I don’t remember where she found the CD but while she was away, while I was waiting, between Branford Marsalis and Stan Getz and Billy Holiday, that simple sometimes awkward sound of Nina Simone slipped into my life.
The truth is she loved Stan Getz as much as I loved the stolen days and the drive to that apartment with the sliding doors and the peeling paint on the panes. The bath was down the hall…standard chrome, white porcelain, a glass shelf with a beveled edge and metal clips. The songs repeated down the hall where the bricks held the mattress off the floor until they all sounded the same, like the girl from Ipanema, forever and a night.
My Funny Valentine…14 versions and a blue suede moleskine…flowers and phone calls and the short walk in the rain over the covered bridge to my studio at the base of the mountain with the tiny gas fireplace and the Murphy bed with photos in frames and letters in envelopes with stamps on shelves on either side.
And then, one day, she told me, before she vanished, she never did like Nina Simone…