“They Sit At The Bar and Put Bread In My Jar”
The Parting Glass was a hole in the wall bar on the west side of Indianapolis located in Haughville, off of Warman Ave to be exact. It’s brick building structure and alleyway entrance gave the pub a abandoned look- until one by one The Lost Boys would ride into it’s fenced in parking lot. However, at this moment the only vehicle that was in the parking lot was Thaddeus’s dark blue Chevy Nova that had to be as old as he was.
Thaddeus climbed out of the car and locked it before making his way to the door of the pub, a half smoked cigarette in between his thin lips and his wire trimmed glasses sat high on the bridge of his nose. His ear length Auburn hair was combed to the left, his beard well trimmed and in each ear hung a sapphire small earring that curved around the bottom of both ears. Thaddeus wore his usual royal blue jeans that were slowly fading in color in certain areas of the pants, his black Converse high tops, his blue thermal hoodie and a t-shirt with a Leprechaun in the center of a shamrock. The creature had an evil smirk on his face and a broken bottle of Jameson in his left hand, ready to fight at any moment. Circling around the shamrock was a simple statement: “Fight me, I’m Irish”
After unlocking the storm door and large, heavy big door that led into the building, Thaddeus stuffed the dozen sets of keys into his pocket as he walked the two flights of stairs to the lower level where the bar sat. The pub was large enough to hold two hundred people at minimum with one side being the area where a row of four tables sat side by side adding up to six rows and twenty four tables in total. The other side was blocked off by a pair of thick curtains that folded and were tied to the wall on each end of the room. This side was used mostly for meetings or if the tables in the main room were full. Tonight however, the room would be used by The Lost Boys MC.
Thaddeus moved past the three shelves full of liquor bottles. As one of the three bartenders at The Parting Glass, Thaddeus always asked for his patrons to pick their poison. Once he turned on the light in the kitchen, turned on the fryer and quickly cleaned the metal table that filled the center of the kitchen, he made his way back to the backroom to grab a mop and rolled the bucket to the sink where he used the detaching sprayer to fill half of the bucket with warm water before he poured floor cleaner in to mix.
Once he moved all the chairs to sit upside down on top of the tables he began to sweep the floor before finally beginning to mop.
He heard the buzzer go off and the big door slam shut. Coming down the stairs was a thin raven haired man of twenty-three, blue eyes, a narrow face, wearing a brown leather jacket, black jeans and a Arizona with a image of the desert white t-shirt and his shaggy hair combed neatly and swooping bangs. Thaddeus stopped mopping and watched the man walk down the final steps and onto the floor mat that Thaddeus had not moved yet.
“Hey Thad, how’s it goin’ man?” The man said, flashing Thaddeus a toothy smile.
“Russ, doing fine bro.” Thaddeus moved to Russell and hugged him.
Russell had been Thaddeus’s best friend since the sixth grade. They had been through it all together. Highs, lows, grief, love, loss, everything. Since Russell was an only child, he always had (and always will) seen Thaddeus as his twin brother. If you spend one hour with them, you’d see it very clearly.
Russell made his way around the bar to the two way door (the top opens to order up dinners) and began rummaging through the pans to get ready for the crowd that would be showing up in two hours. Thaddeus moved the bucket to the kitchen where Russell had started chopping onions, a match in between his teeth to keep his eyes from watering.
“Don’t forget to make enough, tonight is Karaoke Night.” Thaddeus reminded his friend.
They both heard the big door close and Thaddeus poked his head out to see his other best friend Felicity. She was a beautiful blonde with rounded cheeks, thick and full lips covered with ruby red lipstick, bright green eyes and wore a short black skirt with a matching spaghetti strapped top.
“Hey Thaddeus, sorry I’m late-” Felicity began.
“What’s the excuse this time kid?” Mitchell, the manager, asked as he emerged from the storage room that also led to the office.
Felicity jumped and placed a hand over her heart.
“Jesus Mitch, you scared the shit out of me.” Felicity said. ” My truck wouldn’t start.”
“You could have called.” Mitchell said.
“Minutes are up. Speaking of, I need my paycheck early this week so I can turn my phone back on.”
Mitchell, the salt and pepper haired, pot bellied man shook his head and led her to the office. Thaddeus half smiled and turned to Russell.
“Wonder what she blew her last paycheck on this time.” He said to Russell.
