an orange windbreaker, either the leader or low on the totem pole,
stands near the entrance to the dance hall, his eyes scanning the
scene, ensuring everyone is staying in place. The nearest policemen
to them are three tables away and getting closer. The silence of the
process gives it an unreal aspect, as if it is occurring underwater.
I have to leave, she says. She is pulling her oversize coat
Are you under age?
Her left hand is jammed in her coat pocket. Not just that --
She appeals to him with those inattentive eyes once again and he comprehends.
The policemen are now two tables away, bent over and focused on their
work. It is as if they
acknowledge the existence of those directly in
front of them
-- everyone else are mass assembly line items, ready to be scanned
and checked off only at the exact instant they need to be, and then
His mind is already rushing ahead. His civilian ID passes casual inspection,
but it will not hold up to any kind of official check. Not to mention
the porn VCDs plastered by sweat to his back.
Okay, he says. Take it easy. We have to get out through
But they're watching …She hunches over the table, and with
that movement she appears to age by a few decades, as if seized by
arthritis. Drops of perspiration are working down her cheek.