Hodgins records. He writes what he sees, what he doesn't see, and what he wants to see. He makes connections where there aren't, and maybe shouldn't be. He crafts words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, paragraphs into a whole where the sum of the parts are either meaningless or full of life.

He sees the world around him as a tapestry of possibilities. He pinpoints images, metaphor, symbols representing a larger picture. All that he takes in is fodder for the novels he writes. The hard part is figuring out which pieces to use and which to discard.

Hodgins likes the nightclub because it's full of so many varying personalities. People from all walks of life come in here. The homeless man who comes in at eight when the library closes, to get a few more hours of warmth before being compelled to find a bench. The up-and-coming drag queen who tests out her heels on the dance floor. The kids who brandish fake IDs and skulk around with smug grins on their faces. The single twenty-somethings scoping out the competition. The young couples trying to be on the edge. The swaths of partiers decorating the dance floor with the soles of their restless shoes.

And then there's the people who work here. He sees them as they clip through the day like gears in motion. No, not gears. That's too rigid. They're like a current, all moving in the same direction, parting when an obstacle comes their way, curling outward in opposition, always seeking the quickest, most efficient path.

He knows them all. He's been here long enough. There's Angela, the hostess, forward, friendly, sweet, beautiful, and too wrapped up in herself and the others to notice his alluring glances. There's Sweets, the kid who tends bar, who always has something to say, but is also the only one genuinely interested in Hodgins' poetic ramblings. There's that waitress with the squeaky voice and the name of a flower, a bubbly planet around whom everyone else charts a carefully distanced orbit. There's Fisher, the dark, brooding character Hodgins is pretty sure belongs in one of his murder arcs. There's Zack, that weird kid that either bobs around totally focused on a given task or meanders seeking attention from his peers. There's Vincent, always spouting some kind of trivial anecdote while flashing that obsequious English grin. There's Wendell, the stoic bouncer, sharp eyes always looking for an adversary.

And then there's Bren and Booth, the heart of the operation. A couple in love, secured by marital ties, the kind of pair everyone looks at with envy as role models of an ideal relationship. And even aside from that, they're something special. What is it about them that attracts so much devotion from this group, this group of random souls, unrelated by blood or clan? Why is their only common goal linked to these two? How does this pair handle a crowd so devoted?

Who are these people? How do they function in each other's lives, behind the scenes, in the areas of existence that no one on the dance floor is privileged enough to see?

Maybe in another world, another life, another universe, things would be simpler. Maybe they'd all exist on separate planes, unaware of each other's existence. Maybe in this alternative world, they'd focus inward, working on themselves instead of giving so much of them to the people in their vicinity. But which is more poetic, and which more practical? Which life is the more fulfilling of the two? What gives a person more satisfaction?

Maybe there's no way to separate this microcosm. Maybe, in all universes, they somehow manage to find each other. Perhaps under different circumstances, perhaps with varying degrees of familiarity, but always gathering around the same unidentified objective.

It's too bad, Hodgins muses, that there's no way to exist in two realms simultaneously. How incredible that would be, to see clearly how everything could be so different, and yet so much the same.