The Sixth Man – Episode 5

thS9V2F9N8Nap Town

Steve now had a home.

A broom leaned against the wall in the corner. He grabbed it and swiped away the cobwebs. He swept the pitted cement floor and pushed the dirt outside the room. He scraped it up with an old newspaper he found laying in top of a case of empty bottles. Instinctively he found the trash can and dumped the dirt.

“How did I know where that was?” Steve said. “Well, it’s a start.”

He walked up the stairs and opened the door into the bar. It was mid afternoon and the place was open, but empty.

He walked to the bar. Mick was dusting liquor bottles on the back bar.

Mick turned.

“Can you show me the ropes?” Steve said.

“Sure,” Mick smiled and for the next fifteen minutes he showed Steve what needed to be done and where things were kept.

“There is something familiar about all this,” Steve said. “But it’s not from here and it’s not from a month ago. It’s from a long, long time ago.”

“Maybe it’s from another job you had,” Mick said.

“Or maybe just from last month after all,” Steve said. “Are you sure I never said anything about my past?”

“Come to think of it,” Mick said. “One night you were sitting at the bar. You were eating a bowl of chili. And this guy says something about Indianapolis, you know the races, and you stopped eating and said to the guy, ‘You from Nap?” The guy said, no. But don’t you think that’s funny that you’d call it Nap, like you were from there all your life. It’s like something only the locals would say. I’ve never heard anybody around here call it that.”

“Nap,” Steve said, “Nap, it means nothing.”

“I don’t know,” Mick said. “It’s the only thing I could think of.”

Steve sat at the bar and cracked open a peanut from a bowl on the bar. “Did it come out natural?”

“Sure,” Mick said. “You responded to the guy like he might be an old friend. But you didn’t know each other, because when your eyes met you went blank.”

Steve tossed a peanut into his mouth. “I’m certain my name is not Steve Josephs. I got it that from a bus ticket that had St. Josephs on it. I just made the ST into Steve. That’s how I got here from St. Josephs, by bus. That leaves me to wonder if I came to St. Josephs from Indianapolis?”

“Or you could have been in a half dozen places in between,” Mick said. “Or you just overheard somebody say Nap. It may mean nothing.”

For two weeks Steve did his chores at Mick’s Bar. He worked a couple of days for Hank. He asked around the tire store if the term Nap meant anything to them. It meant nothing to any of them.

 

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