it was her reactions to his paintings that would guide the next session of his brush strokes. Jake moved his fingers gently through the air as if making brush strokes, feeling the rhythm. Lifting his glass, swirling the gold liquid down the side of his large shot glass, he brought his lips to its rim and let the fragrance draw up into his head. Memories rushed back like the crisp wind of a Colorado high on the Continental Divide. Before him shimmering in the dim light was Darcy smiling, all her mixed with the smell of paint, the Scotch calming the electricity pulsing through his veins, and colors exploding in his head. She’d get out her guitar and burn a string of notes and he‘d lay colors on creamy white canvas like nothing any one could ever believe. Everything just right, sex, love floating onto the canvas, the paint streaming off the palette like a lover’s dreams. That was him, Jake Dakota Tanner. Most all his friends called him Dakota during those days. His mother called him that. "After all he was borned a Dakotan," his mother declared most every day. When he took the job in finance Jake sounded better and looked better on his resume. Dropping Dakota was the final nail in Dakota Tanner, the artist. That’s when he locked the door of the studio, and at least tried to put the Todd parasail thing out of his head and out of his hands. He never talked about it, and now he wondered about Darcy. She obviously had not forgotten and broken their pack not to talk about it. She had obviously shared some of his other life with Sammy, but what did she tell and who else? As he shifted, his chair creaked in the silence. The silence wasn't like old times with the sounds of her guitar and her sexy teasing smile. What about her guitar? The one with the worn front, the hole where she lay her strumming hand, where was it? He stumbled out the door and disappeared into the dark of her closet with Tasha following. He began digging and throwing-- worn Colorado wide brim hats, first hers, then his--a pair of western boots, the spurs missing. Then, he came to a gap in the corner where her guitar had stared in silent darkness. It was gone. She had it, her guitar, “like an old friend,” she always said. God, wasn’t he an old friend enough to take along? Back in the studio he gulped Johnny Walker. Her guitar was playing in his head, but, hey, he could have it almost for real. Out of a yard long CD holder he found the one she had made especially for him. It had all his favorite tunes sung in her special way. Her face smiled from the CD jacket with a message she had written just for him. For your special birthday night, let the music run always deep in your heart’s palette of love.” Such a poet! Such a music maker! Such a…. . Putting it in on for spin, he cranked the volume and began squeezing drizzles of colors from crumpled aged tubes until finally he had a palette of tangy hot colors. He shuffled through paintings stacked against the wall, retrieving a dusty white canvas waiting for life. Soon her image blossomed on the canvas, a glowing likeness of her plucking out a melody. The melody, he wasn’t quite sure what he wanted the melody to be, but at least it was her voice, her smooth voice singing in his head. Here in his studio he could remember the best times he ever had, but the worst of time danced teasingly in the flickering light of the shadows. With a breath of another Scotch, the Todd parasail situation banged once again into his brain. His hands began to shake. Was it from the Scotch or the fear of that time, the power of his painting, of his hands- that something he couldn’t control? Whatever it was, it ended the guitar singing in his head and his brush strokes that night. Morning would come, but it was the first time in a long time that he would awake with the sun streaming into the studio and Darcy’s image sitting on the easel staring at him, watching him, he knew, all the while he had slept.