Rebecca – Chapter 3 – Dark Wings of Destiny – Part 3

“We’ll just have to see how this one plays out. I’m not going to get my hopes up, but if it goes well,  I will be getting airbags installed in the headboard of my bed.”

I met Rebecca 3 years ago on a date. Rebecca has recently made an appearance in my life so I thought I’d re-run this series so everyone won’t have to go back and search for her series to catch up. Enjoy!

Fall 2016

Rebecca was right next to me. I could feel the energy. I felt really close to her.

“The city is so beautiful” she said.

She turned to me.

“You are” I replied.

And that’s when our lips met. My Lord. I’m too old for this.

Wait…no I’m not.

I kissed her.

Her lips were soft as she yielded to me. She folded into me like an old friend. It was just like I just stepped off stage at the Troubadour in Los Angeles and she loved the song that I had written about her. I was ageless in that moment. Overcome. Beautiful. This can’t be happening, but it is. Her lips were sweet and a little sticky. Minty. Human.

Her pupils were so big, it’s like her eyes were black instead of green. Her cheeks flushed and she giggled. I gently brushed her dark hair from her face and behind her ear. She slipped from me and cocked her head. It was as if she were trying to see me in a different way. “Let’s go look at some more stuff” she said, smiling. All I could hear was Midnight Moses playing in my head by the Dead Daisies. 

 

We continued to wander though the museum. Just going from room to room. I was making her laugh a lot about some things, because that’s what I do. I think at this point it was more nerves than game. I was smitten. I’m like a child at this point. I really am. I’m just amazed to be alive at this moment. But this is the old me. The new, old me. I shouldn’t follow this path.

We went into this one room and the whole space was art in architecture. Glorious big rooms that are incredible and opulent. We’re looking around the room and I’m behind her and she just leans back into me, and she is again in my arms. Is it the art? Is it me? It can’t be me. This is nuts, but the euphoria is glorious. I love this. This is my favorite part of everything. The beginning. Ignition. I’ve always been this way, much to the disappointment of the women in my life. But for right now I’m living in this moment. None of this makes any sense but I’m mainlining this feeling. She turns in my arms and nuzzles her lips and nose to mine. Her eyes are smokey and dark. Lashes flash and she smiles. She looks deeply into my eyes.

Rebecca pulls me into her world and kisses me again.

And again…

 

There was a moment later when we were sitting in one of the galleries and she was so excited by a work of art she grabbed my hand. She clasped it tightly in both of her hands as she described her passion for the work. It was one of my favorites as well. The couple coming home from the carnival. I feel her soft hand clasp mine. She’s holding my hand in her lap. Dopamine drops in my mind and I’m blind. The work was beautiful. But, I could no longer see it. It was gone. As was I. All I could feel in that moment was the back of my hand against Rebecca’s warm thigh.

Image result for PMA couple coming home from the carnival painting

I think we were at the PMA for 3, maybe 4 hours. I have no sense of time at this point with Rebecca. If I never hear from her again, I’m okay. This was a special sacred moment that I can wrap myself up in tonight. It’ll be just like waking up from a beautiful dream.

Obviously, we did get around to inquiries. Being overwhelmed by beauty and art only lasts so long. I asked he why she’s on Tinder. She said that she wanted to meet someone good. Someone that understood her and liked the things she liked. She told me at her age her friends aren’t really friends at all. They are just a bunch of young fools that smoke a bunch of weed and get drunk all of the time. She has ambition and wants to make something of herself. (she did seem really mature while we were texting) She told me she kind of went on Tinder to try. She gave me an example of a conversation she had with a boy her age recently. They were chatting and she asked him what he was looking for and he said he’d like to have some fun. When she asked him to define “fun” he sent her a photo of his genitals. That is some sad textbook shit right there. She explained to me that as an emergency room nurse, she gets her fill of seeing plenty of junk on a regular basis. “I don’t want to see his dick. I saw 5 dicks today and I had to put a catheter in an 85-year-old dick today”

