A Novel Excerptby Andrew Steiner
He left the Meijer in the dark of the April evening and drove to the Embassy. One booth was occupied by a group of Grand Valley ballplayers who looked like they were in mourning. Back by the pool table, two aging men in camouflage hats meditated over plates of fried walleye. The place was otherwise empty. He sat at the bar and ordered an Elijah Craig and a Corona. The name of the woman tending bar was unknown to him, but she had been a constant in the place since he was in high school and on days when the rain fell without mercy or they’d had to put in brutal early hours in the corn his father would bring the crew in here for burgers and chicken-fried steak, and she would serve them. The mascara around her eyes was clotted and her hair was a stiff, maltreated blonde gone sour after too many colorings. She smiled at him like a mother and asked him how he was and then left him to his thoughts.