It probably goes back a couple years now but I’m writing this from Batch Gastropub and you might remember that a long long time ago I was sitting here, reading, and got to talking with another regular. A lawyer in her thirties from the south. We hit it off and since she only lives a few blocks away I walked her to her place and we went upstairs and she showed me an episode of Archer she’d been telling me I had to see and then we hooked up and I left.
But I forgot my glasses.
Wasn’t intentional, I promise, but it meant that, a night later, she had to meet me at the bar–where conversation was so propulsive that we talked and talked and a couple hours later we were up in her apartment again.
Then she started texting me all the time. Especially when she was drunk, which was just about every night, and it wasn’t just to ask me what I was doing, or to invite me out. She would send me a three paragraph text about how she went into the stall at work to masturbate. Then, if I wouldn’t respond, she’d get antagonistic, and there’d be more and more typos, until finally, at around two or three in the morning, the texts were maudlin fragments.
“Where you doing?”
Stuff like that.
Things reached a fever pitch after like ten straight days of this and I sent her a message saying she was really making me uncomfortable and to please stop getting in touch—and I had to send that message instead of simply blocking her because, apart from her frequenting all of my normal bars, she lives closer to them than I do.
She could arguably claim custody.
So I sent that text and she responded with all varieties of venom, ultimately signing off with, “Have a nice life, psycho.”
So it goes.
Tonight I went to Batch Gastropub, where we met, and I sat by myself at a high top and started writing and felt something visceral in my stomach when I looked up and saw her, over at the bar, sitting very close to someone who appears to be her boyfriend.
I felt a surge of panic at first, then I realized she was with someone, and that she looked just as mortified as I did.
And so we looked away in unison without any sort of acknowledgment.
It was nice.
When I was up at her apartment on the second of those two nights I noticed that there were photos all over the place, on every wall and surface, of her with a husky who was not in the room with us and whom I eventually learned had just recently died. Also, she’d gotten divorced about a year prior. So I think she was just going through something.
She looks way more composed now than she did back then. Gained the small bit of weight that I think always comes along with a good contented relationship. She and her boyfriend were here for maybe two drinks and then they left, arms around each other’s waists, and she looked at me furtively from the corner of her eye as she passed and I looked back and then she looked quickly away.
And they were gone.
A happy ending for everyone involved.