My unblinking response: “Okay…..okay…”

She said she met another guy. She loved his mind and political views and he was just a really smart guy. She thought maybe her love of his mind and heart would translate into sex but she just wasn’t lit when they kissed. Women know. It’s either on in their minds and bodies or it’s not. Sadly boys, men don’t have this ability. She said she went on 4 dates with him and it was done. He was divorced and really into his kids, I think she said they were 16 and 19. He wanted to have her over and they were going to have dinner with the gang, and it all seemed weird because the teens were a little uncomfortable with their 54-year-old father bringing over a girl who was only 2 years older than the 19-year-old son.

Fuck. I’m jaded as hell and I hate that story. But it really came down to the fact that there was no chemistry. And that’s critical, because I’ve made that kind of lightening strike twice in the same place in the last decade. But what I noticed was she liked him but just wasn’t feeling the intimacy when they kissed. It just wasn’t there. She said she really liked him as a man and tried to keep the friendship going but he realized there was no fire so he withdrew. He has since moved on and even recently married.

So, is this chick into older men? I suppose so because she’s so bright and mature in her head. She’s got the brain of Emily Dickinson and the body of Vanessa Hudgens.

What am I supposed to do with that?  I never saw any of this coming when I started this blog. I thought I would be just writing about my experiences with women here in Philly over the last 10 years, and then this curve ball blindsided me.

She told me her dad is a big guy who’s from New York and he’s a caricature of a New Yorker. Works for the railroad. Her uncle travels the world and sounds like a cool guy that works and makes enough money and then moves to the Philippines and lives like a king for a year and then does it again somewhere else. That sounds awesome. I don’t have the freedom to do that but if I did you know I’d be there in Thailand risking arrest every year until I die. But I digress…

We wander back to the first floor and are nearing the exit. She validates her parking because apparently she’s a member of the museum which I find super cool. We walk out the door and go to the elevator to the parking garage. I didn’t know the PMA had this. It must be new.  I walk her to her car. It’s dusty and blue. We do the perfunctory statements. I like you. I want to see you again. But those words are hollow. I think I may never see her again. This all seems so unreal. I haven’t felt this in years. Please don’t let this happen again. But I want the drug of love. Not love. Just the drug. I feel like a helpless addict.

She looks up at me under the fluorescent lights of the stark concrete parking garage. We are beneath the silence… Her green eyes flash in the light like pale emeralds. She runs her hands through her thick mane of dark hair. I watch as it tumbles back to her shoulders through her fingers. Her neatly manicured fingernails. The lean muscles in her arms. She smiles. Sort of a sly, half-smile. Like she knows something about me that I haven’t revealed. I think she senses it in my eyes. I smile and try to clear that. But she sees me. It’s unsettling. She places her petite hands together likes she’s praying, and then spreads them and reaches for me. Her hands hit my shoulders and pull me toward her.

She kisses me. The kiss is deep and wet. Her tongue swirls. She smells exquisite.

I am lost in this sensuous moment.

But just for a moment.

Rebecca: “I like you. The Fringe Festival is happening soon. Can we go to something?”

You all know my answer.

She places her foot against the door and adjusts her shoe. I steal a glance at her well turned leg. She lingers on the laces of her sneaker. It’s taking too long. It’s as if she wants to remind me of what I like. She knows. She’s reading me. Come on. Nobody can do that. Maybe it’s all in my head, but her legs are exquisite and she knows she’s touched the beyond in me.

 

She drives away and I’m back on the street behind the museum. I order an UBER. He arrives in 8 minutes and I’m on my way back to Rittenhouse. I’m sitting in the back of the Toyota Avalon and my mind is reeling. I need to hold it together. He’s lost for some reason and I have to guide the driver home. I get out and realize I haven’t eaten in over 8 hours. I stop at my local corner shop and order a slice to go. I get back to the bat cave and text her.

