It's possible it happened this way:|
"Where are we going?" he asked her.
"It's wherever I am."
They stand on a metal grate, suspended in empty space twenty-five feet above the pit, where Wendy, a hollow-eyed string bean with huge watery eyes and skinny, track marked, arms, looks you over and decides: Are you a spectator? Are you a performer? Or are you a cop? Spectators go up to the balcony, performers down to the pit - when a cop walks in she switches on a blue strobe mounted on the wall behind the bar.
You may think you're just a spectator, but Wendy knows.
"When is your performance?"
"It's already begun."
"I don't understand."
"That's part of the performance."
"I see," but of course he didn't.
A waitress set two bottles of beer on the table and walked away.
"That man in the photograph over to the right?" he said; "Is that Raspero?"
"Not really. That's an avatar."
"He looks real to me."
"Appearances are deceiving."
"I think you're the avatar."
"Do you? . . . Oh well. Isn't it all made up anyway?"
"Isn't what all made up?"
"Everything really . . . " — at that instant, a great shattering roar split apart the night as a glittering black mass of blinding light and chrome-plated steel exploded through the plate glass front window and lunged airborne into the pit . . . then another even greater explosion of glass and crashing light as the massive black car broke through the mirrored wall behind the bar and disappeared into the secret smoky depths of the kitchen. A woman screamed . . . the lights went out . . . and then there was nothing . . . a few jagged mirror shards falling . . . clink . . . clink . . . clink . . . onto the glimmering pile of broken licquor bottles and shattered glass, and through the blinking crimson dust, two sleek black Cadillac tail fins silently signaled the end of yet another Thursday night performance at Fantaciworks.
. . . and back out on the street again:
"I know a place," he said.
"What kind of place?"
"It's your kind of place."
"What's it called?"