He looked as if he had been a waiter in Soho for many years â€“ perhaps he had never been anything else â€“ and there were only the two of us in the room, and I was in the corner: and he got out a CD from his bag, silenced the radio, and put on his music â€“ ragtime. And in imitation of his younger self he danced and twitched about. But still I stayed in my corner, and still I tried to read my book on Keats. But then he picked up two beer mats, and started to slap them against the counter in time with the beat. And so I left; I felt as if I were intruding.
[This piece originally appeared in Smoke 15.]