Sun Stories: Karen – Oh…Now I Remember You

“I decided to ask her if there was some possibility that we may have met before meeting here some place else. She dismissed that notion quickly saying no.”

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There’s this cute, sweet woman who comes into the salon to tan.  Brown hair, slender and attractive. She’s always very nice to me and Achilles. She’s been going there for years. She always remembers my name and uses it when she comes in.

She’s been coming in a lot lately because I’m assuming the summer season. We chat and it’s always nice to see and talk to her. She had come from food shopping the other day, and I let her put some of her stuff in our fridge while she tanned to keep it all fresh. She was very grateful.

She works as a school teacher somewhere out in the suburbs. I think that’s noble work, shaping the minds of our youth. My sister Janice does that as well.

I was talking to Karen the other day, and I just felt that I knew her from somewhere else. It passed from my mind and I didn’t think about it until the next time she came in and I was chatting with her.

I decided to ask her if there was some possibility that we may have met before meeting here some place else. She dismissed that notion quickly saying no.

I just figured she had a familiar face. That happens all of the time. Some young woman will approach the counter and I’ll ask her last name, and she’ll say: “Oh, I’ve never been here before.”

Happens at least once a week.

But the other day I was looking up a friend of mine’s number in my phone when I came across Karen’s name. I tapped on the entry, because there is no reason in the world for me to have a client’s number in my personal cell phone. Her file comes up and I then go on our system at the salon and look up her information there. The spelling of the name and phone numbers are identical.

So I must have not only met her before but she’s given me her phone number. I even had her email address. But I would have remembered that event. But there is one reason I may not have remembered it.

Because under her name under Employer it says: WFGC.

That’s the acronym I used to put in my phone when a certain type of lady would offer me her number. WFGC stands for World Famous Gold Club. That’s the seedy strip joint that I occasionally go to with my buddy, Johnny. (See: Johnny R. – 2011 to Present – Needle in the Groove)

Yea. Our little school teacher used to be a stripper!

But as salacious as this sounds, I am never going to say anything to her about it. Ever. I’m not even going to tell Achilles. Being a stripper is not an easy life. It hurts a lot of women. Usually they end up stripping because they were out of choices.

Karen has pulled herself up out of that and has made something of herself. I’m really proud of her.

It’ll be my little secret.

 

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Kylie – Broken Wing – Part II – Disconnected Rebound

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

I was in a vulnerable state. Still having random drunk hookups with Annabelle, and hanging out with Kylie. (See: Annabelle – 2013 to 2014 – Nice to Meet You) It’s sad what was happening. I think Annabelle just strung me along until she found someone to replace me.

Live and learn.

On the other hand I was spending more time with Kylie. The more time I spent with her, the crazier and damaged I could see Kylie was.

She was in her early thirties now, and still barely eking out a living doing photography. This was a poor soul that had been kicked around by the world, and somehow survived. During that time I always said; “I don’t think Kylie is going to live long.”

She invited me up to her apartment one night early on. We talked about her artwork. She painted as well as did photography. All of her work is really good, but it’s just hard to make a living in this city as an artist. (Or any city for that matter)

She’s one of these people who talks a lot. They tell you all the crazy stuff in their lives that you’d be better off not knowing. I know people like her, and too much information given to people makes them realize you really don’t have much going on in your life now, and have made some bad decisions.

She tells me she was in this really destructive relationship with this older man. He was some really smart professor type that was a narcissist sicko. He totally controlled her and would make her strip naked everyday and he would weigh her to make sure she stayed the same. Insane.

I think one day they were drunk together and he beat her up. She ended up going downstairs or next door and these guys took her in but then one of them raped her.

This is really heard to write.

For some reason she ends up not pressing charges, and they get away with it and she has to move away. The story is a little fuzzy because I have literally blocked it out until this writing.

She ends up seeking refuge with her married business partner, that older guy who owned the studio. She tells him what happened and he tells her she should be with a nice guy. A gentleman. Someone who knows how to treat a lady.

Then he ends up having sex with her. It was a total ruse because he had wanted to hit that for a long time. So she gets used again.

That guy recently died of cancer so there’s some karma out there.

