It was around 10 o’clock when Mick unlocked the back door. Steve waited for him at the bar.
“Top o’ the monrin’ to ya, Steve?” Mick said hanging his coat on a hook on the wall behind the bar. “I can smell the coffee.” Mick poured a cup for both and sat at the bar next to Steve. “Bar looks grand.”
“Thanks,” Steve said and sipped the coffee.
Mick sipped. “Good coffee.”
“Mick,” Steve said. “If I take off for a while will I have a place if I return?”
“This bar has been in the family for 50 years,” Steve said. “Nobody has occupied that room but you. I’ll hold it another 50 years.”
“Thanks,” Steve said.
“So is it to Indianapolis?” Mick said.
“Yeah,” Steve said. “Something’s there, someplace, I don’t know what, but it can’t be found from here.”
“You got the money for bus fare?” Mick said.
“Yeah,” Steve said. “I wanted to fly my private jet, but it’s being used by one of the Rockefellers this weekend. I hate loaning out to them. They never take care of things. Just because they’re rich doesn’t mean they’re neat.”
Mick chuckled. “All the time I’ve known you that’s the first joke you cracked.”
“How do you know it’s a joke,” Steve said. “I don’t.”
“When are you leaving?” Mick smiled.
“My things are packed,” Steve said. “I wanted to have a coffee with you before I left.”
“I’m glad you did that,” Mick said. He reached in his shirt pocket an removed a wad of money. He handed Steve two 100 dollar bills. “Will this help?”
“Keep it,” Steve said, “you got family.”
“You may have family too,” Mick said. “And if this can help you find yourself and them, all the better.”
Steve stashed the bills in his pocket. “I’ll pay you back.”
“It’s not a loan,” Mick said. “It’s a gift or if you like an early Christmas bonus.”
“If I don’t find what I’m looking for I’ll be back,” Steve said.
“Do you know what you’re looking for?” Mick said.
“An old high school yearbook with a guy who looks like the younger version of me,” Steve said. “Just maybe the moment I get off the bus someone will recognize me. And again maybe I’ll just find a nice Irish pub that needs a bar swab.”
Steve took one long drink from the cup of coffee. He stood and grabbed hold of the satchel at his feet. He shook Mick’s hand
Mick smiled and said. “May your days be many and your troubles be few. May all of God’s blessings descend upon you. May peace be within you and your heart be strong. May you find what you’re seeking where ever you roam.”
“I don’t think anyone has ever said anything more poetic and kind to me,” Steve said. “And if they did I couldn’t remember it anyway.”