Where Everybody Knows your Name

MON 10 MAY 2024
Cape May, NJ

The bar itself was pretty cookie cutter to most bars around bases, some name to impact service, and designed to separate newly minted servicemembers from their pay as fast as possible.

The Guardsman was one such bar, and Angelica walked in the stale beer smell, mixed with sweat, and fried food. Reminded her of a few places she’d gone to as a Junior enlisted, One of them for sure was cut from the same cloth. When she walked in, the staff was cleaning and gave her a slight look, and the guy behind the bar looked up.

“We’re closed…”

“That’s good, because I’m not here to drink.” the usual flash of badge and credentials, “Special Agent Passolini CGIS.” She put her ID away, “I’m here because of a recruit who was here last night, Robert Malcolm?”

“We were crowded as hell, recruits, families, etc, I couldn’t tell you a name if you paid me.”

She took out her phone and brought up the picture of Mr Malcom. “Ring any bells?”

“Not really.” Then he yelled to a pretty redheaded waitress, “Hey ‘Manda, c’mere, Coastie cops need a hand.”

“What’s up?” she began then looked at the picture. “Oh yea him…Mr. Vodka rocks.”

“I thought he was underage….”  

The bartender spoke up, “He was….shit.”

“Don’t worry, I’m not with the ABC, and we just want to find him, how was he?”

“When he came in, He wasn’t feeling any pain, just concentrated on drinking, I ended up cutting him off after 3, but I knew if I tossed him, he’d end up in hot water…..” She grimaced, “I screwed up?”

Angelica shook her head, “You a mind reader?” The young woman shook her head, “Did you hear him say anything, talk to anyone, anything like that?”

“No not that I heard, but we were really busy and the bar was loud so I couldn’t hear much.”

Her pen scratched, then closed the notebook. “Thank you.”

Another business card handed out, “If you think of anything please call.”  

She walked outside the bar and looked at the night sky, then she began heading to the next bar to repeat the process

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