‘I can’t dance,’ I held my hands to the warm air of the car vent. My spectre of a partner looked at me. She held onto the steering wheel. Her eyes appeared to be solid. The only light came from a nearby street lamp. I could clearly see the bridge of her nose, the wave of her dark hair, the downward curve of her moth and her brown eyes.
‘Nobody can see you,’ said Annabelle. The irony existed but it went past unnoticed.
‘That’s not the point.’
‘It sort of is the point, you know.’ Her voice had a chopping finish to each word. It was also deeper than I recall.
‘No. No it is not,’ I rubbed my hands and put them close to the vent again.
‘There are no lights, hence, nobody can see you.’
‘That’s not the point.’
‘Yes it is,’ she swayed toward me and then back. ‘No lights means nobody can see you, means nobody knows if you can’t dance.’
I thought back to the room. Dark. Bodies moving. Strong beats. Speakers giving an hour of music to the shadows. Vibrant music. Unidentifiable people clapped and jumped at random. They moved with joy. For joy. Afterwards they shared words of enjoyment. Despite my want, I couldn’t join them.
‘I didn’t dance,’ I said.
‘That’s your problem.’
She looked ahead. Her hands rubbed on the steering wheel. I heard a juttering sound drawn from the strangulation of her twisting grip. Impossible to occur, but I heard it.
Annabelle seemed to concentrate on a space ahead. The air warmed and she hardened more. ‘What is your problem?’ she asked.
‘I don’t know what to do.’
She didn’t move. To me she had a profile. A pointed nose and a high brow. There should have been a shadow. There wasn’t.
‘You don’t have to do anything, Dean. You go into a dark room, jump around, listen to music, have fun. That’s all you need to do.’
‘I’d feel better building a table.’
‘What?’ She faced me. The speed might have snapped a real person’s neck. In Annabelle’s case her apparition shifted into a blur and then solidified with equal speed.
‘You know,’ I leant towards the vent, rubbed my legs, and put my head to the heat. ‘No Lights No Fingers carpentry, or something like that.’
‘You don’t know carpentry.’
‘I’d learn pretty quick if I could lose a finger.’
‘How about No Lights No Visual Clues pin the tail on the donkey.’
Annabelle continued to stare at me. Her mouth was partly open. If she was real, her conciousness would be considering a response. As it was, she blipped into and out of my imagination. The concept I suggested was being probed for errors. Perhaps it had too many errors. I reached for the steering wheel to shift into the driver’s seat. She solidified again.
‘That’s not the point,’ she said with choppy words.
‘You’ve said that.’
She blinked from view as I bounced across to into her seat. She reappeared next to me as I turned the key to start the engine.
‘It’s about nobody judging you on how you move to music,’ she said.
She shook with the vibration. I buckled my seatbelt and released the handbrake.
‘You’re the only man there. That counts for something.’
I looked to the road ahead, then to the rear view mirror to see the road behind, then to the side mirror for the road adjacent, I clicked on the indicator, and looked over my shoulder to see what I would have missed in the mirrors. I looked ahead again.
‘I’m systematic,’ I said. ‘I like rules to follow a method to success. Is that a bad thing?’
‘Yes,’ she said.
‘I don’t think so.’ I pressed a foot onto the accelerator. The car moved forward and Annabelle disintegrated. She faded away as if dust churned from a wheel.
(No Lights No Lyrca occures in Bendigo. For details see their Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/NoLightsNoLycraBendigo?fref=ts
There is currently no plans for No Lights No Fingers but you never know your luck.)