Wednesday, November 29, 2006

One Stop Gun Shop

A couple of years ago.
A friday it was.
I stopped at El Napolito.
A bar by the bean processing plant.
I just wanted a beer.

I walked up to the bar.
Nodded at the other guys on both sides of me.
Ordered a Negra Modelo from Luis.
Squeezed the lime wedge
and the juiced trickled into the bottle.
Opened the salt packet.
Poured a little on the rim of the bottle.
Nursed the beer for an hour, maybe.
Made a few handshake bets on the upcoming De La Hoya title fight.

Two guys at the corner of the bar had been talking to one of the bar tenders.
I recognized one of the guys.
By reputation he was one step up from a street dealer.
By dress and swagger he was king of the world.
They other guy...never seen him before or since.
The two guys got up and left.

I moved over to that corner of the bar.
The two guys had been in my regular spot.
I liked it because I can see the whole place.
Who comes in.
Who goes out.
The pool tables.
The dance floor.
And everybody else at the bar.
It is dark in that corner.
So, other people can't see me that well.

The two guys had left some garbage on the bar.
A couple of beer bottles.
Coors Lite.
Some lime wedges.
Salt packets.
Empty Marlboro pack.
And a napkin with some writing on it.

I turned the napkin around so I could read it.
It was a list of guns and prices.
Like "9mm 550" and "25mm 175".

The bartender that had been talking to them,
came over and cleaned up the garbage and wiped the bar clean.
Took the price list, too.

I did not get a chance to finish reading the list.
That bartender was gone the next time I came in.
Luis said he never even called in to quit.
Luis said the guy was from someplace else.
The king of the world was pulled over the next week.
Cops found something.
He will be in the Lincoln Nebraska Home for Retired Pharmaceutical Salesmen for the next twenty tears.


Blogger Dave said...

Great last line! It took me a moment to figure out the euphemism.

10:18 PM, November 29, 2006  
Blogger Fred Garber said...

Thanks Dave! True story except for the names.

10:39 PM, November 29, 2006  

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