Laocoon walked through the swinging doors of the bar and toward the jukebox. He took out some coins and dropped them in. The Crystal Method, The Name of the Game started playing. The bar tender, until now aimlessly polishing glasses looked up. It wasn’t like Laocoon to play something like The Crystal Method. He was more of a country western guy. And he was also in early.
“Hey, L’oon,” the bar tender said as Laocoon walked toward the bar. “You’re in early today. What can I getcha.”
“How about some Greek wine,” he said, “The black stuff.”
“Now c’mon, L’oon,” answered the bar tender, now knowing something was really wrong. “We don’t carry any of that Achaean crap in here.”
Laocoon just looked at the bar tender.
Laocoon kept looking at the bar tender. The bar tender looked around, first at the door and then behind him. Then he shook his head and reached down under the bar.
“Jesus, buddy,” He said, “You’re gonna get me fired.”
He pulled out a shiny, black amphora with a cork in it, took the cork out and then poured a dark liquid into an opaque ceramic cup.
“You didn’t get that shit from me,” the bar tender said.
“Of course not,” Laocoon said. “I carry my own.”
“What the fuck is up, L’oon?” asked the bar tender. “Fight with the wife?”
To this Laocoon stared at the bar tender for a moment, then drained the glass and pushed it toward him.
“Not the wife, huh,” the bar tender said.
The bar tender looked around again and filled up the cup.
“No, not the wife,” Laocoon said. “It’s that horse on the beach.”
“Oh yeah,” the bar tender said knowingly, “It’s all over the internet. I haven’t been out there myself, but it looks awesome. Huge, right.”
Laocoon’s shoulders dropped.
“Not you too,” he said.
“What?” the bar tender said holding out his hands. “It’s a cool looking horse.”
“Everyone is beguiled by that fucking horse,” he said.
“It’s cool, that’s all I’m saying,” said the bar tender.
“It’s a Greek trick,” said Laocoon.
“Oh, for fuck’s sake, L’oon,” said the bar tender. “Have you been watching Fox News again.”
“Jesus fucking Christ, buddy,” Laocoon said, “I’m not here to argue with you too. I just spent all day on the beach with the city council and mayor trying to persuade them not to drag that mother fucker into town.”
“Well why the fuck not?” asked the bar tender leaning forward. “It’s a gift, like a going away present. Isn’t what that kid, what’s his name, Sinon or something said.”
“God, you’re as gullible as the rest of them,” Laocoon said. “He’s gotta be doing this for Odysseus.”
“L’oon, dude, that’s a fucking conspiracy theory,” the bar tender said. “The Greeks took off. We outlasted them. It’s time to party!”
At this Laocoon gestured at his glass and leaned forward.
“I need another one,” he whispered. “It’s hollow.”
“What the fuck are you talking about, hollow.” the bar tender shouted.
Laocoon’s eyes widened and he put his index finger and thumb together at the corner of his mouth and turned them like he was turning a key.
“Hollow?” the bar tender whispered. The he shrugged and turned away grabbing a bowl of nuts and pushing him toward Laocoon. “Hollow?” he repeated to himself and snickered.
“Well, not just hollow,” Laocoon said. “There’s people in it. Greeks.”
Now the bar tender dropped his shoulders, holding the black amphora in one hand and the opaque cup in the other.
“L’oon,” he said earnestly putting the two vessels down. “We’ve known each other a long fucking time. I gotta tell you this is just a conspiracy theory.”
“Were you on the beach?”
“No, well. No”
“I’m just sayin’ that CNN.”
“Stop,” Laocoon said with purpose, holding up his hand. “I hurled my spear at the fucking thing.”
At this the bar tender took out another opaque cup and filled it and the first one. He pushed one toward Laocoon and took a drink himself.
“When it hit the side of that horse, it made a sound, like the sound if you tapped on something empty,” he said as he rapped his knuckles on the amphora.
“Well, so it’s empty. That doesn’t mean shit.”
“I heard a scream from inside,” said Laocoon. “Someone was injured by the spear tip. It was muffled, then it stopped. But everyone heard it.”
“Oh c’mon, L’oon,” the bar tender said. “You’ve been working too hard. You’re saying there are people, Greeks, inside there.”
“I know there are,” Laocoon said. “I heard them knocking around in that motherfucker.”
The jukebox kept playing at they sat and looked at each other.
Callin’ all freaks
Callin’ all freaks
“So, what did they say, L’oon,” he said. “What did they say?”
“They fucking rolled their eyes,” he said. “Rolled their fucking eyes at me. Can you believe that shit? Rolled their eyes. Then they brought up Cassandra.”
“Goddam, that lady is crazy,” he said. “She got thrown off Twitter and Facebook. She is nuts.”
“But she’s been right, hasn’t she?”
“Yeah, but even a stopped…”
“Don’t “stopped clock” this shit with me,” he said. “This is not a fucking stopped clock.”
“I told them, “Don’t trust Greeks bearing gifts.”
“What did they say to that?”
“They just laughed, dude” he said. “Yeah, they fucking laughed.”
“OK,” he said, filling the cups up again. “So, what are you saying? The Greeks are going to spring out and kill us all?” As he said this held up both hands feigning fear and panic. “That’s ridiculous.”
“How many of those fuckers can fit in that horse, dude,” he said. “Come the fuck on.”
“You’re the one impressed with its size, my man.”
“Yeah, but this is Troy, remember.”
“Yes, a city that is about to wheel a bunch of heavily armed Greeks right into the middle of the central plaza.”
“Yes,” he said draining the cup. “Wheels. Those motherfuckers are putting wheels on that shit.”
“It’s too hard to move,” he said. “It has to be put on wheels. So those assholes are out there now, with the engineers from the city, building wheels to bring those Greeks in here.”
Now a new song started to play.
“Did you put Willie in too,” he asked.
“Yeah,” he said. “That’s mine.”
“Jesus, dude,” he said. “You’re taking this too seriously. This is way too sad a song.”
Well, I sure thought I had her
Lord, I know she had me
But what I thought was heaven
Is just falling debris
Well, I may not be crazy
But I got one hell of a start
Somebody pick up my pieces
I think I’m fallin’ apart
“Well, it is sad.”
“What do you mean.”
“Tonight, they’re gonna wheel that shit right in here and we’re done.”
“What should we do, then?”
“Have another drink.”