When I lived in Berkeley, I once went to a concert by Brad Mehldau with Paul, an american from armenian descent, and Marisa, and american from cuban descent. Marisa drove us to the japanese restaurant/concert hall in Oakland, Yoshi's, where Brad was playing. It was an old Volkswagen Golf, one of those cars I thought didn't exist in America. Paul sat on the front, and spent all the way talking to Marisa in that very american way, I mean they don't know each other but soon they find something in common and talk like old friends, though never forgetting a sort of unpalpable distance.
I felt sort of out of the conversation, but after all I was being driven there, and the talk was very entertaining. It's curious how well I remember that when we got there Marisa had no money to buy the ticket (Paul and I had bought the ticket days before, but she joined the very same hour before the concert) and withdrew some from an ATM nearby. It's stupid, I know, but I remember it so clearly. And I can see her now, that beautiful long, curly, black hair, just washed an hour ago, matching her eyes so naturally and yet so perfectly. I thought Paul was in love with her.
The rest of the evening I do not remember so well Marisa. But I do know we ordered sushi, and ate it while listening to Brad. The concert hall was in a semi-circle, attached to what you would call the proper japanese restaurant, a long, squared espace. We were sitting on high chairs, high table by us, on a high plattform surrounding the first class area, stuffed with elegant and comfortable sofas and tables with candle lights.
We ate the sushi and I had to end up eating it with my hands. Brad played for quite a short time, hardly 45 minutes, though later I learnt that he rarely plays long concerts. Paul is more of a Keith Jarret type, but he approved of Brad. I do not remember what Marisa thought of the concert.
We came back, and probably I smoked a cigarrete before the residence hall, and then aimed myself at my room, laid on bed and smiled. I wonder what would I write about the evening if tomorrow, because of some strange but sweet magic, I found myself again in Berkeley, met Paul and Marisa down Bancroft and, without crossing a word of surprise, the three of us headed to Yoshi's to listen to Brad Mehldau. On an old Volkswagen Golf, one of those cars I thought didn't exist in America.