“Home safe. Had a lovely evening with you.”

Crickets.

Panic.

Then it came…

“I was just about to text you the same thing! See you soon! XOXO- Rebecca”

We’ll just have to see how this one plays out. I’m not going to get my hopes up, but if it goes well, I will be getting airbags installed in the headboard of my bed.

Old habits die hard.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Phicklephilly – Happy New Year – 2020

Wow. What a Year!

What a Decade it’s been!

How do you like my new Homepage pic? In the last few years the skyline here in Philly has dramatically changed. The town has really boomed in the last 12 years I’ve lived here. So I figured the pic should reflect how lovely our city looks now as we enter a brand new decade!

I’ve been writing Phicklephilly for over 3 years now, and it’s been an incredible journey of dating, love, relationships, and new discoveries!

I’d like to first express my incredible gratitude to everyone who has chosen to read, like, comment, and most of all, follow my blog. I appreciate every one of you and will always try to respond to any of your comments on any of my stories.

Can we talk numbers for a moment before I get to the good stuff?

Here’s where we are as of this writing. Over the last 3 years, I’ve had over 53,000 visitors to the site, and over 98,000 page views! I can’t believe my good fortune.

Thank you all!

I started this blog back in the Fall of 2016 with a single post on a Monday about a date I went on. After writing it, I thought… How the heck am I going to come up with something for next week? But I wrote something else and was on my way. It was a very long and slow progress in the beginning. (The only way to become a writer is to simply write!)

Then I’d do an update on the occasional Wednesday. Then came Tales of Rock. Then Crazy Dating Stories from my past. What followed was Dating and Relationship Advice. What was once a once a week thing has grown to a daily forum!

Top Blog Posts of 2019

You want to know what’s weird? Out of everything I’ve written on here, (1800 posts!) the most popular thing I’ve ever composed is a post entitled, Asian Massage Parlors – The Fun Part. It’s had over 2700 page views in the last 2 years! People all over the world read that piece every day! I don’t know why, but it’s an odd anomaly based on what phicklephilly is usually about.

Another strange phenomenon has been the success of articles I’ve written about two actresses that were on a wonderful program from the BBC. Death in Paradise. It’s a great little series that takes place at a fictional resort. The local police force solves a different murder each episode. Actresses, Sara Martin, and Josephine Jobert have both been on the show at different times. I was completely taken with both of these lovely, talented women. Well, apparently, so is the world. Anything I’ve written about either of them have been some of my most successful posts ever! (2400+ views each!) You’d think a Dating and Relationship themed blog wouldn’t get that kind of traction writing about actresses that aren’t even popular here in the US. But apparently, globally these ladies are beloved. Congrats ladies! Thanks for making my blog great!

There are several other posts that are wildly popular as well, but mostly people like stories about my teenage years. One of the most popular ones is about a young lady named Lola whom I had the pleasure of having as my little girlfriend back in the 70’s. It’s a sexy, fun tale that has somehow caught the imagination of my readers. (1200 views!)

Also, it seems anything sexy seems to generate quite a bit of buzz. One of the top performers is entitled, Hookers on Tinder. (All time views: 3200!) I’m still a bit surprised by all of this, but I promise to keep trying to create quality, fun content that people like to read.

This kind of data tells me that the people have spoken, and maybe I need to dig deeper into my checkered past and pull out some more stories from my youth!

I’ve written so many heartfelt pieces about my life, family and feelings. No one really cares much about me working through my issues as a kid. They love the crazy, sexy stories and dating advice! (I don’t really mind what you like. Just keep reading folks!)

Anyway, let’s talk about what’s coming up on Phicklephilly in 2020.

 

Dating and Relationship Advice

This series began back in 2017. I would publish content on the weekends. It just seemed like a natural progression for the blog to take. I wrote about dating and relationship tales from my own life, and thought, why not give a little advice to help others?

