April is Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM). This story is based on the lyrics of the great Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life” and the weekly photo prompt provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for Friday Fictioneers.

Photo Copyright: Lauren Moscato

Photo Copyright: Lauren Moscato

I’ll live a lush
Life in some small dive
And there I’ll be
While I rot with the rest
Of those whose lives are lonely too

– Billy Strayhorn, “Lush Life”


by Jan Brown

The only thing I got in the divorce was a small jazz bar in a rather dubious neighborhood. It was aptly called “Hole in the Wall,” but most people just called it “The Hole.”

There is a feeling, when you walk in the door, that you’ve entered another universe, a dank, dingy world where there is so much darkness and pain that your own personal problems seem less ominous in comparison.

He still visits on weekends when I sing, despite the restraining order. Last night, he looked so old, so smashed, so irretrievably sad. And then he pulled the gun.


You can read other Fictioneers’ stories here, and even add your own.

You can learn more about Jazz Appreciation Month by visiting their  Facebook page.

As an extra added bonus for reading this far, here is Lady Gaga’s very luscious version of “Lush Life.” Enjoy!


37 thoughts on “Lush

  1. So many questions…does his look change from despondency when he pulls the gun? Does he kill himself as Sandra has suggested above or try to kill the woman he has been stalking simply because he is in love with her voice?

  2. I think every little town has a Hole in the Wall bar, or should. I find it interesting to study the regulars and wonder about their story–what drive them to come day after day. A very thought provoking piece, Jan.

  3. This is very powerful, so full of emotion, guilt, and pain. And with his last act, he wants her to never get rid of the guilt over his death. I’m all in awe… 🙂

  4. Jan, this has such atmosphere; you’ve nailed a scene that truly jumps off the page. Really excellent.

    How strange that Tony Bennett seems to do such a good job of fitting in with each new generation… truly inspiring!

  5. Dear Jan,

    What a wonderful story. You set the stage, ushered us in and then started softly singing….

    Very well done. I hope he uses the gun on himself…she seems to have her life in order.



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