Bestselling String Bass Bags & Cases in 2020
Bobelock 7/8 Upright String Double Bass Soft Bag - Black
- 7/8 Upright String Bass size
- Soft nylon lining - Large non-scratch zipper
- Backpack straps - Bow sleeve
- Accessory pockets - Music pocket
- Black - BOBELOCK QUALITY AT A LOW PRICE!
Performance Plus Heavy Duty 600 Denier Nylon Long Scale Solid Body 5mm Padded Bass Guitar Bag (GBE265)
- Fits Most Standard Size Solid Body Electric Bass Guitars Size: 47" (Length) X 12 3/16" (Upper Bout) X 14 9/16 " (Lower Bout) X 3 1/8" (Depth)
- 5mm Padded Weather Resistant 600 Denier Ballistic Nylon with Soft Interior Non Abrasive Lining
- Protective Interior Reinforcements at the Tuning Machines and Bridge Prevents Puncture from exposed Strings Tip Ends and Protruding Hardware
- Military Quality Non Snag/Non Binding Nylon Zippers allows for easy access from top to bottom
- Includes Comfort Grip Handles, Removable Dual Backpack Straps, & Zippered Front Pocket
Protec 3/4 DELUXE BASS BAG
MONO M80 Vertigo Bass Case - Grey
- Top-Loading Design : ABS head and body impact panels, Waterproof Sharkskin shell with industrial rubber piping (PVC-free), The Boot custom molded rubber outsole, Large gear pocket with mesh inner pocket
- Inside Features : Integral Headlock design suspends headstock and tuners, EVA insole protects guitar body and strap pin against vertical drops, 420-denier nylon string guards prevent snags and punctures, Extra soft polishing liner maintains glossy finishes
- 3 Year Warranty
Westbury 22mm Padded Upright Double Bass Gig Bag Case 3/4 Size WITH WHEELS
- Soft padded Cordura construction, 22mm thick padding
- Large music pocket on back of bag, Two zipped accessory pockets
- Bow pocket, End pin pocket
- Multiple carrying handles, Detachable padded shoulder strap with D rings, to fit where most comfortable
- Robust heavy duty zip, Sizes available: 4/4 or 3/4
Gator Cases Deluxe ABS Molded Case for Bass Guitar with Internal LED Lighting (GC-BASS-LED)
- Impact-resistant ABS plastic exterior for premium durability
- Eps foam and plush lining interior protects from scratches
- Interior LED lighting illuminates storage compartments for easy access to picks, capos and strings
- Extra-strength handles offer a firm grip
- Heavy-duty aluminum valances reinforced the overall strength of the case
Guardian CV-100-B1/2 Padded Bass Bag, 1/2 Size
- 600 Denier DuraGuard Nylon
- 4mm Foam Padding
- One Music Pocket
- Two Bow Pockets
- Two Accessory Pockets
Guardian CV-100-B3/4 Padded Bass Bag, 3/4 Size
- 600 Denier DuraGuard Nylon
- 4mm Foam Padding
- One Music Pocket
- Two Bow Pockets
- Two Accessory Pockets
Dean AB PLAYAB Gigbag for Playmate Series Acoustic Bass Guitars
- Limited Lifetime Warranty^Solid Construction^Great Value!
Bobelock 4/4 Upright String Double Bass Soft Bag - Black
- 4/4 Upright String Bass size
- Soft nylon lining - Large non-scratch zipper
- Backpack straps - Bow sleeve
- Accessory pockets - Music pocket
- Black - BOBELOCK QUALITY AT A LOW PRICE!
Novel in the Works About Jazz Musician: Two Finished Scenes
Young Alec Raingrow has one main passion and aspiration in life: to learn everything he can about playing jazz bass, and to get a professional career off the ground. Follow him as he chases it, as he battles set backs, betrayal, and homophobia.
"God, I'm so glad to be out of there!" exclaimed Alec as he produced a pack of Kool 100s and lighter from his front jacket pocket. Lighting up that first precious smoke in several hours, he then set his prized instrument in the back of his dad's Chevy pickup's cab.
