It's the closing minutes of a fundraising dinner. The guests are largely out of the ballroom, either at the Viennese table in the lobby, or else already on their way home. A handful of people sit chatting at two of the tables. I stop playing and grab a coffee.
That's when she approaches me. "Can you play some more music, please? I love to dance!" Dressed in a fancy party dress, she looks to be about six years old, and she's the youngest daughter of one of the honorees. I could tell her I'm done. Instead, we strike a deal. I'll finish my coffee and then play her one last song. She settles on a slow YBC number.
I get back on the bandstand and start playing as she loses herself in dance, pirouetting gracefully around in front of me, her dance steps becoming more and more elaborate as the music continues. The waitresses bussing the tables all smile as they pass by.
And then, the clod walks in. "There's nobody here! You're playing to nobody!", he declares. I nod my head at the dancer, her eyes closed as she moves to the music. Her face is shining! "She's listening", I say. Chastened, he quietly grabs the dinner journal he came in for and quickly leaves.