Then she starts telling me about this guy she’s seeing. He’s like 20 years older than she is, and is a biker. I think he’s married or lives with a woman. He appears to be a pimp or something. Just a bad dude. She’s completely in love with this guy and he doesn’t give two shits about her. He just rolls over to her place late night and gives her the high hard one. He doesn’t do anything else with her.

I actually met him one night at a bar and she was there. I wanted to make it clear I was just a friend, and knew the score. He was actually really nice to me, but I was happy to get out of there.

I would meet up with her sometimes, and get coffee and walk around. She didn’t know what was going on with biker dude, because he was always letting her down or not even showing up. She was constantly talking about him, and it was almost as if Kylie and I were a little co-dependent at the time. I gave her the emotional support and empathy that biker dude, lacked, and she replaced the attractive, leggy ex-girlfriend for me.

With biker fading and my ex popping in and out at random times, Kylie and I spent some time together. I had fun with her sometimes. One night we were at some music event and she was hitting the gin pretty hard and me the vodka. We were having a great time. I walked her home and we sat on her stoop to smoke a cig and chatted.

Then she invited me up.

I was surprised because I didn’t think she was that into me, but I guess whatever I had been to her she wanted to thank me.

But here’s where it gets weird. When we were beginning to get into it, she started talking in like a kid’s voice. It was very unsettling. I sopped and asked her if she wanted to go through with what we were about to do, and she said she did. She didn’t say much else but that behavior stayed with me.

The next morning it was like nothing had happened. But she was now comfortable sitting in her robe and chatting with me when she got out of the shower. I asked her how she felt about last night, and she said, “Yea it was great. I needed that.”

She ordered up some breakfast sandwiches and we happily munched them.

Later she wanted to take me out to the woods for a walk on some trails. She loves nature and is a runner, so she does this quite a bit. To me the Great Outdoors is where you keep the car. Roughing it, is a hotel without room service, and the wilderness is Walmart.

So I’m not going to like it out there. She has a Mini Cooper and she drives to endanger. I’m a good driver. I obey the posted limits, know how to drive defensively, and understand how to merge and the rules of the road.

Kylie just speeds and takes the turns at high-speed. I’m not a good rider, so I was terrified.

I nearly got down and kissed the dirt when we pulled into the lot at the park in one piece.

The area is nice and there’s a creek. There were people on horseback, couples and families. So it was a nice day.

But here’s the thing. She’s dressed to be there. She’s also accustomed to the terrain and the hills and trails. I’m not. I’m also not accustomed to trudging up and down hills through the woods in a blazer and semi dress shoes. So for the most part the entire beginning of this little trip is awful. She shouldn’t have taken me out here, but she likes it and I guess likes me well enough to sleep with me so I put up with it all.

We had sex a few more times after that, and it was usually when we were both half in the bag. I’m so gun-shy from my divorce from my ex-wife, I always use a condom. Always. I also always take it with me. I am too paranoid to leave a tied off prophylactic in some chick’s trash can. I’m like the Marines when it comes to my sperm. No man left behind. I take it with me and discard it elsewhere.

And while we’re on the subject, if you’re not wearing a condom and you’re getting close there is a primal urge to stay in. Homo sapiens have an imperative to reproduce. In that moment you need to summon up the evolved part of your brain and say the words: Pregnant. Child Support. Lawyers. Wage garnishment.

Anyway, I had some fun times with Kylie. But it just wasn’t a match. She’s kind of crazy. We’ve had a few skirmishes, and she’d cut me off over some stupid misunderstanding, but she would always drift back. I give people a lot of chances. But not so much anymore. Kylie has definitely burned all her bridges with me.

I run into her every once in a while and it’s civil, but always a bit awkward. So I’ll end it here.

“You always want to be the good key that can open many locks, not the shitty lock that can be opened my many keys.” 

 

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Now look who’s the creepy stalker!! For real! — Sensuality, Sex & Something else

Woke up Saturday morning and the first thought on my mind was OMG I have a date!! I logged onto POF and both M and J were online. I chatted briefly to them both, J had said his son was going back to his Moms on Monday so we talked about getting together for a beer […]

via Now look who’s the creepy stalker!! For real! — Sensuality, Sex & Something else

 

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Tales of Rock – Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger Vetoed A Bob Dylan/Beatles/Rolling Stones Super Album

According to Johns, quite a few members were down with the elaborate project/musical death match, but in the end bigger egos prevailed.