"Well, yeah," Donald began to reply as he followed suit with the Marlboro red pursed between his lips. "There was no variety, either! I mean, the only kinds of acts I saw besides you guys were singers and dancers; and none of them were fabulous either!"
The conversation about where they just were continued for a bit more then faded into the music on the radio. Being that the father and son often clashed over tastes in music, it was predicted correctly that Alec didn't care for the Black Sabbath album currently inside the truck's CD player from Donald's commute home, early that morning.
Nevertheless, the 17-year old got permission from his father then changed to his favorite station, Jazz 88. Broadcasting live from the campus of San Diego City College at 88.3 FM, the non-profit student-run station was where Alec turned for classic and contemporary jazz spanning all of its evolutions. Plus, being that it was eleven o'clock, it was now time for the second half of Alec's favorite program on the station, an "anything within the genre goes" set dubbed "Creative Music."
"Thank you for tuning in this evening to Jazz 88," the late night disc jockey, Miff Mole, proclaimed in his deep lothario voice, followed by an announcement of the current temperature and a couple of upcoming jazz-related events. "So if anybody wants to know, you're listening to 'Creative Music' on 88.3 FM Jazz 88, broadcasting live from beautiful San Diego City College."
"So, is Gretchen's okay for dinner?" Donald inquired, punching the dashboard lighter that would ignite his second cigarette since climbing into the truck.
"When's it not?" Alec chuckled, turning up the volume on Miles Davis' "Pharaoh's Dance," the first track from the ever-controversial "Bitches' Brew" album.
Released in 1970, at the height of Davis' stint with Columbia Records, Alec counted it amongst one of his favorite albums in his collection, largely because the sound was so daring.
Hearing the track on Miff Mole's show brought back memories of a few years ago when his English class studied ways of being effective public speakers. But before delving into giving persuasive speeches, Alec remembered, Mrs. Kessler instructed them to select something that they knew a lot of and/or were passionate about and teach the class about it.
At first Alec wanted to fulfill his assignment by talking on the history of jazz. However, in light of the shear broadness of the topic, he settled on teaching everyone about his favorite jazz album.
That morning, Alec walked into class donning a Miles Davis tee shirt complimenting his khaki cargo pants, typical plaid shirt and Padres cap; this time with the bill to the front. He stood up on his turn, greeting his audience with a 45-second clip of the 27-minute title track before getting down to "Bitches Brew" 101.
"Miles Davis' 'Bitches Brew,' released in June of 1970, is an album that has been in heavy rotation in my CD player for several years now," he began. "And while the high sales figures and glowing praise from some would suggest that a lot of folks second that, many others, balking at Davis' defiance of convention, definitely think of it less favorably."
Alec then spoke for the next eight and-a-half minutes about the songs, the influences and what Davis was aiming to do in creating such an "out there" kind of record.
"Listening to the album, you notice it to be a vast departure from what most people consider to be jazz," he continued. "In fact, some people don't consider the album to be jazz at all, especially considering Miles sought to pull out all of the stops and create something that nobody in the genre had ever created or heard before. Part of the inspiration came from the fact that, as per several interviews, Miles wanted to reach out and reintroduce jazz to the younger audiences. After all, many young people at the time had gone on to buying more R B;, funk and rock and roll records than jazz ones. Hence, this album, combining, or 'fusing,' if you will, all of these things, gave birth to the jazz evolution we now call fusion."
"So, what'll it be, boys?" Linda, their red-headed middle age waitress, questioned as she set a saucer full of sugar and creamer packets in the center of the boys' table. "Or, should I say what do y'all want for breakfast?"
Both Donald and Alec chuckled at their usual waitress' quip before ordering one of three normal meals; three big pancakes, four sausage, two bacon, three eggs and hash browns for Donald. Alec ordered the same thing except for eggs cooked over easy instead of his father's requisite scrambled.
"So, it's pretty late to seeing you boys in here," Linda inquired. "Any special occasions?"
