I sat there and watched them play through their set. Scott up there gyrating and dancing around like he was having sex with a ghost in front of all six people who showed up for the display. Elvis’ hips had nothing on this kid. I’ve literally been through hell and the half hour they were on stage was pure torture. Even on the one song in their repertoire that was soft and slow Andrew’s voice emitted a banshee-like wail. Never once, though, did his eyes leave mine.
Finally, the racket ended with their would-be hit single, “Tango in Hell”; the irony wasn’t lost on me. Andrew started making his way obediently over to me; he could see my eyes beckoning him to me. He shimmied his way through the masses telling him they adore him and would follow him to the grave if he would just stop singing. He turned his eyes only out of politeness to those offering him misguided praise, but I didn’t mind by this point: he was mine and we both knew it.
The adoring druggies, I mean fans, finished saying their piece allowing Scott to make his way over to my table. Where everyone else kept glancing at me out of the corner of their eyes, Scott was cool, calm and collected. If anything he was more like a school boy who just figured out there was more to a penis than just the pee. All piss and vinegar, no off switch. He remained drawn to my stare and I could tell he was trying to figure me out, but my mind is incomprehensible. If he could have read my mind at that moment he probably would have soiled himself and spent the rest of his life crying in a corner of the bar until he succumbed to a brain hemorrhage less than ten minutes later.
He flashed me a wicked devilish grin, not realizing who he was giving it to. I returned it and the smile faded from his face. “Do I know you?” he asked.
“No, but I know you,” I replied, savoring the troubled look that started at his chin and rose to his eyebrows consuming his face. “I’ve known you all your life. Watched out for you, built you up when you were down, cared for you when no one else was around. I guess you could say that I’m something of your guardian angel, but I ain’t got no wings. I’ve pretty much known you since you were a small child.”
“So you’re an angel.”
“Pay attention, son, I said I’m something like your guardian angel, but I’m not an angel, not anymore anyway. Besides, angels don’t have time to be meddling in human affairs, nor do they particularly want to when they’re given the task. No, I’m no angel, but I’ve been there for you for years: leading and shepherding you to this moment, this meeting right here and now.”
“Ain’t nobody pushed me here though. How you been leadin’ me all this time an’ I never saw ya?”
“There’s more than one way to lead, kid. I do it mainly by hints and suggestions. You do as I say because you don’t know I say it.”
“What like ESP?”
“Something like that.”
“Sounds like bullshit to me.”
I allow the smile to fade from my face which prompts his to return. I lean forward slowly and he leans back. The smile on his face quickly fades, but only for a second. He’s completely unaware of how everyone is looking at us, unsure of exactly what’s been going on. “Tell me, Andrew, why did you come over here?”
The look on his face as it went from that shit eating grin to a blank stare to an utterly perplexed look of anguish was delicious. Naturally, my smile returned with a flash of danger I don’t think he quite noticed. “I just felt like I had to, like I needed to be here.”
“Because you’re a moth drawn to my flame Mr. Scott. Look around you. All of these people here are afraid, because they don’t understand. They are the darkness scattering away from the light, and none of them know why. They haven’t earned, don’t deserve, what I’m going to give you.”
“How can you possibly do that?”
“You don’t have a drink in front of you, are you thirsty?” I pointed to the still full glass of water before me, I wasn’t really thirsty when I ordered it. “See this glass, Andrew? When I came in here I didn’t get this glass of water for me, I got it for you.”
“I don’t want no goddamn water, I can get my own drink. Hey…”
“You didn’t let me finish, and I suggest you don’t interrupt me again.” I didn’t notice in my slight spell of anger, but Andrew looked around as if the lights dimmed. The barkeep ran into the backroom. “I knew you wouldn’t want water, but I don’t pay for drinks. So viola…” I stuck my finger in the glass and after a couple of stirs the clear liquid turned a dark amber color. “…and you’ve got Jack Daniels.” Just once I’d like to whip up a drink for someone with taste, but they’re harder to screw with.
Scott picked up the glass and examined it, wide eyed as a doe about to be hit by a truck. He took a sip, and set it down shaking. “How did you do that?” he finally asked.
“Does it matter? Isn’t the more important question why I’m here? Shouldn’t you be asking why me? Aren’t you wondering in the least bit why I’m just now showing myself to you?”
Andrew shrugged, “I guess.”
I sat back and laughed and the bar cleared out. “Well, doesn’t that beat all! You really don’t care huh? Wow, you really are a simple man. That’s fine though, that’s all right. Son, I’m here to show you things you’ve never thought about in your wildest wet dreams.”