Author : Samantha L. Barrett
Dan shoved his hands deeper into his pockets, trying to ward off the freezing mid-January air as he walked to his roommate’s bar. A middle-aged man stared at him unabashedly as he walked by. Dan almost stopped him—this had been the seventh person to look at him like that today (and the 39th all week, since he’d started keeping track), and since he didn’t think there was anything outlandish about his appearance, it was starting to get creepy.
He ducked into Bill’s and shut the door quickly. Bill saw him from behind the bar and began pouring him a beer as he hung his black down jacket up in Bill’s office. The bar reeked of cigarettes and fries, and the football game blared loudly on the flat screen. Dan scooted through the packed, dimly-lit room to the seat Bill had marked with his drink.
“Do I smell?” He asked Bill.
“Another one, huh?”
“Seven today. Do I have toilet paper hanging out my ass?” Dan leaned in and scowled, “Did you draw a penis on my face while I was sleeping again?”
“Unfortunately not. I don’t know, Dan; maybe you look like someone.” He glanced over his shoulder as someone hailed him. “Cover Jessie’s shift on Friday?”
Bill sidled away to fill the guy’s pitcher. Dan took a sip of his beer and watched the Steelers’ touchdown attempt; Roethlisberger connected to Ward on the third down and he cheered with the rest of the bar.
“Too bad they’ll lose in the playoffs. They had a good team this year.”
Dan looked down; it was the girl sitting next to him. She watched the field goal attempt and half-heartedly slapped her hand on the bar when they made it.
She turned. She was very pretty, with bright blue eyes, curly brown hair, and a long, straight nose.
“The Raiders’ll win this year. Sons of bitches.”
“The Raiders are doing terribly.”
“I know—makes for a nice underdog story.”
Dan stared at her. “Are you psychic or something?”
“Ioanna. With an ‘I’. It’s a really popular name since the actress Ioanna Miller. My mom loves her.”
Dan had never heard of Ioanna Miller. “I’m Dan.”
Ioanna choked a little on her run and Coke. “You wouldn’t be Daniel Rodriguez, would you?”
“Have we met?”
“No, I mean: before.”
“You know my roommate,” she said quickly.
“I don’t know.”
Dan frowned. “Is there something going on? People have been acting weird all day. Was I on America’s Most Wanted or something?”
“No, um, sorry. I’ll stop bugging you.” She left a tip for Bill and fled to the restroom. Dan almost went after her, but he knew Bill wouldn’t be happy if he crashed the women’s room.
After the game, Bill switched on the news; the headlining story was about a Japanese physicist. Dan didn’t really pay attention until Bill poured him another drink and nodded toward the screen.
“Crazy shit, huh?”
Dan glanced over. The physicist was talking with the busty blond anchor, and the marquee on the bottom read: “TIME TRAVEL POSSIBLE.”
“Thirty years, he’s saying,” Bill continued. “Sack of shit. Be cool, though. Where would you go?”
Dan shrugged, “Don’t know. Something famous, I guess—the moon landing or Washington crossing the Delaware.”
“Imagine seeing Bob Dylan as a kid. Fucker wouldn’t know what you were staring at.” Bill smirked and shook his head as he filled another pitcher.
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