He tapped my shoulder. Even though we were in the middle of downtown, in rough traffic, he used that to get my attention. We must be where we needed to be. I turned away from staring out the passenger window and saw the sign above the entrance, Now Playing: Dead Silent.
I dropped my gaze to my driver-slash-shop foreman, gave him an expression that should read, Are you kidding? I never expected him to be malevolent, and he wasn’t. The look he gave me was Dead Serious. And then he handed me the balloon.
Fully inflated, it had a guy’s name scrawled across it. My foreman leaned over and opened the passenger door, dismissed.
I carried my purple balloon through the entrance, found a man standing to the side. He read the balloon, nodded, but didn’t move.
Looking past him through glass doors, I spotted bodies, strewn across the floor. Was this a mass suicide and the boss thought I’d like to join? They were twitching, some looked to be swimming, beached on their bellies, others having seizures.
The man opened the door as my eyes strayed from the convulsive scene. I’d entertained thoughts of performing here, playing my brand of music. So much for that. A mishandled airbag deployment had wiped clean my hearing and my dreams.
Vibrations walked the length of my fingers. My balloon was transmitting so I stepped closer to the source. Pulses followed a pattern, maybe a rhythm. Marveling at the waving sensations, my eyes eventually drifted up. How?
Musicians traipsed across a stage. My finger was tapping the balloon … in time? With music. Forget my ears; I heard so much more. I knew I’d be on that floor just like I knew what my boss was telling me. It wasn’t over. I heard that.
*P.S.I = Pounds per Square Inch, a measurement of air pressure.