It’s a normal night here at the Empire Dine and Dance. I’ve never seen this man before, but he emerges. A Hall and Oates song starts playing, but I couldn’t tell you the name of it, or what the hook is until it gets to the chords. The man is standing there with a bottle of brown liquor held tightly to his lips and tilted far above his head. He is jerking quickly back and forth. Not dancing, but… jerking.
Suddenly, I realize that the song is coming out of his butt. His name is Steven Handscomb.
How do I know that?
I also know that he manages a moving company. Where did he get that bottle? I look at the bartender, who doesn’t seem to care. He is gazing at Handscomb serenely. He has only the slightest smile hung from his approving face.
As Steven jerks back and forth, he moves his stiffly-straight legs across the floor, like a spirograph pen skittering on top of a card table. We are now halfway through the song, and I recognize its chorus. A bird rubs its back on the window from outside.
I don’t come to the Empire Dine and Dance regularly, but I come here often enough to know that this slowly descending disco ball is new. A middle aged woman in the corner is showered with Nickelodeon slime. After a moment, she laughs with a shocked expression holding her lips apart. The spring equinox will come in 54 days, I recall.
The song ends, and by this time, Steven Handscomb has grown a mustache. We’ve all grown mustaches. As I fumble through my purse, looking for a razor, I notice that Steven Hanscomb is missing. He is gone like the winter, and gone like his song. But he has made my dreams.