Yyou throw out a narrowed, conspiratorial glance at Pierce, guide his eyes with yours. He snatches at the offending hand and holds it up and away from his body to catch it in the light. Sure enough, under this interrogation it yields its big secret:

“Brooklyn Book Fair,” it reads. “Admits One.”

“You don’t understand! Look–yeah, so I went to the book fair instead of dancing. My leg was sore. Kickboxing! I’m a great dancer! I’m a GREAT DANCER!”

As the slam of a cop car muffles the man’s pleas, you consider whether the recently passed mandatory Friday dancing laws were, perhaps, too strict. Pierce bursts your reverie with a pointed question, “So, gorgeous. You thinkin’ what I’m thinkin’?”

What he was thinking was not what you were thinking.

He grabs your hand and off you run: through bleak and empty streets and industrial zones turned playgrounds for asbestos and particles of silt, past workmen huddled at odd times over hard-to-categorize meals, stews and salads to celebrate the interregnum between breakfast and brunch, scrambled eggs cooked with welding tools served with fussy punctuality at 3:37 PM, and into and out of the paltry defenses of the parking lots of divy hotels the color of salmonflesh. This, you think, is the bloated corpse of entire decades of the American experiment.

You arrive at your destination, a nondescript exterior apart from the graffiti plastering it (some tortured individual made of it a hideous, if technically proficient, monument to the Screechless blandness of California Dreams) but smuggled inside its innards oh inside five floors of pure dance encoiled and constricted by a spiralling rampway. The name? Dance ‘All Days.

You end up on Floor Four which, whether from irony or immigration, is dedicated to Eastern Europe’s newest craze, the Electro-calliope, the thump thump of which’s bass makes your hips pop and the flit flit of which’s melodies makes your head go bananas, or merely want a banana split, since it reminds you longingly of a friendly neighborhood ice cream truck.

You and Pierce and his trenchcoat make a grand entrance despite the unique crowd, celebrities and extraterrestrials and representatives of Native American tribes in getups that seem conjured up whole from some feverish/altered dreamstate but were really part of a particularly odious Treaty signed and stamped in 1977 by an inebriated Gerald Ford. You dance past limit, past exhaustion, until your arms are flaccid tubes that, oh yes, happen to be/feel on fire; until Pierce drops dead and then you dance with his Ghost, who is far more nimble but far less fun for all the moaning. You dance with Fear, then tiring of him with Danger, and finally with Death, breaking the trio’s tiny, gnarled little hearts into a million sparkling pieces. You dance and you dance and you dance and you never stop ever, even once, to think of what could be out there lurking on the Internet.

THE END

 

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