It had been years since Bellingham had been her home. Years since she’d spent any time at all. But the skeezy prostitute motel was still there and even though it was February there were still some of the homeless sitting about on the street corners or holding signs for food and money–or just money.
In the dark the stoplight turned red. She grabbed her phone, “Siri,” she said. “Text Alex.”
What would you like to text?
“Ten min away, where’s a good place.”
She put down her phone. The light turned to green. She revved her engine a little too high–she’d never been very good at driving stick, even after 10 years. Her phone buzzed.
Well, are a beer, mixed drinks, or cider person?
She clicked siri, took a sharp right.
“Beer or whiskey, typically.”
Then we should go to the Copper Hog.
“Sounds good, see you there.
“Siri, look up The Copper Hog in Bellingham Washington.”
Down the hill the taillights of other cars flared. The warm lights of the buildings splashed their warmth through the cold glass windows. Her car lurched over pumps and then she took a right, then a left and another left.
As she drove by The Copper Hog looked like a sleepy place, but then–it was a Monday. She parked on the street, since it was after five o’clock it was free. She wondered what this would be like–she hadn’t seen this guy since high school–and even then they hadn’t known each other in any likely sense to be meeting up at this house, on such short notice. The only reasons she’d known him was because his high school girlfriend had been her rival at Tennis. And maybe she’d heard stories about parties at his house? His dad had let them party there when they were young. She supposed if they still had parties they might still have them there–but whatever, most parties were lame.
Outside The Copper Hog sat a small patio fenced in by a sturdy black metal fence. Inside the place was a pretty typical sports bar–though to her right were many tables nicely set. In front of her was a large copper hog and to her left and little in front of her stood a tall slender frame with broad shoulders. Even though he wore a hat she could see long hair flaring out from below the slouchy beanie. There were a couple other people in the bar, but it was dead, really. Mondays.
She walked forward a little slowly and as she did the slender form turned and Alex’s face trained on her. His mouth broke into a smile and he began to laugh. It was a strange laugh, rather high for a man, but it seems slightly contagious, as she found herself smiling as well and then laughed a little also.
“Hey,” he said.
“Hey, good to see you.”
“Yeah,” he swooped in for a hug and the one armed it. No use in getting that close–it’d been 9 years, about.
“Whacha drinking?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” she said.
To the left, along the bar–lit with dim lights that gave the whole bar a warm feeling even though outside it was cold enough for your breath to be seen–was a chalkboard with a list of all the beers.