Pacho's Delight


    There is a white hot space in the center of the room. Needle thin, an invisible line. You wouldn't want to be the guy standing there for any length of time. Really, you couldn't stand there at all unless you made a conscious effort to do so, and how on earth would that happen? Your body would move without your permission, shifting you a few inches to the left or right. Just keep moving towards a zone of comfort.

     Jimbo's center of gravity enters the space just as a sweet young thing from Forrest Spring asks him for a light. He leans forward slightly, reaching into his pocket, and a spasm shoots like a stroke through his spine, causing him to lose both his Scotch and any chance of a romantic encounter.

     The hot spot is a probe of sorts, origin unknown. For all practical purposes, it has been here forever. The only thing that makes this one different from thousands of others is the fact that it radiates from the center of Pacho Sanchez's enormous ballroom floor. The hot spot is a continual source of amusement to Pacho. It is the reason that he entertains as often as he does. The spot is a cosmic joy buzzer, and it is Pacho's alone. He laughs behind a closed hand.

     Being a gracious host, Pacho cannot stand there staring  endlessly at the rooms center, so the video cameras take care of this for him. The real treat is the day after an event, when he can watch the tapes in luxurious solitude. Sometimes there is nothing to see but the odd twitch or the sudden unpleasant frown. Not every cast brings in a big fish.

     But a reaction like Jimbo's is priceless. Tears of laughter roll down Pacho's cheeks as he watches the blonde glare with disgust before stalking off to clean her gown. Jimbo looks struck by lightning as he slinks off towards the door, eyeballs red and clouded. Leaves him creaking like a useless machine.

 

2004, Mark Hoback