It was okay for awhile, but then a friend of mine was going through a difficult separation from his wife and I wanted to help. I of course, rallied around him to assist. But I also thought, what if I try to write something every day that references dating and relationship guidance? I’ll do it every day for 30 days and he can read it, and it’ll help acclimate him to the new dating world after being off the market for 12 years.

Well, that turned into 90 days. Then I simply pushed on and kept researching and writing, and before I knew it, it became an everyday thing.

But… after a year I realized he was too busy to read it and it felt like a waste of my time. I also wanted to focus on the things I wanted to write about in my own life. I was tired of having to edit 14 posts for over 3 hours every Sunday night, just to be ready to publish for the upcoming week’s material.

But then something magical happened. 

My daily traffic DOUBLED! 

I liked that very much. But after a year and a half of that I decided around the end of the third quarter of 2019 I was sick and tired of writing dating and relationship advice every day. I decided to stop doing it by year end and focus on stories that were exclusively about my life experiences from then on.

But… it got to be about a month ago and I realized that dating and relationship advice had become the bedrock, the foundation of the blog itself. It seemed people loved reading them and always enjoyed the content and commented to let me know that it was helping them in their daily lives.

So… Happy 2020! I will continue to try to bring you the best and most interesting dating and relationship content I can for at least another year. (Knowing me, I’ll probably never stop writing about the subject because there’s so much to tell!)

Thank you for all of your words and support. Dating and Relationship Advice is here to stay!

Did you know there’s a Language Translation widget on here now? It’s really increased my global reach, and I like that people everywhere in the world can now enjoy my stories in their native language. Phicklephilly can be read in any language with a simple click of a button! (Now you have no excuse not to read my blog!)

Sun Stories

These stories will continue to be told through 2020 but probably not much further than that. If you keep reading the blog you’ll find out why. However, I’ll be introducing some new people that have come to work at the salon so we’ll see how they work out. The lovely Amelia and Eileen come to mind. I hope you enjoy reading about these great women whom I’ve had the honor to know.

Crazy Dating Stories

I’m almost out of gas on these stories. They’ve been fun to recount, but there are only so many in my memory. I’m sure there’ll always be some crazy story to tell based on who I am, but for the most part, they’ve been exhausted at this point. I will eventually tell the tales of my young life in New Jersey with some legendary people, but there are still some from my time in California in the early Eighties, but beyond that not much is left. Which brings me to…

California Dreamin’ 1982-1984

I really enjoyed writing about the journey on the road to Los Angeles back in those days. I think I did justice to the trip itself, but I know there’s so much more to tell. I still have more stories to tell, but they’ll no longer be running every Friday anymore. I’ll probably write a few more and run them on Saturdays. I’ll compose them as the memories surface, but I’ll write them when the mood strikes me. I promise they’ll be interesting, but for now I need to focus on the things that are happening in my life right now. (So, they’re not going away, just published a little less.) Spoiler Alert: George Carlin and Arnold Schwartzenegger will both be making appearances, and I have proof that I’ve met them both!

Erotic Fiction

I tried my hand at writing erotica in 2019. I thought this would be a fun foray into something a bit more racy than the usual Phicklephilly dating fare. I worked hard on creating rich stories with solid plot lines and characters with a bit of sex. I thought they’d be a big hit with my readers.

I was dead wrong.

Murder Mystery Weekend, Another Life, A Unique Gift and The Beach House all withered and died like a house plant that gets no light or water. I get it. No one read any of them. (Okay, like one guy read maybe one or two of them, but that’s just not enough for me to continue these erotic series) Frankly, I liked the idea of A Unique Gift. (The whole mind control thing tickled me.) I loved writing The Beach House and thought it would make a solid book, or movie. But alas… all of it failed miserably. I appreciate anyone who took a look, but I get it. It just didn’t work.

