Bohemian on Relic Lane
There’s a store in a long forgotten alley. An imagined relic, existing only in a time long since passed. The yellowed stone wash exterior is coated in cobwebs, and caked dust. The place is so old that it has no screens, or special glass. No alarm company boasts their stickers upon the splintered door. No camera, real or faked, to record passers who zombie on by. These things are all just simply not needed in place such as this. The only protection are the sepia strained horizontal blinds which are falling apart with the strain of their age.
The little store, bohemian by nature, remains unnoticed by those who don’t wish it. But, if you happen to look; if you happen to need it – You’ll see coloured light shining through from behind those falling apart blinds.
You approach the door, suddenly free of the cobwebs and dust, you turn the brass knob to reveal a shop. Hardwood floors creek beneath your boots. They’re real wood, not ‘floating’, and not particularly well polished. It’s not well organised, the bohemian relic, but its sweet, and it has a nice atmosphere, so you decide you might shop.
There’s a smell to the air, sweet like raw cane. You breathe a bit more to distinguish what makes it. A sniff you can tell cakes. Another sniff, you define cigarettes. Sniff, you smell scotch. And then, a hint of a lady named Jane.
You glance around to see what you’ve found. To your left is a wall, its shelves filled with crafts. There are paintings adorning all the spaces between. Without realising you’re doing it, you wind your way through tubs of dusty books, and well-loved records. Past statues of all sorts, from eras collected.
You find now, there’s a counter, along the back wall. It sells sweet buns, cakes, vegan savouries, coffee and more. The antique register still tings as it calls up a sale, its registering no price, proudly and loudly. You take your purchase and look for a seat. There’s tables and couches, none of which match. Wonderful acquaintances surround wherever you’re sat.
Near the right wall, you hadn’t noticed till now, is bare patch of floor, which poses as a stage. Adorning its edge instruments are jumbled; steel drums, an acoustic guitar, a small wood piano, and a modern day beat mixer. At the front is a microphone, made before the 50’s, a good friend recites a poem, or some music while a man tap dances, providing a rhythmic beat.
You settle right in, to an armchair at a table. Quickly you make some new friends; the sort of good conversation, intelligence and taste. The open mic continues, as arrayed as all else, eventually you rise and give your art a try.
There’s no nerves as you stand, recite, sing, play or dance. No notions of fame, or critics allowed. The company is good here, and everyone cheers. They do this because all performances are inspired.
I so hope you will stay, at the bohemia store. Where nothing much matters, and time isn’t stocked. It’s okay, we understand well, when people must leave, but hopefully I’ll see you here, sometime again.
The bell dongs above the door, you, my new friend are gone. Returned to the stresses, hustles and bustles. But, look who came in at the same time you left. An old friend is getting a coffee and taking a seat. It’s been so long now, and I’m so grateful to see them.