Sometime around 1969, producer Glyn Johns had the ambitiously ill-fated idea of having The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan on the same album — because the late ’60s was a period when all of those people famously had a lot of time to kill. Johns had the whole thing planned out, too. He would take all the best material from each group, have them compete for best rhythm section, and then have the winners perform that song on the album — which makes us wonder why The Hunger Games couldn’t just have been that?

According to Johns, quite a few members were down with the elaborate project/musical death match, but in the end bigger egos prevailed:

“Keith and George thought it was fantastic. But they would, since they were both huge Dylan fans. Ringo, Charlie, and Bill were amicable to the idea as long as everyone else was interested. John didn’t say a flat no, but he wasn’t that interested. Paul and Mick both said absolutely not.”

And that was that. Three of the world’s most intensely popular bands wound up not changing history for the same reason no one has ever managed to organize a successful Doodle event.

 

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The Alleged Man’s Dating Woes — Bookshelf Battle

Hey 3.5 readers. BQB here. You may have noticed there wasn’t much in the way of good writing on this website in July. First of all, there has never been any good writing on this website so why you would expect any now is beyond me. Second, my alter ego, the Alleged Man, supposedly the […]

via The Alleged Man’s Dating Woes — Bookshelf Battle

Trish – 2012 to Present – The She Wolf Meets Her Childhood Hero

“He’s always a funny approachable guy. I want to be like him. A funny approachable woman. Not to take yourself too seriously. I’m gonna meet him. That’s on a Do Before you Die Bucket List. I have had an opportunity to see his work and I must do it because he has changed my life.”

Trish is my hot neighbor. (See: Trish – 2011 to Present – The She Wolf) She’s an artist, graphic designer and even pulls a few shifts at the tanning salon. I’m a big fan. She has a heart of gold. Trish is always rooting for the underdog.  She cares for the weak, the small or the forgotten. I love that about her.

She’s even thinking of starting her own blog as a spin-off series from phicklephilly.(Which would be awesome!)

She’s also a very articulate writer that has a really natural flow with her thoughts and ideas. If you’ve ever seen her artwork, she has a wonderful ability to transfer what’s in her mind elegantly to the canvas.

She stops by my apartment the other day and hands me a 1.75 bottle of vodka for covering her 7 hour shift last Saturday. That’s a grateful neighbor and co-worker. I’ll work every Saturday for her if that’s what she wants to give me as thanks!

We chat about a few things and then get into what’s been going on in our lives.

On the Saturday I worked for her she went to Chinatown and took a Mega Bus to Manhattan. It was only $11 bucks! How do they stay afloat charging $11?

 

Trish rolled into the city and disembarked from the bus at 4:50pm. She gets her metro card refilled. She checked into the Chelsea Inn Hotel which cost her $80 bucks. Still cheap for a hotel room in New York City. She loved the room. Big TV. King sized bed. The works. Trish travels on a budget, but arrives in style.

 

She heads over to the Alchemist Kitchen to get some supplements. The Gramercy is 15 blocks away from her hotel. She’s been really looking forward to seeing this act and this is why she made the trek to Manhattan.

She walked there alone and sober. They’re all waiting like cattle to see him. She’s sad she has no weed. She’s tired of talking to people, and  cant wait to see her childhood hero and to hopefully meet her childhood hero.

“I know I’m going to meet my hero Mulder from the X Files TV show.”

Trish loves the X Files. This great hero of her life and she’s going to meet him. Trish is determined.

And when Trish is on a mission, stay out of her way.

She enters the Gramercy to see David Duchovney  perform with his band.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Duchovny

I thought David was only an actor and author, but apparently he’s a man of many talents. I’m a big fan of his work in the cable TV series, Californication.

The Gramercy where he’s only 10 blocks away from where David grew up!

Doors opened at 7pm that night. Some violin quartet from Ireland were the warm up act before Duchovny’s band.

People are moving to get drinks. Tectonic plates are shifting. She will make it to the front. You wiggle your way to the front. Like the slow shift of the world. Like a river. Before he comes out she’s in an euphoric state. Normally she’s super annoyed, but she’s dealing with all of the idiots because Mulder is coming.

