Faint Hopes by Ken Liebeskind
They ordered coffees and a muffin to share. David made jokes about coffee, muffins, diners, life in New York and whatever came to mind. He was on a roll. Dawn responded in kind, displaying a kind of international wit. “They don’t have diners in South Africa,” she said. “Whenever people have an urge for coffee and muffins, they eat their neighbors.” “And your neighbors had blueberries,” David said.
The heavy metal band was jerking around with a tape player, playing their latest tracks. The hard edged sound electrified the place. David thought he saw the muffin bouncing on the plate. “Want to dance?” he asked Dawn. “Get out,” Dawn said. But David stood up in the middle of the diner and offered Dawn his hand. She took it and stood beside him, and suddenly David rocked.
He didn’t have any special dancing talents, but with this kind of music it was easy. The idea was to jump up and down sort of stiffly, as if waves of the harsh music were charging through his veins. Meanwhile, Dawn was a natural, her arms and legs moving smoothly, keeping a perfect beat. She seemed to like the music, repeating the words “faint hopes” as they were repeated again and again, as if they meant something.
As they danced, the heavy metal band looked on, seemingly pleased that their music was so inspiring. They turned up the volume, pounded the table, creating a kind of mayhem. It was a little too much for David. “Time to go,” he told Dawn.