A Familiar Face
“You said you may have been here before,” Pudge said. “When would that have been?”
“30 years ago,” Wilson said. “When Mathias and I got out of the army we came up here for a weekend of hell-raising.”
“You guys in Nam?” Stretch said.
“Wilson was,” Mathias said, “but I spent about all my time in Germany.”
“Let’s have a seat at a table,” Pudge said, “I’ll buy a round.”
Pudge pointed out a table and they sat down. The bartender brought each a beer.
“So why ya come back here?” Stretch said.
“Well,” Wilson grinned, “it seems that I’ve lost my memory. With the help of my old army buddy, who I don’t remember, we came back to Fargo and this place hoping it might jog something loose.”
“Ya know,” Pudge said sipping from his bottle, “I’ve lost entire weekends, but nothing more.”
“Yeah, me too,” Stretch said. “I forgot where I parked my bike one time.”
“I’ve forgotten where I’ve parked my car before,” Mathias said. “That kind of stuff happens all the time.”
“Not two states over,” Stretch said.
“Gentry, Winthrop,” an older biker from a booth called out, “is that you guys?” The biker slid out from the booth. His boots sounded heavy on the wooden floor as he walked toward them.
He was older, the same age as Wilson and Mathias. He wore jeans, a flannel shirt, and black leather vest. His grey hair was pulled tight in a pony tail.
He reached down and lifted up Wilson’s necklace. “Yeah,” he smiled, “that’s you Wilson. You wore this thing. Said it has always been with you, but never knew where you got it and what it meant. Have you ever figured it out?”
“Are you Phil Porter?” Wilson said.
“Yeah,” he said.
“You remember him!” Mathias said.
“Kinda,” Wilson said.
“I overheard,” Phil said. “Sounds like you’re in a fix. You had a lot going on upstairs when I knew you back in the day. I thought you’d flip out or turn to drugs or alcohol.”
“How did you happen to be here right now?” Mathias said.
“This is my place,” Phil said. “It belonged to my dad and when he passed I took it over.”
“Wait a minute,” Mathis said. “We came here to find you. You were Wilson‘s buddy from basic.”
“Yeah,” Phil said. “After basic Wilson went one way I went the other. We met up again in Nam, got separated, and met up here again. Haven’t seen or heard of him till today.” Phil extended his hand to Wilson. “Other than not know what that losing your memory, how the hell are you?”
Wilson shook his hand. “You are one of the few things I recall.”
“Well it must be the pretty face,” Phil said. He grabbed a chair from another table and sat at the table with them.