"Actually, yeah, it kinda was," Donald answered, sipping his newly cream and sugared coffee. "Alec's school was holding a talent show fund raiser tonight and Alec's quintet was one of the acts going on stage for the longest time."
"Really? How'd y'all do? Have y'all played a lot around the city or what?"
Thus, the conversation carried on about the evening's events and those of the recent. Nothing said was anything new as Linda had been serving the father and son for several years now.
The duo earned their status as friends of Gretchen's in light of their becoming very regular customers. In fact the diner, most known for its almost world-famous home made pancakes, quickly became a regular family haunt. But before all of that, it was a place to get some desperately-needed nourishment during an especially low point in Donald and his son's lives.
"Alec, could you come up here?" the long-haired fifth grader was asked by his teacher. "You've got a note here from the office."
Surely, Alec knew that something really wasn't right. After all, he always did his best to get along with all of his classmates and teachers and had never been in trouble since Kindergarten. Regardless, he set down the book he was reading during silent reading time, got up from his desk and walked up to that of his teacher's to receive the message:
"ALEC RAINGROW; YOUR FATHER WILL BE HERE TO PICK YOU UP IN THE OFFICE AFTER SCHOOL; DO NOT TAKE THE BUS HOME."
Not knowing exactly what it meant, Alec contemplated the wording of the message over and over again. He knew nothing was going on between he and his dad and he hadn't done anything wrong; at least that's what he kept telling himself. Then again, he thought, why would dad come pick him up from school to tell them that he really needed to clean his room or do the dishes when he got home?.
"Hey, dad; what's up?" Alec greeted with a half smile on his face. "You know I'm perfectly okay taking the bus home from school like I always do, right?"
Right out of the gates, Alec knew that distressed look on his father's face meant that something bad had happened that day. It was all the more puzzling, though, considering that the expression contained a lot more sadness than anger.
"Well, champ, you might not believe this," Donald began, trying his absolute best to keep a straight face and hold back tears. "But I found out your mom moved out this morning and that she wants a divorce."
"What? Why?" Alec shrieked as he felt his heart plummet into his large intestine. "Where the heck did that come from?"
"Not really sure, champ; I didn't know that she didn't love me anymore or that she loved someone like that besides me."
Donald later discovered, through several custody hearings, that his now ex had been sleeping around on him for almost a year prior. Then, to add insult to injury, she had started something serious with another man, thus sparking her to file the petition for divorce.
Long before the bombshell was dropped Alec had overheard his folks fighting almost non-stop. Most of the time, he recalled, such spats were started when Donald's frugal ways caused friction with his mother's excessive lifestyle.
Sometimes Alec's mother wouldn't come home for entire weekends at a time. They both knew that she was going out clubbing with her girlfriends, sometimes even driving to check out hot new venues a hundred or more miles away.
Upon the uncovering of the revelations of her unfaithfulness, Donald and Alec traveled to East San Diego to meet with their newly hired divorce lawyer.
No matter what she wanted, Donald knew that she would try to take him for even more of a ride than she did in their nearly ten years of marriage. In the end he hoped to have enough money left to maintain his current lifestyle. But, more than anything, he wanted full custody of their soon-to-be teenaged son.
Donald and Alec stepped into the run-down "historic" offices; something very common to the neighborhood they were in. Everyone got down to business right away, discussing strategies on many things including those for winning the custody battle.
"You know I'm not going to sugar coat anything, Mr. Raingrow," the lanky man in a brown tweed coat and mismatching Dockers stated point blank. "It's a well-known fact that in the vast majority of cases the judgments are almost in favor of the mother. It might be bull shit, but that's how it is. But rest assured, I will work my ass off to make sure that we get what's best for Alec."
The discussion, sprinkled with the mowing down of a seemingly endless mountain of paper work, continued at the divorce lawyer's desk. Meanwhile, Alec chipped away at that night's Pre-Algebra homework at the table in the corner.
Two hours and several hundred dollars later it was over for the time being. The paper work was finally filed and the father and son were on their way out. But even more than the humiliation Donald was feeling, both he and his son were now more concerned about kicking their hunger to the curb.
