An old waiter sat in a new bar and drank to the past. He spoke to those young people who would listen. “I remember when,” he said loudly over the bar’s din, the constant beat of dance music. “I remember when they played live music. I was the waiter at a bar like that.”
He knocked back another whiskey sour and spoke more of his youth. “I served everybody. All the up and comers during those days, like Adam Ant. Like Psychedelic Furs. Like Joy Division.” He ordered another drink and bemoaned the present. “Now they don’t have anymore live shows. You kids. All you got is this dance music. It’s rotting your insides.”
Some of the young were bemused. Others felt embarrassed, even sympathetic to the graying man from the 80s. But others saw him as a creature to be mocked. They laughed at him. One boy gyrated aggressively along the floor. One girl shook her large chest in a circular motion and groaned: “Why don’t you dance to this.”
Laughter hurt the man. But in him was the sustaining spirit of the big haircut and spandex. The old waiter tipped his fedora and walked away slowly. He whistled a Tom Petty song against a noisy present he’d never call his own.