Story: The Boom Box and the Grape – 11/08/19

They grooved together as no other two could.

The Boom Box sat above the hotel, on the top of the roof, thinking, “Well, goodness, this is utterly boring!” No one to play for, no one to entertain, nothing worth sharing, the tunes from his brain. The rooftop was deserted, there was nothing but air conditioning vents, and an entrance to the stairwell. This was the place where Boom Box often came to vent.

Despite the illusion that a boom box’s existence was happy, jolly, bombastic, Boom Box actually suffered from moment of deep sadness, when he realised his presence and tunes were unappreciated. After all, he played songs from a cassette recorded in the 1980’s, and while the many tunes were pleasing and repetitive to him, others wanted something more modern to dance away the night with their hands filled with glasses of rum, scotch, whisky or gin. Their tastes were very specific, this crowd that I speak of, a refined understanding, a niche listening style, a charismatic knowledge. Unfortunately for Boom Box, he had been assigned to this crowd, whom gathered at midnight every Friday in the ballroom five stories below. He was tired of being something that he was not, he wanted to revel and sing, to provide his 1980’s tunes and be appreciated for the songs he held within.

So, one evening, on a Friday night when he was meant to otherwise be occupied, he snuck into the pool room, where there was being held a party, at a quarter to nine. The pool was filled with inflatable toys, the room decorated in a celebratory style, a lone swimmer clasping a pool noodle smiled at him and said, “Hey Boom Box! Give me some music, play me something until it gets well into my head!” He picked his favourite song, and away the sound did blast, the person in the pool decided to jump out onto the concrete and he proceeded to fervently dance. He seemed to love the tune, it was everything he had been hoping for, a sound that came to him and so very soon would there be more revellers accompanying this ecstatic dancer.

Then, all of a sudden,  Boom Box was swept up from the ground, thrown upwards, almost seemingly to the heavens, and placed within a tight grip of a purple hand upon a shoulder, a perfect spot for this contraption. The hand adjusted the knobs, bass and treble, volume pumped loud, and away the tunes would go! Boom Box looked down at his holder, and with a giggle of great delight, he realised he had been swept up by an excitable, bouncy Grape, who seemed funky now, her style and mood would never truly abate, her aura seemed so alive and alight.

She grooved with the mood, sung along to the love songs, the power ballads, the crooning, the dancing music, the tunes, it was all so damned fantastic! The revellers greatly appreciated the Grape’s efforts, and wind back and play and wind back and play, repeatedly, would Boom Box of his tunes, that he thought, “Stuff it, I will not bother with the people in the ballroom.” This was his place now, his room of his ultimate forte, he would remain here every Friday, ignoring the ballroom always. After all, it wasn’t as though they appreciated him up there, and the music he was forced to play them was stuffy and of it he did not hold one iota of care. And when the hotel staff came looking for him at a quarter past one, he simply silenced himself, pretended to be dead and faulty, and away for a boom box replacement did the hotel staff run.

Grape proved a great partner, she was such a warm, sweetened and talented ball of fruit, Boom Box wondered whether she had been sent from afar to save him from the bathroom’s continued metaphorical noose. Grape was the groove master who knew how to speed things faster, and slow them right down, to create a mood-like roller coaster. Now he was relaxed, with her, in her presence, it seemed together they would go far, but even if only for the night, their collaboration meant much to him, for it also meant he had not gone down without a fight. The ballroom members could be completely forgotten for all he cared, memories erased that very night, his efforts no longer forced to be shared.

Grape and Boom Box, the epic new duo, the talented pair, they ended up travelling far and wide everywhere. A continent wide tour, and then one of the world, they entertained crowds upon crowds, of men, women, boys, and girls. Their tunes reached and touched the hearts of generations, for the recordings that Boom Box held there was only one of this compilation, and when it came to alterations, Grape leaped forth and performed her dee-jaying skills to recreate that roller coaster ride’s rapidly fluctuating moods.

© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.

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