“Rum, more than likely.” Russell replied.
As Mitchell returned Thaddeus stopped him and put a hand on the manager’s shoulder.
“Can you cover for me for an hour or so? I’ve got a session in fifteen minutes.”
“You’re seeing a therapist again?” Felicity asked.
“Psychiatrist,” Thaddeus corrected. “Part of my anger management agreement. If I go see a shrink, I don’t have to go to management classes.”
“Yeah, that’s fine kiddo, I’ll see you when you get back.” Mitchell replied.
Thaddeus scribbled in a small black leather bound notebook as he waited for his turn to talk to Anya Boyd. He noticed in the seat across from him there was a tall broad shouldered man with chocolate brown hair cut short and combed back with a a handful of grease, giving it a shine. The man was dressed in a three piece navy blue suit, shined and polish black boots and a coal black bow tie. To anyone else he would seem like a time traveler from the 1920′s, but no one but Thaddeus could see him. Shortly after, a tall and thin man of twenty stepped out of the office. He stared at Thaddeus as Thaddeus stared at him. The gaze was broken once Anya stepped out of her office.
“I’ll see you next week James.” She said softly, sending him to Judith’s desk.
“Thaddeus, shall we?” She gestured to the open door of her office.
Thaddeus only stood, held his hand up to stay the time traveler and stuffed his notebook in his winter duster before he entered. Anya shut her door and moved to her desk to grab her notebook and a small tape recorder. She wore a blue blouse and black tight fitted slacks with shined knee high boots.
” How are you today Thaddeus?”
“Fine, didn’t know you had other patients.” Thaddeus mentioned.
“You thought you were my only patient?”
“Actually, yeah.” he replied.
Anya smiled at him as she took her seat in her chair. Thaddeus removed his jacket and ran a hand through his hair before beginning to speak.
“Not that I don’t enjoy our visits, but I gotta be back at work in an hour.” Thaddeus said to her.
“What’s wrong with him?” Thaddeus asked, shoving his thumb behind him towards the other side of the wall.
“Oh, uh, he’s Bipolar.” Anya informed.
“Thaddeus, I’m here to talk to you, not to James.”
Thaddeus leaned back on the couch and smirked.
“So, talk.” Thaddeus responded.
“I’d like to talk about your… disorder.” Anya commented.
“Had it since I was sixteen. Next topic.”
“Doesn’t work that way Thaddeus. I have strict orders to get to the bottom of what started it all.” Anya retorted.
Thaddeus pulled out his pack of cigarettes and lit one automatically. He eyed Anya as she picked up the tape recorder. Anya met his eyes and spoke.
“Do you mind?” Anya asked.
“If it helps.” he replied to her sternly.
” November twentieth, twenty-thirteen. Patient Thaddeus Flannigan. Thaddeus, can you remember the first time you had a black out?” Anya said into the recorder.
Anya set down the recorder on the coffee table and waited for Thaddeus to speak. He sighed and inhaled from his cigarette as he thought.
“It was Labor Day weekend back in ’06.” Thaddeus recalled.
“Can you walk me through it?”
“If you really want me to.” Thaddeus said softly.
Thaddeus could remember the smell of the camp grounds that Russell, Felicity and himself drove down to that weekend. It was their first camping trip by themselves. They had been planning for it all winter and summer. Work schedules caused them to push their trip to Labor Day weekend instead of summer vacation. He could still remember how the car bumped and hopped down the gravel drive that led to their camping spot.
The campsite was large enough for three if not four tents and was complete with a fire section with a metal circle around the burnt ground, a grate that hung above it, a long picnic table and trees, big and thick ones, thin and tall ones, no two trees were the same.
As the group began unpacking Felicity’s truck, Thaddeus took a long drag from his cigarette before grabbing his tent and duffel bag. Each one picked their spot to set up camp with Felicity to the far left in between two thin trees, Thaddeus pitched his tent in the center and Russell was to the right with his old-as-dirt triangle tent.
Once finished, the trio took their fold out chairs and placed them around the fire pit.
“How’s The Dark Guardian coming along?” Felicity asked them as they took their break.
“The drawings are all finished, all that’s left is the story if Thaddeus would actually finish it.” Russell responded.
“Hey, I’ve been pretty occupied with work.” Thaddeus defended himself.
