The Winter Market…

«I didn’t attain a state of partytime that night. Neither did I exhibit
adult common sense and give up, go home, watch some ancient movie, and
fall asleep on my futon. The tension those three weeks had built up in
me drove me like the mainspring of a mechanical watch, and I went
ticking off through nighttown, lubricating my more or less random
progress with more drinks. It was one of those nights, I quickly
decided, when you slip into an alternate continuum, a city that looks
exactly like the one where you live, except for the peculiar
difference that it contains not one person you love or know or have
even spoken to before. Nights like that, you can go into a familiar
bar and find that the staff has just been replaced; then you
understand that your real motive in going there was simply to see a
familiar face, on a waitress or a bartender, whoever. . . . This sort
of thing has been known to mediate against partytime.»
— William Gibson, «The Winter Market», 1986

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