No. 520

The man slid up next to me at the bar.

“What are you drinking, miss?” he asked.

I took a look at him. He seemed normal. “Beer,” I answered. But I was confused. Who didn’t know what beer looked like?

“That’s nice,” he said, strangely, as if he was following some kind of script.

I wasn’t sure what to do. “Would you like one?” I asked hesitantly.

“Beer,” he said again, sounding the word out. “That’s nice.”

Now I was worried. “Are you ok? Do you need help?”

He wobbled slightly on his stool, and I instinctively reached out to steady him. I felt a solid band of something metal beneath his shirt. When I touched it, he shifted away quickly.

“No,” he said. “You can’t do that.”

There was a brief flash of light from beneath the fabric, as the metal band began to blink.

“See?” he scolded me. “That’s not nice.”

“I’m sorry,” I apologized. “I didn’t mean to hurt you. I thought you were going to fall.”

His eyes focused past me, at something I couldn’t see. “It would have been nice to have a beer,” he remarked before he disappeared with what I can only describe as a “blip”.

I stood up and looked for the bartender. Surely, someone else saw the strange interaction.

I was alone, with only my beer as company. I finished it and made for the exit, still uncertain about what happened. I’d probably return, but only because they have a decent happy hour.