She’s waited here two hours for this moment.

When the quartet is done their set. The lights come up and David comes onstage.

“It feels like it’s not my life.” She told me when she saw the man live for the very first time.

“I was 2nd row so I could see my guy!”

She lost her shit when Mulder hits the stage. She’s 12 years old again. She’s blown away. Trish is giggling like it’s Beatlemania.  She is screaming her love her for her TV idol. She is excited beyond words.

On scale of 1 to 10 it is beyond the scale. Trish is so filled with joy.

“It was more about this magical creature and to meet him and be in the same room with the man I love.”

Trish was such a super nerd fan of the show. “I was obsessed with the series itself. The novels based on the show and the action figures. I feel the decency of who Fox Mulder was helped me build my own character.”

“He was who we should all be.” she says.

“He’s always a funny approachable guy. I want to be like him. A funny approachable woman. Not to take yourself too seriously. I’m gonna meet him. That’s on a Do Before you Die Bucket List. I have had an opportunity to see his work and I must do it because he has changed my life.”

After the show she waits another two hours and he finally comes outside the venue. She approaches him. Her childhood idol. She digs her hand into her pocket and produces a small Fox Mulder action figure she played with as a child. She places the toy and a silver sharpie marker in his hands.

He autographs her little guy.

It was so fast she had almost no time with him. But she looked into his eyes. “He’s real!”

 

Trish has an uncanny sense at picking up on all of the emotions of those around her. It gives her great empathy for the human race. She has such a good heart. She could feel through the crush of the fans that David just wanted to go home.

“He is genuinely a great guy. I felt so calm to be near him. Life is short, and it was great to meet him.  I also loved being by herself. Just me on my own self adventure.”

Trish doesn’t care to be attached to anything. She’s fine with being on her own and would like to be on her own.

“I just wanted him to go home safe.”

“They treated him like an animal.” she said regarding the pushing fans.

“All they wanted was their shit signed by him. But I really felt something.”

“It was so nice. It was like a dream but I was wide awake.”

 

 

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Sun Stories: Haley – 2016 to Present – Rules and Lists

You used the last of the toilet paper on the spool and started the new roll that I left for you on the back of the toilet tank. But please don’t replace the toilet paper by simply putting it on the spool. Just set it on top of the spent spool! Lazy fuckers! Doing something courteous in a public restroom doesn’t instantly turn you into a janitor you piece of shit!

This is one of my all time favorite posts. It was fun to write and I’m sure the whole gang at the salon will love it!

Enjoy!

While working at the salon, Haley and I came up with a lot of funny bits we used to do. I can hear her giggling right now in my head as I write this.

We would lock the doors at closing time, and sometimes people would show up trying to get in and tan. There’s always people who can’t manage their schedules or the clock or the calendar and are always late for everything.

Do we come to your bar and want to order a bunch of stuff when you’re trying to close? Then don’t pull that shit on us. We didn’t want to deal with the cast of regulars that would try to pull this and sometimes we would simply hide from them as they banged on the door and/or started calling the house phone. We would be behind the wall or under the counter laughing.

There’s this one girl who comes in and she’s super hot but dresses provocatively. She knows she’s hot and likes to flaunt her body, but actually that’s not good behavior for a woman. But if she wants all of that attention that’s her business. I just liked her because she was hot. She’s really just a vacuous bubblehead.

So I would come in, and Haley would say, “You just missed your girlfriend!”

And I’d always say, “Which one?” (Because I loved so many of the hot girls that frequent the salon.)

She’d say, “Alexa! and you would have loved her because she was looking extra slutty today!”

I love Haley. She’s hilarious.

 

Achilles told me some things I needed to follow when I first started working there. These were just some fundamental things that I should do if I wanted things to work smoothly. I have so much enthusiasm for everything I do, I decided to actual make a real list. So I’ll show it here and break down the rules and explain what they mean.

