He had had the strangest dream.
He couldn't remember all of it, but it kind of felt like a cross between a children's book and a really bad CGI film. One of those straight-to-video releases that Eric was always complaining about.
He was the ringmaster of a Russian circus. There was a huge and imposing-looking dancing black bear who was being handled by a small woman dressed as a countess. There was a mind-reader dressed in a cape with a short wizard's beard. There was a female daredevil motorcycle rider. And a very real-looking talking robot who could walk, talk and compute at the same time, while projecting video out of his forehead. In the background was an invisible man who he did not know but felt as though he would, soon. He stood in the middle of it all, directing the action, until the band played a series of drum beats in a jarring rat-a-tat-tat rhythm that ended the performance.
When he woke up, it was painful. He tried to focus on the figures in the window and saw the circus performers again. All with lines of worry across their faces. He wanted to get back in the ring.
But he sensed that the dream was not over and so he closed his eyes again, listening to the repetitive beeping rhythm of the calliope.