There’s a scene, as my friend Westy Reflector reminded me via email recently, in many zombie films, among other tales of life after a dire change, when the story flashes back to “the days right before” — how, as he put it well, “all the signs are apparent in retrospect.” Those days before for me are the ones I spent in New York at the very end of February. The Disquiet Junto was due for a get-together, something I try to arrange when I travel, and a very small crew of us gathered on that frigid Friday night at a bar in Brooklyn, right across the bridge from where I was staying in Lower Manhattan. The place was virtually empty, as the restaurant in the hotel had been the prior afternoon for lunch, and as had been the flight from San Francisco, and as would be the train I’d take out to Long Island the next morning. We spent the evening talking about ancient synthesizers, and cover versions, and online collaboration, and musical mentors, and many other topics, including escape plans, and at the end of the night we headed over to pay up. Across from the cash register was this pinball machine. It stood there, humorously ominous in its bright silence. I’ll always associate it with the night before.