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Sunday, April 12, 2009

The War of the Bear

We waged our assault on their bastion of sanctity with the utmost naivete. We were not supposed to be there. It was their land. Their music played loud; we could hear it from outside. Some kind of bar blues, not too down-tempo, not showing its Black roots too obviously - the way they like it. We brought our wallets and our contemporary clothing, the energy of our youth and tossed these things toward their solace like we were catapults. But they did not let our siege pass by leaving us unscathed.

The first casualty was Guts' wallet. He pays his seven dollar entry wound and orders himself a pitcher of Red. Surprise washed over him when he discovered it was almost twenty dollars. Later, he asked me to split it with him, maybe as an act of desperation, trying to save himself. The beer wasn't worth the cost.

Next came the battle of the pool table. It was a long, arduous battle. Initially, I had planned on taking part but attrition and comfort in the wooden swiveling bar chair set in. Gravy and Guts wanted to play a game, but the old-timers had been playing game after game since we arrived, and up came two other men. I assumed they were military men because they were built like golems. Guts went out for a cigarette and Gravy confronted one of the old men. This one had dirty, shoulder-length hair parted down the middle and was wearing a Neil Young shirt he probably got before the night before, with pants that made him look like a bull dyke. Gravy insisited it was his turn to play, but Scraggly said no, Gravy wasn't the one who put the loonie down for the next game. And beside that, Golem One and Two were here now and Guts wasn't.

Eventually Guts came back from his cigarette, finished the beer I had been keeping watch over and headed to the pool table. Golem One wanted to play, Gravy was gone, and Guts just wanted to play someone. Guts lost hard.

The rain was still pounding when we went outside for a smoke. I looked to Guts and said I wanted to leave. The girl we were smoking with told me not to leave. Guts said I wouldn't. I don't like being predicted like that, not out loud. The rain convinced me to stay inside and stay a little dry, so I didn't leave then.

We went back inside, but only long enough for me to take a piss and hear from the stall the band's vocalist jeering at a fellow band member as they pissed side-by-side in the high-school styled urinals. The vocalist left without washing his hands. I used my sleeve to touch the door handle.

I found Guts shortly after, and we left. A failure of a night, and of an assault I am glad will not be presented to me again.

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