"I don't know where's good to eat, champ," an even more depressed Donald replied as he lit up a cigarette. "And I don't see any Mc. Donald's or fast food joints around here, so I guess this Gretchen's place right here will have to do."
Donald was correct in his observation; there weren't any fast food places, gas stations, sit down restaurants or convenience stores for several miles. Therefore, they could either eat at Gretchen's next door diner or drive to another part of town. In times like these, hunger told them to choose the former.
In business for about ten years in San Diego, the graffiti-riddled brick building boasted a moderate stream of traffic served by a fair number of time-efficient waitresses. Accordingly, it was an ideal candidate, with the father and son being as hungry as they were. Upon being seated in a corner booth in the smoking section, Donald lit up while Alec ate crackers and finished his pre-algebra homework.
"Hi, boys, how y'all doin' tonight?" asked the red-headed waitress with a friendly inquiry. "My name is Linda and I'll be your server tonight,"
"Not too, good, Linda," the visibly distraught Donald began between taking drags. "But I won't bore you with the details. Most people probably could care less."
It was then that Linda began to earn her customer service stars and stripes.
"Hun, I listen and care about what people have to say with no judgments. I don't just do it for a livin' neither; there ain't a story I've heard from a customer that I didn't like. So, what's that goin' on in y'all life that's made things not so good?"
Donald then proceeded to lay everything out on the table, from the start of the troubles with his now ex-wife to the fact that she was doing everything she could to put him through the wringer and ultimately make his life a living hell.
"My goodness, that's absolutely horrible, Donald," Linda exclaimed in what he knew was a genuine sympathetic tone. Turns out that she was waiting on a customer of whom she not only could empathize with, but that she could relate to.
Years prior, as per the story she told to Donald, she was married as well to a construction worker for a huge statewide company. Head over heels in love with a man who made such good money and an even bigger deal about how she didn't need to work, she felt safe and secure for the first few years of the stint.
Unfortunately, things started going from really good to completely horrendous very quickly when bills started coming up unpaid, the electricity got turned off a few times and non-sufficient funds notices from their bank became a staple of their daily mail call.
It turned out that her now ex had begun going to the casino with friends on a regular basis and spending several hours and thousands of dollars there. Eventually, the "harmless fun" blossomed into an addiction and all of the problems that came with it. But when she tried to confront him about everything he began hitting her. A straw didn't break the camel's back, though, until she later learned that he also had been meeting other women at the casino on a regular basis and taking them to nearby motels for illicit fun.
"That's really awful, Linda!" Alec declared as he completed the last algebra problem for the evening and set his pencil and textbook, homework page tucked inside, beside him. "How could somebody do that to someone else?"
"Yes, yes it is, hun. And what might your name be?"
A little nervous at first, Alec looked to his father for his approval then spoke up. "I'm A-Alec." From there, Linda talked briefly to Donald's then 11-year old son, inquiring with the typical questions she asked a child at his age; "what school do you go to," "what's your favorite subject," "what grade are you in" and "what do you want to be when you grow up," being the most common.
Alec did his best not too be too chatty, telling the jovial waitress that he was a fifth grader at San Diego City Elementary School, that he loved music and writing best and that when he grew up he wanted to be a famous jazz bass player.
"Really? Jazz bass player? Is that what's in that case here; a bass guitar?"
"Yep!" Alec boasted gleefully as he unzipped the gig bag and gave her a peek at his first pride and joy, a blue Ibanez 4-string.
From the rest of the conversation dispersed throughout their visit to the diner, Donald and Alec knew that the customer service was top notch, though they were even more concerned with whether or not the food measured up. With that in mind, Linda finally asked them what she could bring them for dinner.
"Honestly, I don't know what I'd like yet," said Donald. "You can go first, champ."
"I'd like the eggs, bacon, sausage, hash brown and pancake plate," Alec piped up after noticing banner behind the cash register declaring that breakfast was served all the time. "And orange juice, too, please."
