Swiss cheese crowd—steady flow of jazz lovers, but plenty of empty tables and bar stools. Blame it on the autumn chill, the armored police vehicle parked in front of the dance club down the block, or, as the bandleader hypothesized, the welterweight championship fight. So, while Manny Pacquiao was pounding Antonio Margarito’s face to a pulp, the band was pounding out Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, and other favorites. There were date-night couples ordering flavored martinis, a couple of lone-wolf guys, and a shadowy couple that I swear were gypsies… Romani… tinkerers. It was subtle, but they had sorcerers’ eyes. Just like wild baboons, I know enough to not maintain eye contact. The cover charge transaction was handled professionally, but my eyes were submissively averted. I don’t need charms, cures, or conjurations, thank you very much. A narrow miss, but I don’t think they knew that I know. Time will tell if my luck has been jinxed.