Sheila is known by many names in Rittenouse. The White Witch of Rittenhouse. The Rittenhouse Madame. But I call her the Ghost of Rittenhouse.
Let me do my best to describe her to you. She is tall and very skinny. She wears a furry hat most of the time. She has very long hair, it is sandy in color. She wears big sunglasses and bright red lipstick that is usually a little smudged. She wears long gloves and her skirts are short, showing her skinny bird like stockinged legs. If she were in her twenties this would work, but this woman is clearly well into her seventies.
I was walking down the street one day and I had seen her around the neighborhood. She was usually just floating around carrying shopping bags. It looked like she never ate or drank anything. Just shopped. She seems completely oblivious as to how she looks and the fact that people are staring at her as she walks by. I was coming from somewhere. I was also half in the bag, so I decided that I had to get to know the Ghost of Rittenhouse.
I just stopped and started talking to her. it was surreal. I don’t even remember what I said to her. I introduced myself and handed her my card and just started chatting. She reached into her purse and gave me a card. Now I knew her name. Beside her name was this: “M.Ed., CAC Certificate.” The card said she was a Clinical psychotherapist and Real Estate Investing.
How are those two things even on the same business card?
We chatted a bit and she asked me if I wanted to have a drink with her. I couldn’t turn down this eccentric fixture.
She took me over to The Prime Rib on 17th and Locust. I would never hang in a bar like this but I think she may have been a regular. I ordered a cocktail and start chatting with her. She knows the bartender. Does everybody think I’m just some boy toy she picked up? At least no one I know was in this bar.
She’s telling me how she’s divorced and has worked in Psychiatry out on the mainline and also in real estate. She seems very intelligent and articulate. I think she just may have a screw loose somewhere. No woman at the age of 73 would dress like that. I like her personality, but I’m looking at her and she’s just gross. Her top was low-cut and her breasts were just like slack, collapsed, flesh socks hanging down her chest. I’m sorry. I really am, because you know I love women, and I want to like her. She’s obviously lonely as hell. She’s holding an intelligent conversation with me, but the way she looks is just embarrassing. If she would do her hair differently and wear some more conservative clothes, she’d look so much better.
We’re talking about Philly, and movies, and all kinds of different subjects. I wonder how many times this has happened to her. Some drunk slob talks to her and then leaves. Which I proceeded to do after about an hour.
A few days later I go to my office and there is a voicemail for me on my phone. It was Sheila. She left a nice message about how she’d like to go to the movies with me. I felt kind of bad. I wasn’t going to call her back. I would go out with her but people know me in this city. I can’t be seen with her. It’s really sad. If she would just look and dress her age, she would look presentable in public. Just another rich old lady that lives on the square. I found out she lives in a really nice building right on Rittenhouse square. So she is wealthy.
I spoke to another woman I’m friends with in town. Mary. I’ve known her for a while, because she works as a hostess at a restaurant I frequent. I will write about her in the near future. I told her the story of Sheila. She suggested something I didn’t expect.
Mary is 69 years old. So she’s only about five years younger than Sheila. But totally different. Slim, sharp, attractive, has a job, and doesn’t dress like a nut. She said I should call Sheila and go out with her. Take her to one of the Ritz theaters for a matinée. Not many people in there. Won’t run into anyone I know. Dark. I don’t have to talk to her for two hours, etc.
She said to be my usual charming, romantic self to her. At the end of the date, I tell her that if she could put me on an allowance of some kind, I would in turn provide companionship and romance to her.
Crazy right? A sugarmama for me? More like a sugargrandmama!
“Crazy like a fox.” I said to Mary, “What if she wants me to have sex with her. I don’t know if I can do that.”
“Tell her that special services are provided as long there is an additional fee.” Mary replies.
I laugh. “What if I end up accidentally breaking her hip during sex?”
“That’s on you, kid.”
I don’t know what I’m going to do. But Mary is diabolical.
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