Donald thumbed through the other sections of the laminated menu for a few more seconds before placing his own order.
"You know, that actually sounds really good!" he concluded. "I'll have the same the same thing he's having except with a side of sour dough toast and a Coke."
"Thank you, boys, we'll have that right up for you!" Linda asserted. "And it was great to meet you both."
Linda's brand of hospitality made both of them happy to be there at least for that reason. Though what mattered the most was the fact that when the food arrived it wasn't just good; it was fantastic. The home made pancakes were fluffy and delicious and everything was prepared perfectly.
Donald left a generous tip for Linda not just for great food and exemplary service, but also because she managed to cheer him up in the midst of terrible times. He also promised them that the two of them would definitely be coming again; a promise made good on ever since, with Gretchen's being a regular stop for Donald, Alec and all of their family and friends.
"How many gigs have y'all played, then, or do you remember?" asked Linda. "Got any CDs that people can buy of your stuff yet?"
"We've played mostly at school functions and done solos," Alec replied, motioning politely for more coffee from the pot in the seasoned waitress' right hand. "We played once at one of those battle of the high school band thingies, but we got our asses handed to us a bunch of crappy punk and emo acts. Still, most of what we've done has been as part as the big Monte Vista jazz band, but they've set them up to let the five of us play originals and covers together."
"So then you do have some CDs that people can buy."
"Actually, no; we've never really recorded anything, though we all hope to change that really soon, as long as we can scrape together the cash for studio time. That might be a little tricky."
Right as she asked Alec the last question, Linda overheard one of the chef's ringing a bell signifying that one of her customers' orders was up. From there, Donald and Alec commenced their conversation about their performance, other sub-mediocre acts in the show and plans for the upcoming weekend."
"Of course I'm working 'till late tomorrow and Saturday," Donald began as he sipped from the newly replenished glass of Coke that Linda just brought by en route to another table. "I guess that's the curse of the spring time sports; we're swamped as hell most of the days with all the college, high school and professional baseball and stuff, but we're completely dead on Sunday."
"So, I take it that your job's better around football season?" Alec guessed.
"Of course. But hey, at least you'll never hear me bitching about not only getting into every Padres game but getting to interview them after the fact. Not to say it doesn't suck doing the same when the Chargers' season rolls around, though, eh?"
"Okay, pipe down boys, it's time to eat!" Linda joked as she stopped at the table wielding a large brown tray containing Donald and Alec's meals in one hand and a bottle of hot sauce in the front pocket of her apron. "But hey, Donald, I haven't seen Vanessa 'round here for a while. How's she been doin'?"
"Oh, she's been doin' wonderful," a now blushing Donald replied. "She's just been extremely busy with work and seminars on top of a couple of papers for a couple of specialized medical journals. You know, fun stuff."
"I bet. Well, she'd better not be a stranger 'cuz I miss seein' her 'round here with you guys."
Upon Linda's umpteenth departure Donald and Alec continued talking of some of the things that Vanessa, Donald's long time girlfriend, told her she had been up to as of late.
"Oh yeah, she wanted to tell me that she felt really bad about missing you guys' performance at the talent show," Donald assured. "Just that she's doing that damn research project and that she wants to get it through peer review early so she can possibly get it into next quarter's Journal of Women's Medicine."
"I know, dad, I told her already it's cool," said Alec, returning the assurance. "And some of it might be a little over my head, but I really wouldn't mind having a gander when she has whole thing."
There was no doubt on anyone's mind that Donald and Vanessa, or Dr. Vanessa Mae Rose, Gynecologist, was meant to be together. Now totally committed to one another for four years, Vanessa was the first and only person that Donald ever dated after the divorce and, quite possibly, the last.
The whole thing began on a day when Donald was shopping for presents for Alec's 13th birthday. Feeling somewhat confident at first of where he was going, Donald set out to the mall on an afternoon when his son was in San Francisco for an all state school jazz band competition. Using this to his advantage, he wove in and out of several stores using a hand-written "suggestion list" as a guide for a few things and intuition for the rest.