All of that content and more sexy, NSFW stories can be found on the following site:

https://lapetitemort17.wordpress.com/about/

So, going forward, the only things that will run over on that site (La Petite Mort) will be content that’s too racy for phicklephilly. I’ll post a NSFW link on any given story and you’ll be able to click on it and go read the story over there. I’d simply abandon the site, but based on recent events, I think I’m going to need that it to be able to publish some of my upcoming adventures. But for now, Erotic Fiction is done on Phicklephilly.

Tinder Moments

This was a monthly series where I collected funny, crazy dating profiles from online dating sites. Frankly, I don’t really use those sites anymore and got tired of collecting, and cutting and pasting all of that nonsense into my blog. So they’re also sadly dead on this site. You can always go back and read the old ones. They’re pretty funny!

Phicklephilly and Sun Stories published as books on Amazon Kindle

I tried to get two books published over a year and a half ago and ran into so many technical difficulties with the team at Amazon, I decided to scrap the idea. However, I’d like to try again in 2020 and also have another work of fiction entitled, Angel with a Broken Wing, I’d like to try to publish this year. So, fingers crossed! I’m going to give it another shot! Wish me luck!

Tales of Rock

I still love researching and writing this column. As a musician and a fan of music, it’s fun to dig up these stories about the musicians we all love and hate. They’ll continue to run every Sunday at 8am through 2020. I’ve also added another feature entitled, The Best Band You Never Heard. It’ll run on the first Sunday of every month and introduce you to just that. Great bands you may never have heard about that rock! Tales of Rock is here to stay!

Phicklephilly the Podcast

I’ve done a few of these on Spotify and enjoyed making them. If I have time I’d love to do a podcast series about a former love of my life, Michelle. I still miss her friendship and would like to create a kind of audio book type thing so you can hear my stories in my own voice. I’d also like to have guests on and interview interesting people about a myriad of different subjects. Please stay tuned, this is new ground for me and any feedback is always welcome!

Guest Bloggers

There’s one person’s blog I’m interested in promoting this year on Phicklephilly. I enjoy supporting other artist’s work. I’ve done it in the past. But here’s the thing. It has to fit with what I’m creating on this forum and sadly, I really have little time these days to add anything other than the content I work to publish here everyday. I’m not ruling it out, but I just don’t want to bite off more than I can chew this year.

Dating

The core formula of Phicklephilly has always been my personal experiences here in Philadelphia. Although Dating and Relationship Advice has become the foundation of the blog that carries it forth, I believe the stories about my life lie at the center of its existence.

I live a quiet and private life now, but have always believed in absolute transparency in the words that I write here. I have no illusion as to who I am, or what I am in this world. I’m not ashamed of anything I’ve done, and it’s all from the heart.

Let’s review what’s been happening.

Michelle

She was my girlfriend over 10 years ago. I still sometimes think about her, and you can read her series on Phicklephilly from 2016-2017. Originally there were only about 15 chapters but it will probably swell to 24 based on events and time. But I assure you, Michelle is not coming back. I miss her and wish her well, but it is what it is. Michelle is the one who got away.

Cherie

Cherie is my lovely girlfriend I started seeing near the end of 2016. That relationship has weathered time, distance, and my dalliances with other women. The issues in this union have been ongoing. The distance factor: She lives 40 miles away in Pottstown, PA. Our age difference: 30 years. Our work schedules: We both work crazy hours. Her family obligations: Lives with her parents and sister and has a young son. We rarely see each other. It sucks, because she’s a wonderful lady.

Sadly, when I look back on the last year or so, our tender relationship has been reduced to little more than a series of booty calls due to the sheer lack of time either of us have to see each other. Cherie is a great girl, but I have a feeling that in 2020 this relationship will sadly meet it’s end. (But, I could be wrong!)

Kita

She’s the Asian girl I met a year and a half ago at the tanning salon. A lovely, sweet girl trying to navigate her life at college here in Philly. (You can go back and read the entire sordid odyssey on this blog.) I never saw any of this coming and feel bad about it. We dated a little bit, but it felt more like a mentor/student relationship that recently spun out of control in glorious fashion. To be honest with you, at the time of this writing I don’t know if I’ll ever see her again.

