Jimmy was a prick for bringing me here. I don’t frequent these sorts of places, at least not since the end of the 21st century when jazz made a big comeback with the space-faring folk. Something about trumpets and saxophones helps when you’re staring out into all that black. It ain’t for me though, jazz- cramped venues that reek of cigar. Charlie Parker aside, whose work any semi-intelligent individual should be intimately familiar with, I hate jazz.
Jimmy kept going on and on about this woman, a jazz singer, and I had to see her.
That’s what they’ve got holographics for, my man, I said. Wear a pin, stream me in.
No way, he says. It’s gotta be live.
Left me drinking Jameson at the bar, listening to jazz, and it ain’t all that bad. The band’s minimal, a real stripped back affair. Ivory and vocals. The singer’s got this retro style that reminds me of the post-postmodern infusion of underground Japanese disco into the Can-American consciousness. Lollipop chic. Real big circa 2025, before I left the Rock. It’s the hair, I think: styled, but not overly so. It’s got that outside-the-asteroid belt attitude – think glam-rock meets two months on a space freighter. Works for her.
Wearing one hell of a dress too, a swanky number that looks like it’s patterned after those pre-revolution flapper girls you see on OWC (the Old World Channel). It all adds up to a spectacular sort of woman, one who projects this sultry voice right into my whiskey-soaked skull. Real stellar eyes too… all sorts of devastating, like second-hand smoke, purple, and heavy, and deadly to breathe in. Stardust on her eyelids… listening to her sing, maybe space isn’t a wasteland. Don’t make ’em like this back on the Rock, you know?
I’m staring – she notices.
I hear her speak, a voice smouldering like the sun outside the tinted window.
What’re you looking at, Earthling?
word by Josh Elyea
colour by Zutto
From the author: “”When I was writing this piece, I couldn’t move past the eyes. They’re captivating, and I imagine I could’ve spent the entire piece talking about them…what you’re left with is a vignette about a man in space who finds himself head over heels for a jazz singer from Jupiter.”