Our Subconscious · Stories

Doctor Jazz, Düsseldorf.

Brian has an hour to kill. Being in the centre of Düsseldorf there is only one sensible thing to do, and that is to drink a beer by the banks of the river. Sitting on the terrace beside the Rhein, he’s now wondering why his hands have nothing to do. Well of course, the answer is easy. There is no cigarette. His hands need something to do, and holding a cigarette is what it should be doing. Now he’s given up of course!

Brian had only started smoking because he was lonely, and the idea seemed to him a good one at the time because everyone smoking seemed so contented. That smoking didn’t make him feel any less lonely never occurred to him.

Now Brian isn’t actually that lonely at all. Because next to his chair that sunny evening, his trombone case lies on the pavement. The reason Brian has an hour to kill is that he’s finished work and there’s no point going home to Ratingen before the doors open. So here he sits with his beer glass; it being nearly empty is a sign that he should be moving. A last draught of sharp altbier sees it emptied. The chair scrapes on the pavement as he stands, and then stoops to lift his trombone.

Turning, there’s Düsseldorf’s esplanade of hotels and expensive shops and the sunny side street where Dr Jazz hides. It’s only a minute’s walk and as he turns the corner sees Cliff entering the club. Pushing open the door himself, the interior is dingy and still smells of last night’s beer. The band are standing around and with no drummer means there’s no fussing. Who wants a drummer anyway? This is serious jazz, not rock or pop. Only Ted is making a loud noise with his banjo in an attempt to tune it. Any and every opportunity is spent keeping it at its peak. He’s the only banjo player Brian’s ever met who knew a string was about to break. He might hold up the band, he’s never stopped them with a broken one.

The place is filling up now. Two deep notes from Brian the bass player turns heads to the door where he’s just entered. He’s never early, never late and never holds anybody up. “Beale Street” mumbles Cliff and the set is running before Brian’s bass has hit the stage.

People come and go, and the interval arrives along with a tray of beers. Brian turns to Brian the bassist and accepts the filtered end of a cigarette that is pointing towards him. Inhaling the sharp smoke and enjoying a few minutes of peace. It’s only during the second set that he realizes he’d given up smoking. So what? It’s not something he really needs. An occasional fag is a very different thing to keeping them in your pocket for every beer you drink.

Taming the lizard brain isn’t that hard, it does take consistency.

The Subconscious: Links To Other Parts In This Series.

Part 1 Why Some Africans Can’t Count Beyond Three.
Part 2 Doctor Jazz, Düsseldorf.
Part 3 Letting The Lizard Drive!
Part 4 The Lizard Brain Meets Its Match: Brian’s Fiat Panda.
Part 5 Snow White And The Railways.
Part 6 Enemies In The Boardroom.
Part 7 The Clock Ticks: The Unconscious Threshold.    (Published on my private blog)
Part 8 Milena Sees Witchcraft Everywhere.
Part 9 Frustration!
Part 10 What’s On Mina’s Mind Today?
Part 11 A First Peek At Autism.
Part 12 A Railway Waggon At The Roots Of Dementia?
Part 13 What’s It Like In There? Life With Dementia… (Published privately)
Part 14 The Evidence For Dementia.
Part 15 The Trouble With Alzheimer’s.
Part 16 The Man On Platform Two.



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