“You work at a comic book store.” Russell teased.
“Yeah and we’re going in the red. I may lose my job soon.”
“You can always come and work at the doughnut shop with me.” Russell offered.
They talked for another hour, seeing they had not seen each other outside of school since their sophomore year had started. They talked about their classes, which teachers they liked and which they couldn’t stand. Eventually it was getting close to sundown.
“I think we should get ready to make dinner.” Russell announced, a Mountain Dew in his hand as he made his way to his chair.
“We can make our steaks tonight. Steak is always better over a open fire.” Felicity said to them.
“You guys get it started, I’ll go get some wood to build the fire.” Thaddeus said, rising from his chair.
Felicity and Russell watched him walk up the pathway that led to a trail on top of the hill. Russell moved to his tent and pulled out the box of instant mashed potatoes as Felicity went inside Thaddeus’s tent where one of the two coolers were and grabbed the packaged steaks. As she began to leave, her eye caught a notebook laying on Thaddeus’s air mattress. Felicity set down the package on top of the cooler and wiped her hands before opening up the notebook. Most of the pages were just scribbled ideas for short stories until she flipped to a particular page.
Idea for my first novel. Fictional bio set in Indianapolis. Protagonist suffers from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as well as a temper)with a tightly knit group of friends. Situations cause the hero to slip into his own personal Hell – madness.
“Felicity?” she heard Thaddeus and Russell call to her.
“Yeah, I’m coming.” she yelled back.
Felicity set the notebook back where she found it just as Thaddeus had entered his tent.
“Hey, here’s the steaks.” she covered for herself.
“Cool,” He replied, leading her outside.
As Thaddeus built a strong fire, Felicity and Russell prepared the steaks.
“I think Thad needs someone. He spends all his time writing and working.” Felicity said to Russell softly.
“He’s fine, right now I don’t think Thaddeus wants another friend.” Russell comment, making sure Thaddeus couldn’t hear him.
“No, I mean a companion.” she corrected.
“Like a girlfriend?”
Russell set down the prepared steak and turned to her. “I don’t think Thad’s ready for a girlfriend. He’s gotta be comfortable with himself first. Not to mention he tends to be awkward towards the opposite sex.”
Thaddeus poured lighter fluid on the wood before setting the grate down and putting aluminum foil on it before lighting a match and tossing it on the soaked logs.
“Fire’s ready, should we get the potatoes on there?” he asked them.
“Yeah, go ahead Thad.” Russell smiled at him.
Thaddeus put a hand on the tape recorder to stop it from running.
“Time’s up.” he pointed to the clock on the wall.
Anya watched him stand and put his jacket on and begin to leave.
“Wait, what happened afterwards?”
Thaddeus bent down to meet her eyes.
“If you wanna hear the rest, you gotta sing.” he said with a grin.
“Tonight, meet me here. It’s karaoke night so I expect you to be up there. Your first drink’s on me doc.” Thaddeus said before sliding a business card under her hand.
Anya watched him leave and didn’t move for almost a minute. Slowly she lifted her hand to reveal the card was The Parting Glass’s calling card. The name rounded above a filled glass of Guinness and it’s hours, address and phone number underneath the glass. She smiled at herself.
Ava Flannigan was always a beauty. With her curled dirty blonde hair, sparkling hazel eyes and almond shaped face always turned the men’s head. Her voice was soft but rugged and her petite figure swayed as she walked into The Parting Glass. She wore an outfit that Stevie Nicks would be jealous, tight blue jeans and a lace, thin long sleeve cream colored shirt with brown cowboy boots.
“Evening Ava,” men nodded to her as she walked down the steps.
“Evening Travis, Victor.” she replied to them sweetly.
Thaddeus glanced her way and moved to pour her a shot glass full of Patron tequilla and grabbed a bottle of Lasko. Ava hopped up on the stool and smiled kindly at her son.
“Hello son, how’s work going so far sweets?” his mother asked him.
Thaddeus set down her beer next to her shot glass. Ava knocked the drink back and set the empty glass in front of Thaddeus.
“You have a tab still going maw, do you want me to add this to it?”
“What’s today? Tuesday?” Ava asked.
“I’ll pay you on Friday, that’s when I get paid next.”
Thaddeus glanced to Mitch, after a nod Thaddeus rolled his eyes and shrugged, turning to the slip of tab paper that held his mother’s orders. She owed $30 at this moment and he knew that would not be the final total.