1. No shared memberships (You can’t come in with your friend or spouse and buy a monthly package and share the tanning sessions. Like she can’t come in on Tuesday and then you come in on Wednesday. You also can’t come in on the same day and go to separate rooms.)
2. No shared rooms (Only one person to a room. Because who knows what two people could do in a room together when they’re naked?)
3. You’re available but not available (You can’t date the clients. What if I start dating some girl who comes there and then we break up and she won’t come to the salon because it’s awkward? Achilles loses revenue because of my dalliances. Off limits.)
4. It’s not clean until it’s mega clean (Job #1 in any business that serves the public is cleanliness. If you have a business where multiple people lie naked on the same acrylic sun bed over and over, the bed better be sanitized like crazy)
5. Last tanning session is at 7:50 (We talked about this. If we close at 8pm we can lock the doors at 7:50 so we can get on with our lives.)
6. We clean our own beds (The staff goes tanning. You shouldn’t work at a tanning salon and look pale. But I don’t want Haley or Summer or Trish wiping the sweat off the bed I just tanned in. And vice versa. Gross!)
7. When in doubt, throw it out (If you’re not sure if a towel is clean it goes in the hamper. Rather safe than sorry.)
8. Cash is king (Achilles loves cash. If someone pays cash you can knock 10% of the price if they’re on a budget)
9. You can’t leave your lotion here We’re not a storage facility. (people actually ask if we can hold their lotion for them under the counter)
10. No strollers! (This isn’t a real rule. We just worried about them carrying the strollers up 30 steps. It’s just unsafe. But there is another reason I’ll discuss below. You’ll know when you see it.)
11. No extensions! (If someone buys a month and then they go away for a week, we won’t put their membership on hold so they can start it up upon their return and get that week back. Mange your life better!) (However, we did this once for a good client when her mother died.)
12. No discounts unless it’s on the website and they mention it first! (We do 10% for cash if they ask and 20% for students if they ask. Summer, a girl who works here and formerly tanned here, said to me the other day, “You never gave me 20% because I was a student!” Me: Did you ever ask? “No.” Me: “We’re in business to make money, Summer. Now you work here… you can tan for free!”)
13. Never mention that we replace the bulbs in the beds to the customers. (Achilles always changes the bulbs on strict schedules. It’s just something that needs to be done on a regular basis to maintain the strength of the beds. But we don’t discuss that with clients because they could think that they’ve been tanning all month on weak bulbs and now in the last week of their package there are good new bulbs that are in the bed now. It’s just not the case and we don’t want to open that can of worms.)
I created a Love List. This was basically a list of hot women. It’s ridiculous, and I no longer do it. I created it when I first started working there because I was new and overwhelmed by all the beauty that comes in to tan at the salon. If I made Love List today it would look far different and probably consist of men and women who are nice people who are a pleasure to serve.
Haley had a Love list too. But hers consisted of nice people, and grandpa type old guys that came into tan. “They’re so cute, like my Pop Pop!”
And where there is a Love List, so must there be a Hate List. The Hate List is only about six people who come in at closing, are weird, or when they come in there’s always some sort of problem.
Which brings us to our favorite list of all. We all agree about every one of these and the list is always growing. We love it so much that I read it aloud to the staff at our Christmas dinner! Enjoy!
Things That Annoy Us. 
1. People that come in at 7:49. (We close at 8pm)
2. People that leave lakes of sweat on the bed.
3. People that close the bed and the door. (don’t make it look like you’re still in there! That makes us nervous!)
4. Trash strewn room.
5. Taking forever to choose a lotion packet when there’s a line.
6. When people come in and complain about things beyond our control.
7. When 7 girls come in and only have basic packages. (We only have two basic beds and two girls go in and then the rest of them have to sit around and wait in the lobby. It takes forever)
8. Hey client… to get the lotion on your body, not the table, floor, mirror and walls.
9. I’m going to wait for the Alpha (Premium bed.) and two people are ahead of me and its quarter to 8pm. (closing time)
10. They need more than 5 minutes to get ready and it’s our responsibility to remember to send them. (Activate the bed)
11. When people decide to go to the bathroom after we’ve sent them to a room.
12. They get a spray tan then go out in the rain and expect nothing to happen then call the next day to say their legs are streaking. Rain is like taking a shower!!! (You have to stay dry for 6 hours after a spray tan!)