However, after picking up a few of button-down shirts, Padres items, recent books and other birthday staples, Donald knew that one store was bound to have some solutions for the best gifts. Then again, the subject matter was very Greek to him, therefore giving him no place to start looking first.
"Can I help you, sir?" a snooty young record store clerk forced herself to ask as she begrudgingly set down a dog-eared copy of Us Weekly.
"Well, I hope so," Donald chanced. "My son's birthday is coming up and he's really into jazz. I was wondering if you could help me find him the right gift."
The young girl gave a look as if he was speaking gibberish before pointing and replying with, "Well, our jazz section's over there. Or if you can't find what you're looking for you can always get him a gift card!"
"But, hey, I don't know what to get him," Donald replied while doing his best to keep his cool. "I know nothing about jazz and need somebody to help me. Didn't you understand what I just told you."
"Excuse me, I don't interrupt you two," exclaimed a tall, middle-aged redhead in a white coat, black top and slacks from across the store. "But did you say you need help finding jazz music?"
"Yes, yes I am, but I don't know what the hell I'm doing!" asked Donald in response to the woman, of whom he learned of her profession by reading her name tag. "Could you please help me?"
"I sure can. And my name is Vanessa, by the way, as you saw." The two shook hands. "Now, you said you're looking for a good gift to give to your son who loves jazz; do you know if he has any favorite musicians? I can help you find artists similar to their style."
After browsing around the ill-staffed record store for just over an hour, Donald and Vanessa decided to go for lattes at the coffee shop around the corner. However, what originally began as a man buying women coffee as a thank you for her assistance, quickly became an easy way to burn the remaining time before her next appointment.
"So, tell me a little bit about this son of yours," Vanessa, who Donald learned was just as much a jazz fanatic as Alec, asked as she sipped the coffee drink with the straw penetrating the force field of whipped cream.
As per the private-practicing gynecologist's request, Donald fulfilled the inquiry by proceeding with information about his only child, who also assumed the role of "best friend" after the divorce. Between sips of his pumpkin-flavored latte, Vanessa learned of not just Alec's love of the jazz music, but of how he recently began playing bass for the middle school jazz band and how that tied into his dreams and long term goals. She also got an earful about their mutual love of Padres baseball; something Donald learned was as Greek to her as jazz was to him.
"Yeah, all I know is a vague idea of how the game is played," Vanessa confessed. "Though quite frankly, I've tried watching all sorts of sports on TV; all of it's just boring as hell to me."
Struck by the irony, especially considering what he did for a living, Donald then veered the conversation into potentially touchy territory by mentioning just how strong their bond had grown; up to and including the understanding, love and embracing he gave to Alec after his coming out of the closet just six months prior.
"You know, that's really rare to hear stuff like that, but it's absolutely fantastic," Vanessa praised, pointing out that, in her experience, she's never heard of a father being completely supportive, or anything beyond tolerating, of a child's homosexuality. In fact, she had an uncle who represented the complete opposite by disowning her niece upon her figuring out that she was a lesbian.
"Well, even if I had reserves about it, what the hell am I going to do; love him less?" Donald proclaimed while also telling Vanessa that he knew all along that Alec preferred men. In fact, Donald was just waiting to see how long it would take Alec to come to terms with things, accept it, then feel comfortable enough to talk about it with him.
The latte and record store romp began as two people talking at a coffee shop, then became an early and quick dinner together before Donald was due to head in to the Union Tribune offices; a time during which Donald mustered the courage to ask her out for dating and to see where things took them. Certainly, the rest was history.
"So, champ, what do you plan to do with yourself this weekend?" asked Donald as he added hot sauce to his eggs and hash browns. "Is Anthony free?"
"No, he's working tomorrow and Saturday night, but we think we can get together on Sunday," said Alec. "But I've got something fun planned both nights while you're at work."
"Oh? What's going on?"