“So Thaddy, are you going to sing tonight?” Ava questioned.
“Of course he will!” A thick Eastern European voice cut in before Thaddeus could open his mouth.
Coming down the steps was a thin, pale skinned man with thick black hair and an even thicker handlebar mustache wearing an army green jacket with a leather vest, the same angel wings design stitched on it’s back just like Thaddeus’s, over a black t-shirt and matching tight jeans. The man took his seat beside Ava after giving her a kiss on her left cheek.
“Ava, you look gorgeous as always.” The Slovenian born man complimented.
“Hugo, good to see you brother.” Thaddeus clasped Hugo’s hand in a shake.
“To you as well my friend.” Hugo said, smiling at him.
“Your usual?” Thaddeus asked, reaching into the cooler for another Lasko.
“A shot of Kruskovac and whatever you want my friend.” Hugo replied to him.
Thaddeus grabbed to shot glasses and poured one full of the pear brandy and the other full of Crown Royal. Hugo cheered to Thaddeus and gulped down his shot before taking a swig from his beer bottle.
“How are you Hugo? Are you hear for The Lost Boys meeting?”
“Very good Ava. Yes, but I hope our vice president can join us.” Hugo glanced to Thaddeus.
“Only if Felicity can cover for me.”
“I still think you two are too good to be running around with a biker gang.” Ava said in her beer.
“Ah but Ava, Thaddeus has been great. They listen to him, something most men do not do these days. Hell, back in the old country, you had to yell just to be heard.” Hugo assured.
“Yes but for how long?”
Before Thaddeus or Hugo could reply, Russell stepped out of the kitchen.
“Hugo, how’s it going buddy?”
Hugo only smiled at him before pulling his Lasko to his lips and took a gulp. Russell put a gentle hand on Thaddeus’s shoulder.
“So, how’d your session go?” Russell asked quietly.
“You’ve been going? Ava piped in.
“Since last week.” Felicity chimed in as she rounded the bar.
Thaddeus glared at the bar and did not speak at first. Ava tried to catch his eye but it was useless, Thaddeus was a million miles away.
“Thad? Thaddeus?” Russell called to him.
When Felicity put a comforting hand on his, that was the spark needed to return to planet Earth.
“How’s your sessions going?” Russell asked.
“It’s fine.” Thaddeus said, moving past them to help Dean and Charlie get their karaoke machine down the stairs.
By seven o’clock the bar was filled with the regular crowd. Behind the curtains sat the twelve members of The Lost Boys. They agreed a long time ago that every member was an equal and made the long tables sit in a circle. While the others talked in whispers, Thaddeus and the president of the club Derrick Montgomery both leaned back in their chairs.
“Vice President, what do you have to say?” Hugo asked.
Thaddeus thought a minute, collecting his thoughts. Finally he spoke calmly.
“The Parting Glass and The Lost Boys have always had a truce. We provide protection while the boys get discount drinks and free rentals for parties at the pub whenever they want it. It’s been this way since the forties. Now given back then the bar was strictly a private club for only Irish immigrates and their decedents, these days we’ve got a patron that’s Slovenian who just happens to be a member of The Lost Boys. The times are changing Derrick, we have to see that.”
“So what do you really think then?” Derrick asked, setting his half empty Bud bottle on the table.
“I say we talk to Mitch, see if we can get in new blood.” Thaddeus said.
“No newbies are gonna come down to the pub if they learn that a biker gang runs around it.” Pete said to him.
“Besides, Haughville ain’t like it used to be. The Irish and the Slovenes have all moved south or further west to Avon and Brownsburg.” Bronco, who sat in between Hugo and Pete, replied.
“True,” Derrick said to him.
“Don’t you think people come down here because of the truce?” Thaddeus stated.
“People come down here ’cause of the cheap booze Thaddeus, not protection.” Tom Cat retorted.
“Alright, alright. Maybe we should all take a rest and bring this up at another time. Should we make a motion to end this meeting and get the hell outta here?” Derrick asked the group.
Every man nodded in reply and with a swift motion by the gavel, the meeting was adjourned. Each biker stood up on his own time and once the curtains were pushed back, one by one they left until only Hugo, Thaddeus and Derrick were left. Thaddeus grabbed his empty glass and made his way back behind the bar just as Felicity was approaching.
