Unnamed Journal Volume 2, Issue 5 - Page 9

Ulysses and the Fugitive By Alfred Underhill Chapter 1 : A Quiet Drink T he crowd at Bar Bar was on the thick side. The Jukebox played Tom Waits while Ulysses waited for Giles to get back from the men's room with their drugs. He poured himself some beer in the muted light and scanned the dive bar. Hipsters, college kids, locals: all occupied in their own conversations and affairs. Another night in Denver, he thought. Giles walked over to the table and sat down. His easy smile was exaggerated by a maniacal gleam in his eyes. The deal must have gone well. "So," he said, "How'd we do?" Ulysses gave the room another quick look around after asking his question. "Great!" Giles practically yelled. Ulysses motioned toward the table with the palm of his hand. "we did great," Giles's voice was quieter this time but no less enthusiastic. "Bloke came through. We got acid, weed, some K, and he threw in some blow for an extra twenty." "That why you're all pumped?" Ulysses didn't try to hide his disdain. The telltale sniffling Giles made told him all he needed know. "You can keep the coke," he said, "you know I don't do that shit." "More for me, mate." Giles was grinning and dabbing at his nose. "Let's not be sour, eh? What say we get another pitcher? It's on me." He was trying to be magnanimous, and Ulysses did want more beer. "Sure, yeah. Let's do another round. We'll head back after that." He forced a grin as he spoke. "Right! I'm on it," Giles snuffled. He was already walking toward the bar. Ulysses shook his head and watched his friend chatting up the bartender. He knew Giles would stay until the place closed if he could. And why not? He was young, on vacation in a foreign country; he was casual, not a care in the world. No, it was Ulysses who didn't feel comfortable here. There was just something about being in a dive bar at home that made him uneasy. He went to much sketchier places when he traveled. Hell, he met Giles in a bar worse than this when they were both backpacking in Cambodia. Maybe it was the distance that made him comfortable? Or maybe he just felt more at home when he was a foreigner? He knew the real answer was probably some combination of the two. There was just something comforting about being alien and far from home. Giles came back with a fresh pitcher. He poured Ulysses a pint and poured himself one, then settled into his chair. "Cheers," they both said, clinking glasses. Ulysses drank a third of his pint before setting it down. Giles eyed him