"Well, for Saturday Gerald got tickets to this Charlie Parker tribute show going on at El Cajon. So, since his girlfriend prefers classical over jazz and wasn't interested, he asked Jen, one of the Alto Saxophones from the school band, and I if we wanted to go. Of course, we both said yes."
"And what's going on tomorrow? You know we're busier than hell at work tomorrow."
"Yeah, I know. But actually, there's another impromptu jam session going on at Humphrey's Hot Note and I know that bass players are always in high demand. So that's where I'll be tomorrow night."
With conversation beginning to wind down and the clock showing that it was starting to get late, Alec and Donald finished their meals in near silence then proceeded to the cash register to pay the check. Finally out of the restaurant, the duo climbed back into the truck, bound back to their apartment complex for some well-needed refreshment.
The drive across town from Gretchen's to their West side apartment made for quite a journey. Certainly, if the food wasn't so good such a regular practice would never be justified. Nevertheless, the truck pulled into one of their assigned parking spaces, next to Alec's brown 1970s model Chevrolet Caprice, around 11:20 that evening; five-and-a-half hours before they would be awake again.
"Ah, home sweet home," exclaimed Donald as he and his son stepped inside and activated the door lock and dead bolt. Stepping in to the modest, yet home-like 2-bedroom apartment, it never failed to be inviting for the father and son or any of their guests.
Now out of his clothes that he wore all day to class, Alec lit up a couple of sticks of patchouli incense, a room-filling scent that both he and his father loved. Within a few seconds of extinguishing the flame, the billowing smoke emitted from the black sticks and filled the main white-painted room of the apartment, tastefully dressed up with family photos and baseball-related artwork.
While setting his keys, dusty Padres cap and wallet down on the living room end table, Donald flicked on the TV in order to catch the last few minutes of the late news and a few of the Tonight Show. It was then that he wanted to make sure everything was in order by asking such questions as, "Hey, champ, do you have something to make yourself for lunch tomorrow?"
"Yeah, I was going to take me a bologna sandwich, some chips, a fruit and a Diet Coke," Alec replied as he flicked the ash of his cigarette into the baseball-shaped ash tray on the adjacent end table. "But I'm a little short on cash 'till that next gig we're playing at Muddy's Jazz Outlet a couple of weekends from now; could I get a few bucks for dinner and a coffee tomorrow night?"
"Sure, not a problem," said Donald. "I'll get some cash during the day and leave it for you on the table before I go to work."
After learning the results of a couple of far away high school baseball match-ups, Alec gave his father a hug and told him to sleep well before moseying down the short hallway to his also modest, yet well-decorated abode.
By merely taking a look around the cube-like bedroom with the same regulation white prison cell-like walls, it was easy to make a quick deduction as to what the 17-year old bass player was all about. The furniture, all acquired at an unfinished furniture store and stained jet black to match by his father, were all pieces Alec had from a very young age and had no intentions of ever parting ways with.
In fact, all of the furniture and electronics were deliberately selected to go with one another. His computer, monitor and accessories, all black, sat on a sturdy old-fashioned black desk with black desk lamp placed adjacently. The black 5-CD stereo system featured an illuminated display which was now emitting a warm glow as to offset the now dimly lit room. All of these things were set off by Alec's four white walls, which were made not-so dreary by his collection of photos of jazz musicians, prints of jazz-related artwork and vintage-style posters advertising big-name shows of the past at well-known venues.
Plopping down the cushy full-sized bed adorned with a plain black comforter and matching sheets and pillows in cases, the way he liked it, Alec tuned into his first preset, 88.3, on his mini-stereo shelf system's FM dial. With a little less than a half-hour to go before the conclusion of that evening's edition of Creative Music, it was Alec's favorite segment considering the obscurity of the artists Miff Mole spun inside the final thirty-five minutes.
As the last track concluded, a newer cut from a Dan Jacobs album, the show concluded, as did the day's broadcast. With that announcement, Alec changed his stereo system's function over to CD and hit play on a record he had just recently purchased, Medeski, Martin and Wood's Friday Afternoon in the Universe.
