4.1 Bosch, Bottles, and Bailey

by Matt P.

Cop bars tend to have a universal feeling to them, even if the decor is completely different. Walter had been to one in Los Angeles that was all brushed steel and glass, but it had still felt the same. Solid like the ages itself, and quietly cynical like a twenty year beat cop. It might have amusingly named hot wings, but it was never going to go in for flashy promotions or live bands. The moment they walked into Bosch, Bottles, and Bailey, he immediately liked it.

“They were cops.” Andre explained. “Wilfred Bosch, Ambrose ‘Bottles’ Bartleby, and Bailey Lawrence.” Andre said. “They were detectives in the 20s. Bailey was one of the first black detectives in the state. They were injured in a race riot, and used their retirement to open up the bar.”

The inside of the bar could be described using only two words, brick and wood, and leave very little out. It was narrow but long, with the large wooden bar taking up half of the walking space for a while, and Walter could see more seating past it. On the walls were pictures of the town as it had been over the years, and of various officers. Behind the bartender there was a picture of the President, the Governor of Kansas, and the Marshal of Border. Beneath all the pictures, as if offerings to pagan deities, was a deeply impressive array of hard liquor and taps.

“Damn.” Walter said with a whistle as they made their way to a table toward the back, against the protruding wall of the kitchen. Walter and Andre both instinctively put themselves up against the wall, and gave a chuckle.

“You two need a minute?” Leah asked wryly as she sat. While her voice was teasing, she sat off-set to not block their view out to the street.

“Well, you don’t want to stand in the way of a blossoming bromance.” Walter offered wryly as he looked around. “Nice place; what should I get?” He asked as he perused the beer menu for later. Andre and Leah both rattled off a few good choices while he continued to get a feeling for the place. It smelled like beer, and people, and history. The dark wood and the red brick gave it an old quality, while the flat screens also gave it a bit of modernness. He could instantly tell he would like it.

He and Andre were both looking up at the same time when a familiar face edged out from the side of the building and looked in the front window, before disappearing in an instant. Andre looked over with raised eyes as Walter just laughed.

“That…” the other man began. Walter nodded.

“Speaking of. So it turns out this is where they like to go?” Walter asked, as a waitress came by and they put in their food orders.

“There’s a lot of popular restaurants down here, and the mall isn’t too far away.” Leah agreed, looking over her shoulder. “I take it we had a sighting?” Walter nodded again, in deep amusement. “That should be fun when they get home.”

Walter’s grin was cheshire like, enigmatic and self satisfied. “Oh, I might play it cool, we’ll have to see.”

“You’re having too much fun.” Andre announced, as if it was a momentous decision he had just made, full of import and meaning. They watched as a small group of girls walked by nonchalantly, talking so casually it was obviously an act to cover the two girls the farthest from Walter, who were obviously Siobhan and Antigone.

“Oh no.” Walter countered as he waited for his soda to arrive. “I am having exactly as much fun as I should. So, really now tell me…what the hell hat are we talking about?”