The mystery, part 2

The Columbus Chronicles, Pt. 2

The bar reeks of pine cleaner and cigarettes, a smell that puts off

all but the most dedicated drinkers

fluorescent lights are dull blue grey and look remarkably like

a hospital waiting room

It could be a waiting room, I guess

A waiting to die room

The bar feels sticky from thousands of quick swipes with a

dirty bar towel   The man next to me orders a PBR

at 50 cents, he can afford a few of them, I think

judging by the five spot he fingers

The rest of us spread out, but not too far

people who are too far away are suspect, more so if they order

something exotic or imported

“might be a terrorist” is the unspoken ripple through the rest of us

We remember 9/11.  It is fresh forevermore in this dive

We joke with the perpetually tired bartender, his shift made bearable

by sips of vodka and 7-Up.  He chugs coffee in between, wiping, talking

bantering with those of us who are functional

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