13. Customers that talk to you about a bunch of stuff you have zero interest in. (Sader sounds) That’s a guy who used to come in and just gab about of things we don’t know about or care to hear about) Or this other lady who will rudely go on and on about her crazy ex husband or her kid who’s been in an out of children’s hospital his whole life. We get it. We’re sorry for you, but don’ lay your problems at a bunch of clerks at a tanning salon!
14. Can I leave my lotion here that I purchased elsewhere? (Really?)
15. Which one do you think is the best? (It’s all the same shit. Just pick a damn packet of lotion!)
16. Client: I referred so and so, so I get a free tan right? Me: Did you fill out the little card and have them bring it in with your name on it? Client: No. Me: Then No.
17. Can you just put me in today and when I come in on Tuesday you can subtract it from the next package I buy? Oh Laura… (That was some girl who would always try to pull that shit on me. I liked her but…No!)
18. Yea, sure, go into our bathroom and take a dump before you even come in to say hello. (Achilles hates that one)
19. Door squeaks and then tons of giggling and multiple footsteps… (Oh God here they come! A bunch of noisy college freshman girls) You’d think I’d like this, but it’s annoying.
20. Customer: umm one of the face tanners is burned out in the Cadillac. Us: Yea. It’s 10 after 8. Get the fuck out of here. (We don’t say that we just think it)
21. When the white trash junkie whores bring their Milano babies up here in their giant strollers and hang out for over an hour while they take turns tanning, changing dirty diapers and leaving them in the bathroom, while their kids cry and scream wreaking havoc in the lobby with our good clients. (Too much?)
22. When Sader inserts himself into my conversation with our lovely clientele. (This guy again. I’d be chatting with some young lovely, and he just comes in and inserts his tiny self into the conversation. Annoying!) UPDATE: Sader no longer comes to tan here because he said his doctor found some unusual skin growths on him so his tanning life is over. Not his real life… He just can’t tan anymore.
23. We warned you that if you weren’t gentle with the fan control on the Max 10 it’ll shut the bed off, but goddamn it, you’re fucking going to do it anyway. Twice.
24. Achilles: “This time of year nobody comes in to tan on the basic beds.” Me: (crushed on a Thursday) “Shut the fuck up, Achilles.”
25. Guy comes in our lobby: (There was a copy and print shop downstairs from the old salon on 16th street) “Is this where I can make copies? Me: (points to Max 10 sun bed.) “Does that look like a copy machine, sport? Get the fuck out of here.” (We don’t really say that, we think it.)
26. Just because you bought a month package doesn’t mean you have to come in everyday! (There are people who actually do this!)
27. Laura (crazy client) text: I just wanted to say hi and that I miss you terribly.  Me: Buy an All Access Premium EFT and you can see me everyday. Oh by the way…. Are you due for a new bottle of lotion??
28. Don’t put the fucking mega clean sign back on the dirty bed.
29. Am I the only one that works here and regularly cleans out the lint trap in the fucking dryer?
30. The mumblers! (Please speak up and use the voice God gave you!)
31. When I’m somewhere other than at the front counter, and the client starts wandering around the salon looking for me. (What are you a baby duckling?)
32. Did you have to throw everything on the floor? (Winkease trash, mega clean sign, head rest, towel, lotion packet, etc.)
33. You used the last of the toilet paper on the spool and started the new roll that I left for you on the back of the toilet tank. But please don’t replace the toilet paper by simply putting it on the spool. Just set it on top of the spent spool! Lazy fuckers! Doing something courteous in a public restroom doesn’t instantly turn you into a janitor you piece of shit!
34. When they use a towel to dry off their hands in the bathroom and instead of throwing the used towel into the little hamper next to the sink, they throw it back on top of the clean folded ones! Who the fuck is raising these monkeys?
35. When a client comes in and no one is at the counter, instead of having a seat in the waiting area, they just stand there at the counter nearly grinding their pelvis into it. Just leaning on the counter and all. I fucking hate that!
36. Why are you compelled to touch the mirrors in each room? I always see smudges and fingerprints on the mirrors. What, are you just checking to see that it’s really a mirror and not some portal to another world where there’s another you staring back at you??? What the fuck?
All in a days work.
Miss you, Haley!

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish Monday through Friday at 8am EST.

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