She knew why it was really called 'Warm Valley.' For sure (she was acquiring some of his phrases), it told of sultry days and smoky dusk where you could feel protected, safe, at base. She knew that. She also knew the intimacy of the blues in Hodges’ solo, nudging, sliding into the warm valley between breasts and - down there. She knew. She saw some of the guys smile knowingly, too ("guys" - she liked the way they talked), but she floated through it all, secretly knowing, but playing the schoolgirl in her grubby cotton socks.

'Nothing happened.'

But so much happened. She heard, she listened, she felt the music: such regret, so much of what might have been. If things had been different... somewhere in a warm valley, people together, intimately dancing, lounging, chatting, smoking, being together, making love, drinking coffee and munching cookies, listening.

 

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