“You gonna sing?” She asked him.
Thaddeus filled his glass back up with Crown and a splash of water.
“Oh come on Thad, no need to be nervous. We’ve all heard you sing before.” Felicity begged.
“We’ll see Felicity.”
“Order up!” Russell hollered from the kitchen.
“Maybe you can sing with me?” Felicity searched his face for a answer.
“Maybe, better get that before Sam gets pissed.” Thaddeus said into his glass.
Dean picked up the microphone and tapped his finger on it’s top.
“Alright, give it up for Felicity singing On My Own!”
Dean handed the microphone to the blonde as he moved to the machine and took his seat. As Felicity began to sing so sweetly the words to another love song, she kept her eyes on Thaddeus at the bar. From time to time, Thaddeus would glance her way or give her his best smile before returning to the four men that sat at the bar. Russell walked out of the kitchen when he noticed the monitor, where the bartenders could buzz in guests or members with out their key card, began to light up.
“I got it Thad,” Russell moved swiftly to grab the phone that was connected to the box.
“Can I help you?” he asked.
“I was invited by Thaddeus Flannigan.” the woman said loud enough for him to here.
Russell hung up and pressed the slightly larger black button to buzz her in.
“Someone’s here for you.” Russell said when he returned.
Thaddeus leaned on the bar as he kept his gaze on Felicity as she made her way to the second verse of the song. Russell nudged his friend, causing Thaddeus to look away from the back of the pub to Russell.
“Better stand up straight man, who knows the girl of your dreams may walk in at any moment.” Russell teased.
Thaddeus half smiled and stood up before folding his arms. It was then that he saw who Russell had buzzed into the pub.
“Anya,” he whispered.
“How do you know her?” Russell asked softly.
“Boyd’s the new doc.” Thaddeus whispered back.
“What a fox.”
“Evening,” Thaddeus addressed her kindly,waving off Russell’s reaction.
Russell elbowed Thaddeus’s rib. He cleared his throat and gestured to Russell.
“Anya, this is Russell, Russell this is Dr. Anya Boyd.”
“Nice to meet you,” Anya shook his hand.
“So,” Thaddeus cut in. “What’s your poison?”
“A glass of dry wine will do it.” Anya said sweetly.
Thaddeus smiled at her. “Be right back with it.”
“So, you’re Thaddeus’s new shrink?” Russell asked.
“Would appear so.” Anya replied, removing her winter coat and scarf.
“What makes you think you’re the one whose gonna really get into his head?” Russell drilled her.
“Because of one thing.”
“And what’s that?”
“I listen. Russell?”
“Can I ask you about your Labor Day camp trip when Thaddeus was sixteen?” Anya leaned in to speak.
Russell leaned close after he took a long hard look at Anya. He glanced to Thaddeus, almost like he was recalling just by studying his best friend.
“He may be a hooligan and an asshole at moments. But on the record miss Boyd, Thad’s a good man.” Russell said as Thaddeus made his way to them.
Both of them watched as Thaddeus set down the glass full of deep red wine. After setting it down, Russell turned to Anya and spoke.
“I’m going to shorten this story for you, Thaddeus had his episode and that’s when Felicity and I realized there was a struggle inside him.”
Russell left it at that and put a strong hand on Thaddeus’s shoulder before walk into the kitchen. Thaddeus watched him go then glanced to Anya.
Felicity had watched the woman walk in and take her seat. Once she concluded her song, Felicity became slight jealous when she saw how the woman who had only known Thaddeus for a week or so could make him smile. Felicity thought to interrupt them to introduce herself, however dismissed this thought when she realized that Thaddeus would not have even notice if she walked out the big door. At this moment it seemed his world would continue turning, she knew that he had a talent for tuning out the world when he connected with another individual, especially one that could challenge him.
“So, is there anything else you can tell me about yourself?” Anya asked Thaddeus.
Thaddeus glanced to the cooler across from the taps of beer. On top of it, sitting cross-legged, the Time Traveler watched them. Thaddeus half smiled at him as the man shook his head slowly. Thaddeus turned his attention back to her once he felt her eyes peering in the same direction. After smiling at her he shook his head.
“Nope, nothing that I can think of right now.”
Thaddeus smiled at her again before grabbing her empty glass and walking away from her.