Isaac ordered a shot and a beer from the weathered bartender. She had the face of someone who’d just been exhumed. Her mottled, leathery skin was proudly displayed through her low-cut blouse, along with tattoos on the side of each breast: a skull with a shamrock backdrop on the left one, and on the right a Gaelic harp wrapped in barbed wire.
A row of TVs above the bar displayed horse races and results. Two or three men were studying racing forms. Lottery ads on plastic flaps were draped like bunting all around the dim space, giving it the air of a moribund carnival. Whenever someone opened the front door a thin ray of sunlight pierced the bar’s gloom, then flashed on the video poker machine as the door closed behind them.
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