So I was sitting around my house innocently working on a Perl
module when my phone rang, at around 2 AM. It was a female friend of mine; she said that her boyfriend
had attacked her and she'd thrown him out, and would I please come to her house and walk her someplace else?
Naturally I said yes. So I went to her house and helped put his things outside the apartment. We then walked to a bar
near my house; even though it was after closing time in Baltimore
, she's tight with the people who run it and she knew she could get inside still. The whole way, I had a can of bug spray
in my pocket. I knew that her boyfriend is strong and knows how to fight, so I thought that chemical warfare
would be my best chance if he started shit. In fact, we saw him; he was standing outside his ex-boyfriend's house, presumably trying to talk his way in so he'd have a place for the night. We passed by without him seeing us.
In the bar the lady who runs it was hanging out with the two jazz musicians who had performed there that night. The five of us talked about her situation, and the two musicians sang a few songs and did a little tap dancing
too. That cheered her up (as did the Tequila Sunrises
she had on the house) and I left her in the care of the owner of the bar, to stay in an apartment attached to the bar.
I'm pretty sure I'll see him again; Baltimore is a small town
. I'm going to make sure that my friends know to turn him away. With any luck, he will just take his things and move on to yet another city, just like he moved on to here a while back. My friend pointed out that he was in the same position that he was in three months ago when she met him: no job, no place to stay, no money. And for all I care, he can stay that way.
(continued, nighttime same day) Got a few hours sleep, then the same friend called me again. She asked me to go with her to some places: the courthouse for a restraining order
, her apartment to ask her landlord
to change the locks, and the hospital
to document her cuts and bruises. I called my girlfriend for moral support
and use of her car. She came down and we went together to the bar where I'd left my friend. We went to her apartment, then to the courthouse. There was a lot of paperwork for her to do, and then re-do; it turned out that you can't get a restraining order in Maryland
unless you have been living with someone for 90 days. Instead, you must get something called a "peace order
", which as far as I can tell differs in no important way for a restraining order. After the paperwork was done (the second time), we went upstairs to a courtroom
. I got shushed by a bailiff
while talking with my girlfriend. My friend had her hearing and the judge
was sympathetic; he granted a temporary peace order and scheduled another hearing for next week. The judge said that it wasn't necessary to get a doctor to document her injuries, that we could do it ourselves and it would suffice. So we drove to my girlfriend's house and got out her good camera and took a few photos. We hung out there for a little while and I played a few games on the old Atari 7800
. Finally we took my friend back to the club; she'll be there for a few days. The place is built like a fortress and always full of people who know her. It's probably the safest place for her in the city of Baltimore