Back when I was an undergraduate, approximately a million years ago, I visited my friend Miles in Boston. We had shared a house together in England the year before and were currently finishing up college, he at Boston University and I at Sarah Lawrence. So one weekend, with no particular agenda or expectations, I hopped on a bus and went up there.
I remember that I was studying The Iliad at the time, which made for very poor bus reading. When I got there, Miles and I weren’t sure what to do with ourselves. There were no movies around we wanted to see. So Miles, who was a huge jazz fan (he was named after Miles Davis), suggested we go to a jazz club. I at least liked the idea of jazz, so I agreed.
It was a smoky club (as I said – a million years ago). We got a seat near the front. Sitting to my right was a small African-American man with tonsure-pattern baldness. He looked old to me, but almost everyone did back then. My guess is he was in his 50s. He was a bus driver, which I could tell because he was still in uniform. I don't recall the name on his nametag, but I remember what was on the table in front of him.