Jazmin

This has been a recent, unexpected development. I don’t quite know what to make of this Persian beauty. Her appearance has been quite unexpected and I have no idea where this one will lead me. (Probably into trouble!)

Rebecca

Ah… last but certainly not least is the ethereal, Rebecca. I met her back in 2016 on Tinder when I first started writing this blog and got back into the dating arena. She predates Cherie, but disappeared for a period of time. I found her absolutely enchanting despite her then chaotic lifestyle. She recently resurfaced, and I decided to rerun her original series from the Fall of 2016.

At the time, she drifted in and out of my life. But I met Cherie and she took precedence. Cherie quickly became my main squeeze and I gave little thought as to what happened to Rebecca. I was sort of falling for her back then, but she was so flaky it was hard to lock on to her in a meaningful way. I get it. A young lady with a busy life. But there was just something wonderful about her that I could never quite possess. That obviously made her even more desirable to me.

I wanted to go back and release the original series and publish everything that happened leading up to her doing what she did. I had some drafts that I never published back then and wanted to tell the whole story now that she’s appeared back in Philadelphia. I was too busy with my new love, Cherie to even think about her back then. I hope you find her series as interesting as I do. I loved writing about her back then and I guess I just felt the story needed to be told once and for all. At this point it’s more of a nostalgia piece than anything.

 

Other than that I’ve been leading a pretty quiet and uneventful life. I like to work and stay busy. I feel like old Ben Kanobi from Star Wars, A New Hope, Episode IV. Not Obi Wan out fighting the Empire, just old Ben hanging out in his little house watching Netflix.

Sometimes I feel like all of my memories are here on phicklephilly and scattered in a bunch of letters and photo albums in my house.

But… I’m still alive and well and I’m sure there’ll be some new adventures I’ll explore in this brand new decade!

Thank you again for reading Phicklephilly loyal readers!

Onward and upward into The Roaring 20’s!

Thank you!

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Facebook: phicklephilly       Instagram: @phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly

 

 

Zoolon Forever!

Rebecca – Chapter 2 – Dark Wings of Destiny – Part 2

I met Rebecca 3 years ago on a date. Rebecca has recently made an appearance in my life so I thought I’d re-run this series so everyone won’t have to go back and search for her series to catch up. Enjoy!

In the last episode our hero was preparing for his big date with Rebecca. Let’s see how it plays out.

Fall 2016

The Date

I jumped into an Uber out front of my house and went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The PMA is an amazing part of this city. I’ve been going there since I was a child. I remember going as a kid with my family. My father always exposed us to the arts. Dad introduced us to art, music, literature and everything else. I should probably do a blog about him at some point, but I’ll cover this stuff for now. I think I could see this blog metamorphosing into who I really am and that idea is unsettling. But somehow, I know that it will. It almost has to change. How long can I write about all of these lovely creatures that come in and out of my life? I know deep down I’ll run out of stories and the real me will come forward. I think that’s when this memoir will become what it truly needs to be.

Anyway, I had to say that because I see it, and I know it’s coming for me.

I arrive on time, and Santos was a good driver. He brings me to the back of the museum. It’s just easier. I’m not up for doing the Rocky run up the steps out front. It’s just too hot today. I think this is the last 90 degree day of the summer here in Philly. I think as a city we’re all tired of the heat. 2013 was a hot summer but people forget. 2013 was “The summer of Chaz” but that will be described in a future blog. (You can read it now. See: Annabelle)

 

One of the beautiful and most elegant things about the PMA is that it never changes. Sure, they have new installations coming in and out all of the time, but you can never change the core of the place. There are just certain pieces that are constant and they fill my heart with wonder, memory and love. The place is simply amazing. If you haven’t gone in a while, please go and feel the magic energy of these wonderful, brilliant artists that make the place what it is. When you walk through the halls of the PMA you can really feel that Homo Sapiens are good and make beautiful things, and all of the terrible things we’ve done as a species melt away after a few hours in there.

