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Dec. 18th, 2015



With every archaic damn law that exists in this country, there's got to be one against excessive merriment.

I'm not even talking about HOA stuff that regulates Christmas display wattage -- which I think is very big of me, for the record.

Dec. 15th, 2015


[ OPEN to Mean-Eyed Cat Patrons]

Who: Grant, Cat, and whoever else.
What: Drinks and billiards. Super innocent stuff.
Where: Mean-Eyed Cat ("Good" Bar)
When: Evening. Recent.
Warnings/Rating: None yet.

The Mean-Eyed Cat was busy and crowded that night. There was a line for the pool table, short games and names scrawled at the bar. It smelled like hops, like cigarettes, and there was no rule about smoking inside there. The air was thick, and the music wasn't Christmas despite the chill in the air outside. No, keeping true to the bar's theme, the music had twang and soul, and the seats at the bar were all crowded together. People sat close, talked loud, and the bartender kept the drinks coming. The waitress wandered, taking orders from people on booths and in chairs, and the place was a warm kind of loud. A couple danced pressed together between bar and pool table, and nobody bothered them. The whole place had the feel of being just outside of real, an escape that didn't bother pretending to be anything but what it was. What happens at the Cat, stays at the Cat.

Grant was at the bar a few minutes after a non-existent whistle blew in a non-existent factory after a non-existent day in 1941, wondering where the time had gone and contemplating a beer that wouldn't get him drunk. He kept an eye out for his former compatriot, sparing a thought for her passing allegiances with the kind of speculative military calm that other people called "waiting." The people in this town had been friendly to a fault so far, and Grant had made a conscious effort to blend in, wearing a sweater and jeans (probably tailored a little too close because he had only worn them twice in his lifetime), and maybe it was strange to be in a bar without a crowd of men with tags around their necks.