My heart bangs, almost right out of its cage of bones. I recognize the radiant woman behind the bar. She’s chatting with some noose necked alchy. I can tell that he values his life less than anybody else possibly could. I almost don’t want to drink after seeing him at the end of the bar, but I feel the only way to get happy after seeing that sad sack is to throw back a pitcher or three of ale.
“How are you guys doing?” She starts the conversation, but she hasn’t noticed me yet.
Stain is always better at talking to people than I, so I’ll let the experienced rider take the reins. “Actually, pretty good. Can we get a pitcher of beer please? It’s my birthday, and I just went to Sappho’s place to pick him up. You’ll never believe . . .”
The bartender tilts her head and squints her eyes. “Sappho? You’re not Sappho. I know you from grade school. You’re Davis.”
Stain smiles a big wild and crazy smile. “Sappho is his superhero name.”
She looks intently at me for a moment. “Do you remember me?”
“Absolutely. You have a twin sister.”
“That’s right. Do you remember my name . . . or our names?”
“I remember both your names – Winnie and Janet, and I have a way of telling who is who.”
Her smiles gets a little bigger, but her eyes have a doubtful look in them. “OK, who am I?”
“Aren’t you going to ask me what my superpower is?”
She laughs, and it’s not a courtesy laugh. Her hand gently sits on top of mine, noticeably on top of the bar. “Sure. What’s your superpower?”
“I can get women to show me their boobs.”
She gives me a sideways glance. “I bet you can.”
She goes to the tap, pours out a pitcher of beer with no head, and sets it down on the bar, putting her hand right in front of me.
I place my hand on top of hers, holding it now, squeezing it gently. “Thank you Winnie.”
Stain looks impressed, like the times when I start juggling and we’re both really drunk. “How did you know? They look different or dress different or something?”
Winnie shakes her head a bit. “No, we look exactly the same. We used to wear different colors so people could tell us apart, but we stopped doing that years ago.” She looks very curiously at me. “How did you know? We haven’t seen each other in so many years.”
“I can tell you that it has nothing to do with the way you look, but if you want to know more, it’ll cost you.”
Winnie looks very intrigued. “What’s the price?”
“I want to see what’s under your shirt.”
Her mouth widens, almost out of shock, but it turns into a gaping turned on smile. At that moment, a gorgeous redhead sits down at the bar, two seats over from Stain.
Winnie walks a bit closer to her. “What can I get you?”
The woman looks stressed out. “A nice glass of red wine would be great, thank you.”