I walk in, and like I said it’s pay what you want Wednesdays which based on my last few dates will run me a total of $10.

The brilliance continues. Rebecca texts me and says she’s running 15 minutes late which is actually perfect. Normally as you know, I hate that. But she’s new and young, so I’m forgiving. I hit the first floor back balcony and get a glass of wine and wait. I look over the balcony and across the room downstairs. There is a bevy of young women all sitting together on the seats on the other side of the room. Chatting, giggling and looking at their phones.

I’m sipping my Barefoot Chardonnay (basically urine) that cost $9.00, and I get a text. Rebecca has also arrived through the back door of the museum. I tell her I’m upstairs waiting. I see her appear at the top of the stairs, and she fiddles with her phone. I’m going to go ahead right here and tell you she’s 35 years younger than me. I know. But I met her on Tinder and this is Phicklephilly, and she likes art and is a nurse. Maybe she’s okay. Maybe it’ll be different this time. Maybe I keep doing the same thing over and over with my fatal charm hoping for a different result. But that is madness. Am I mad? She’ll be okay. She won’t be crazy or immature, or 9 months into our relationship tell me that she wants to get married and have kids and I’m too old, and don’t ever want that again. (See: Annabelle) I am what I am, and I guess I’ve followed through with this for a reason. Maybe it’ll all be okay.

Fear grips me.

I’m doing the same thing, over and over again.

Well, she’s more than okay. She is exquisite. I’ve said this before, but I literally sucked my breath in when she appeared. Out of all of the photos I’ve posted here to illustrate what these women look like, the one here is really close to what this delightful girl looks like. I kid you not, dear readers. How is this happening again? What am I doing here? How many times have I said this to myself?

She’s 5’2″ and petite. Her hair is dark brown. Her eyes are green. Her skin is a light caramel. Her lips are like ripe cherries. She’s wearing a red and white cotton top, nothing fancy, with a pair of cutoff jean shorts. Her legs are supple tan pillars of lean muscle and sinew. She’s wearing white keds. It doesn’t matter… she’s perfect.

My God. She’s beautiful. Is she going to look upon me and run? Will she apologize and say there’s been some sort of cosmic mistake? Will I hand her $300 to “help with school?” Will security come and just throw me off the balcony to finally finish me off on the cold marble floor below me so that I know that this is a dream?

None of that happened.

I could see she was texting me so I texted her ” I’m here on the balcony. Come hither.”  She looks at her phone and then glances about the room. She sees me and smiles. Kill me now. She bounds toward me and I stand. She goes up on her tip toes and hugs me tightly. “I’ve really been looking forward to meeting you!” she exclaims. I can smell her hair. Soft fleece brushes against my face like ribbons of chocolate. The fragrance is soft cocoa. In that moment in her arms, it’s as if she has just revealed a secret to me. She clutches me tightly and then slips away.

She looks me straight in the eyes, and says: “Let’s go share some art!” I swallow the last mouthful of my shitty wine and toss the cup in the trash. I’m locked and loaded. (not really loaded) She asked if I had a map, and I told her that I did. She said “Keep it if you want but I’d rather you toss it in the trash and we just wander together.”

Am I dreaming? Is she going to invoice me for $300 to hang with this lovely doll? But none of that happened either. We simply went downstairs and wandered through the halls. The great thing was that we both had pieces of art we loved and stories behind them. I forgot how connected I was to the PMA. Not as a resident of the city but in my heart.

We came upon a painting called the Moorish Priest. (Google it.) It’s beautiful and powerful. She stopped and I told her that it was my late Mother’s favorite painting in the whole museum. She loved it so much that my father bought her a framed print of it and it hung in our shore house at the top of the stairs for 30 years. She seemed moved by its beauty and the story. I asked her what her thoughts were and she said; “As a nurse I can see he has a good vein in his hand and in his forearm and I could get an IV in that no problem.” Well, she is an emergency room nurse and that’s a legit answer from someone who is always looking for a vein to save a life. The family connection and the irony struck me as funny and nostalgic.

