Gold, Chapter Seven

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“Geez, I thought these guys might hangout someplace, I dunno, gayer,” said Jordan.

He and Stephanie were at the entrance to The Connecticut Yankee, in Potrero Hill.  The bar-eatery was packed, two large televisions blared a baseball game. Many of the patrons wore San Francisco Giants’ colors. 

“I don’t know what you mean by that,” responded Stephanie, flatly.  “But, as you well know, Justin’s Facebook page is filled with photographs of him here.  He appears to like the “authenticity,” as well as today’s “penny-pincher pint night.”

“Authentic B.O. smell, maybe,” said Jordan.

The two squeezed their way past knots of people towards the bar. Stephanie crossed her arms over her chest, doing her best not to touch anyone. Jordan jostled a big-bellied white haired man who was talking to a younger, hatchet-faced woman, causing him to spill some of his beer on her.

“Watch it!” the man barked.

“There’s Justin,” shouted Stephanie over the noise, nodding towards the end of the bar.  “And Nash.”

“Bingo, bango, bongo,” Jordan yelped.

Justin was sitting at a corner of the bar, his head tilted towards a large older man seated at his left.  On his right, Nash stared at a television screen.

“Wait a minute,” said Stephanie, tapping at her iPhone.  That’s Chester Liokakis next to Justin.  He owns the land we want.”

“Kind of a two-fer, eh,” said Jordan.  “In fact, why don’t we just talk to the Big Guy directly, eliminate the middle man.”  Jordan started to wedge his way past two elderly men, one of whom was wearing a Donald Trump-style wig, not ironically.

“Wait,” said Stephanie, grabbing his arm.  “We’re not authorized to make contact with the owner.”

“Well, what the crap are we supposed to do, anyways?” retorted Jordan, turning back towards her.  “I mean, what’s the plan?”

“The plan is, you get me a Hanger One on the rocks, with a twist of lemon,” said Stephanie.  “I’ll go talk to Nash.”

“Fine,” said Jordan, turning back towards the bar. 

Stephanie made her way to Nash, rubbing against a series of black and orange clad patrons despite her best efforts to avoid contact.  Many of the men smiled at her hopefully; one wangled his eyebrows.  She positioned herself just behind Nash, posturing that she was trying to get a better look at the game.

“What’s the score” she yelled into Nash’s ear.

“Tied up,” said Nash, without looking up. “Though it looks like the developers are about to go ahead.”

“What?” exclaimed Stephanie.

Nash glanced at her, and did a quick double-take.  “You’re…that biotechnie person, the one with the face stickers.”  He quickly looked down at his drink, remembering that he’d picked-up one of the dots from the Mayor’s carpet, which was now in a bowl at his apartment.

“Right,” said Stephanie, trying not to grimace as she squeezed further towards the bar, so she could be next to Nash.

“You live around here?” asked Nash, locking his eyes back on the television.

“No,” said Stephanie.  “I live in the Marina. But we heard this was a great bar.” 

Jordan was waving at her from across the room, lifting a short glass and pointing to it.  Stephanie frowned at him.

“Actually, though,” said Stephanie, “It’s fortuitous to find you here.  We lost one of our “face stickers” recently.  Did you happen to locate it?”

“Yee-aaybe,” said Nash. “Okay, yeah. You dropped it in the Mayor’s office, and I picked it up.  It glows sometimes, kind of creepy.”

“We’d like it back,” said Stephanie.  “Or at least we’d like it put in the right place.”

“The right place…” questioned Nash.

He was interrupted by Justin, who’d swiveled towards him and grabbed his shoulder.

“My man Chester here says he might be interested in my hydroponic, special strain marijuana grow house idea,” shouted Justin.  “For medicinal purposes only, of course,” he shifted back towards Chester, raised his glass, and clinked Chester’s. “To curing what ails us! Or maybe what ales us! Heh-heh.” 

“And who have we here?” Justin spun back towards Nash, and Stephanie. “If she’s trying to pick you up you might let her know that she doesn’t have the right parts.  Or maybe they do…” he said, eying Stephanie up and down.

“I don’t know her name,” said Nash. “Dot?  Or Dottie, or Glowinda, the good bio-witch of the west…”

“Stephanie,” she interjected.

“And Jordan!” said Jordan, having squeezed his way just behind Stephanie.

“Quite the party!” shouted Justin, raising his empty glass towards the bartender.

“Stephanie works for that biotech company I was telling you about,” said Nash, disappointed that no one laughed at his joke.  “She wants that dot thingy back.”

“Well, why didn’t you say so,” said Justin, slamming his glass onto the bar.  “Let us go to the apartment, where we can share magical herbs and exchange magical dots!”

He threw a $20 on the table, got up, and tugged at Nash’s hand.”  “To the apartment!”

“To the apartment!” Jordan echoed, as the four of them squeezed back through the crowd, Stephanie trailing reluctantly behind.

Each month the View publishes a chapter from Gold, a serialized tale of politics, capitalism, and corruption in San Francisco.  Previous chapters can be found on the paper’s website,