The act, known for injecting virtually any conceivable musical style into their jazz-based sound, first performed together in 1991 at the Village Gate in New York City. In the years to come, they would ultimately push the limits of their home genre, touring relentlessly and releasing several equally "out-there" records along the way. The album that Alec was listening to at the moment was Medeski, Martin and Wood's very first of many studio albums.
"Hey, don't forget to set your alarm clock, champ!" Donald advised as he headed into his own bedroom for the evening. "And good night."
"I'm one step ahead of you, dad, but thank you!" Alec assured as he got up from the bed in order to check his e-mail and My Space account one last time before hitting the hay for the night.
"My God; even if I were straight, I wouldn't touch you with a ten-foot pole," Alec thought out loud to himself as he deleted the long list of "Friend Requests" of scantily-clad women really trying to get him to view their webcams and/or nude photos. Certainly, none of them were up his alley. What was up his alley, however, was a typical semi-weekly email from Anthony. Written, ironically, in one long paragraph with no breaks, yet perfect grammar, Alec learned that his now steady boyfriend had an especially eventful night at the on-campus writer's tutoring center he worked at part-time for a few extra bucks:
"Hey, sweet heart:
You don't know just how bad I wanted to come watch you and your band perform tonight, but there really was no way in hell I could sneak out. One of the other tutors, Melissa, called in sick tonight and the other one, Jared, spent nearly his entire shift helping out a couple of people who honestly make you wonder such things as, "how many times did they have to blow their teachers in middle school and high school in order to graduate?" I mean, I understand that some people loathe English class and count it as anything but their strong point. However, the way that these folks composed papers, even for remedial and 101 classes, makes me wonder if public school teachers even care about their students anymore. I'm talking chronic misspellings, entire paragraphs written as one big sentence with commas; the works. Certainly I felt sorry for Jared on the count of the two morons he had to deal with tonight, though the folks who came to me weren't wound much tighter. For instance, there was this one kid who came in from one of the English 101 classes who told me that his professor instructed him to come to our Writer's Center for assistance fixing the first draft he handed in and getting it ready for the second draft. Apparently, his professor had told him that from what he read, the student's paper was in need of some drastic revamps, edits and the like, before it would be good enough to merit a decent grade. I took one look at the first draft and knew right away why his professor had a field day with his red correction pen. This one guy's paper was not just littered with fragments, run-on and choppy sentences and crappy paragraphs, but also was rife with, I shit you not, the kind of abbreviations that some people use when sending a text message or speaking over instant messenger. If that sounds way too ludicrous to be true, consider that his paper opened with the witty declaration, 'I wAnT 2b a CoOk 4 lOtS oF rEaSoNs.' I'm not trying to imply that the poor guy has a peanut for brains, though let's just say with his lack of grasp for the English language, not to mention his notion that text messaging is really talking, I'd be hard pressed to eat at any restaurant he's a chef at. Still, if you ever wonder why I blew AOL and Yahoo instant messengers off of my computer, perhaps tonight's incident can give you a pretty good reason as to why. More than anybody else, this guy was my entertainment for the night; and you know just how many people who can't write I try to knock some sense into during every shift. Anyways, it turns out that all of the 101 classes have papers coming due at the beginning of the week, as do a couple of the 200-level classes, so there is no way in hell that I can get tomorrow or Saturday off, but I'm wide open on Sunday. What do you want to do? I'm sure if you're reading this it's pretty late and you're about to go to bed so I'll quit writing now so you can get your rest. I love you! ~Anthony~"
As always, the letter put a big smile on Alec's face, in addition to bringing him to tears laughing as he read a couple of things. But now, with the arms of the wall clock above him a few centimeters from telling him it was midnight, Alec knew that he was in desperate need of sleep.
As his computer made its progress towards shutting down, Alec shut off his little black mini stereo system then slipped into sweats and baggy tee shirt; his typical night time attire. Finally, with the computer completely powered down, he shut off the desk lamp then climbed under the covers and into happy dreams of performing at giant packed venues and recording with certain deceased jazz legends. In other words, it was a typical night, just like the rest.