Trouble called me yesterday night. She was a couple blocks away and wanted to know if I was around. I had her up and talked to her for a while.
She drank the rest of my cranberry juice and told me about her last month. There was 30 days in jail, for something I can't fathom involving her ex getting a restraining order, for which he has since admitted that he lied and filed a motion with the court to have lifted. There was the death of her friend from right before she went to jail, which she believes was suicide by cop. She's still trying to track down his next of kin to get the body released so it can be cremated; the brother lives in Oregon and she can't get there and back between her probation check-ups. She's worked out a modus vivendi with her ex, who was also a friend of the deceased. While she was in jail, he apparently pulled himself together and became the man she thought he could be, but maintains it's over.
If it seems like I'm just relating her story, here's the one thing she said that got to me about it: at one point she mentioned that she'd told him about "me and her". That struck me as a little strange. Anything that might have constituted "us" lasted about six days; she had broken up with him before I was in the picture at all. Apparently I strengthened her resolve to keep it ended instead of repeating the cycle.
I was getting tired and unclear how to end the evening; she was trying to stay downtown since the current weekly hotel she's living in is rather inconvenient. This was decided for me when she got a call from a friend who wanted to know if she could come over. I offered to give her a ride there, and did.
Today X2 called to ask if I needed anything from the store; it's a comfortable habit we've gotten into when either of us are doing driving errands. I asked for dishwasher detergent and spray cleanser. She told me she'd just gotten her nipples pierced; I told her I was having my tattoo touched-up after work.
We haven't actually been in contact for weeks, except for a brief call while I was at work last week when I couldn't really talk. We decided to have dinner tonight and catch up.
I caught the bus to the U district to my tattoo parlor; sadly my artist was out sick, and the guy who booked my appointment didn't take my number. My artist's husband was really sorry, I told him no problem and left my number to schedule an appointment later. No rush, really. Then another bus to downtown and home.
Over dinner, I told X2 about quitting drinking, about the trouble on the ski trip. She was pretty nice about it, and told me some stories from the ER where she works. They sometimes bet on the BAC levels of people brought in drunk, try to figure out what sort of tolerances the patients have before they end up in the hospital. She's not sure I'm an alcoholic, but did bring up the mean streak I can have when I'm drunk. She told me about the last short, volatile relationship she had and how it ending has made her wary of dating again at all.
It was pleasant. She mentioned, almost in passing, that we had never really worked as a couple. Completely without rancor, just as an honest fact. I like that.