The man sauntered east toward downtown. I watched him for a while. A block away, he got into a beat up Chevy truck. I eased from the parking lot and followed as he turned south. He turned east to 13th street and south again. After about 15 minutes, he pulled over and parked outside a bar.
I waited in my Jeep, debating the wiseness of entering a dive bar at 1:30 in the afternoon in South Omaha. Entertaining as it might be, I wasn’t sure I was in the mood. By 2 o’clock, I was bored.
The place was dimly lit, as expected. Several men lined the bar. None so much as glanced in my direction when the door opened allowing in some much-needed fresh air. My eyes adjusted. There were a few pool tables — coin-operated, an old jukebox in a corner playing salsa music, a few tables scattered around and five booths. My guy was seated at the booth farthest from the door. A Hispanic woman tended bar while another one cleaned tables.
I ordered a gin and tonic and set it on a table near my mark.
“You shoot?” I asked.
“Feel like shootin’?”
“Why not. Ain’t doin’ much else at the present time.” He stood and towered over me, his southern accent somewhat mellow, but evident. He set his drink, whiskey, if I had to hazard a guess, on his table on top of a piece of paper. A crumbled envelope sat next to the salt and pepper shakers.
“You break,” I said.
He moved to the head of the table as I set the rack.
“Straight, bank the 8, ball in hand?” I asked.
“Sounds like you know your way around a table.”
He smiled and nodded.
We played without much chatter and I let him run the table. He’d downed two shots of scotch - Johnnie Walker Black - before our game ended. My drink sat on the table, untouched.
“Looks like you lose,” his southern draw more pronounced.
“Yeah, looks like. How about another go?”
“Rack’em, little girl.”
I took a deep breath. Beating him down was counter-productive.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish