Styx and Stones

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Decades of hard use have left their mark on the Styx and Stones pool hall. Regulars come to rack up around a legion of battered pool and billiards tables. Heavy bolts lock the scratched wooden tables to the poured cement floor, and cheap metal racks are hammered into the sheetrock as a precaution. Cigarette smoke has yellowed the ceiling and leaves an oily residue on all the fixtures, despite there being plenty of ash trays available. Peeling posters advertising cheap Mexican and Ukrainian beers faded out long ago, their logos an arcane assortment that defies easy recognition.

Clusters of new metal bar stools belly up to high-top tables from the Soviet era. Thick shellac protects the washed-out photographs, ticket stubs, and other memorabilia from 70s and 80s-era Eastern European rallies and concerts. Generally they still serve the same vile drinks by the can or the bottle, nothing more than two bucks, and no tabs tolerated. Low rock music plays from blown-out speakers on a continuous track regardless of day or not, melting into the droning hum of overhead fans cursed to stir up the greyish-blue miasma of cigarette smoke filling the air.


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