We wandered around for a while rediscovering so many works we both loved. We agreed on so many, for all of the same reasons! We were on the second floor and there’s a huge window that looks down the Ben Franklin Parkway right to City Hall. I told her I remember coming to this very spot as a child and taking a photo of the city through this window with my little plastic Kodak Instamatic camera that I had won in a contest at a shoe store.

We looked out at our city. The skyline. It was dusk. The last time I was here was years ago with a group of co-workers on a Friday night during a lightning storm. It was Art After Five on a Friday and we were all plowed on cheap poorly made cocktails. (See: Michelle)

Rebecca was right next to me. I could feel the energy. I felt really close to her. “The city is so beautiful” she said.

She turned to me.

“You are” I replied.

 

 

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Rebecca – Chapter 1 – Dark Wings of Destiny – Part 1

Out of all of the posts I’ve written, this one is by far my favorite.

I met Rebecca 3 years ago on a date. Rebecca has recently made an appearance in my life so I thought I’d re-run this series so everyone won’t have to go back and search for her series to catch up. Enjoy!

 

Fall of 2016

Here is still another Tinder date. It’s like I’ve been on a Tinder bender! What if we call that a “Binder” from now on? Do you think that could catch on? I can’t take credit for that SNL winning catch phrase. That honor goes to my ex-girlfriend, Michelle. She came up with that bit. It’s really good. There are girls that say they’re funny and there are girls that are funny. Michelle doesn’t have time for bullshit so she sees the truth and the irony in the same minute. (See: Michelle – A Brand New Day) Great series!

Out of all of the posts I’ve written, this one is by far my favorite.

So I’ve been swiping right a lot lately. I look at this way, if I say yes to everyone it improves my odds of making more contacts. It’s like sales, if you just call on the clients who have stuff you like, you won’t close as many deals. But if you call on as many clients as possible, your close rate will rise. Sure, I get some women whose profiles scream swipe left, but I just never reach out to them when it comes up a match. I hope I never hear from them but if I do I simply ignore them. Fickle bastard that I am.

So Rebecca came up as a match. She’s much younger than I am so I immediately think she’s looking for a sugar daddy. There are several girls looking for that on Tinder. It’s really just a nice way to say prostitute. So my guard is up and I’m ready for the inevitable. So if I’m even the slightest bit interested in a woman I’ll simply say hello and wait.

She got back to me in under an hour.

I always ask the same question. “What prompted you to swipe right on my profile?” Her response was, “I like gentlemen, I’m an aspiring artist, writer and musician, and I love exploring Philadelphia.” Normally that sounds like the perfect girl for me. But I’m still prepared for the red flags that could unfurl at any moment. I tell her about myself and ask her another one of my classic questions: “What do you like to do in your free time?” If the answer is shopping, sleeping, or getting drunk with her friends, she’s probably a crazy loser, or simply a young person. But she says: “I like to go to the museums here. I enjoy the theater. I draw and sing, mostly opera. I’m also in grad school at UPenn.” She says the Barnes is amazing. Agreed. Who doesn’t want to see a billion dollar art collection all procured by one guy? That place once won me the interest of my last girlfriend. Took her there on our first date. (See: Annabelle)

So, I ask her if she’d like to tour a museum with me sometime.

She responds: “Gladly!”

The next thing I wrote was my cell number. Within a few minutes she text me: “Hi, it’s Rebecca.” So I’m thinking maybe this is where she solicits me to be her sugar daddy. I asked her what her schedule is like and she responds that it is a bit of a disaster. I’m like, here we go. She said she was on her way back to New Jersey to go to her nursing job that she works on Saturdays and Sundays. She works as a nurse in an emergency room.

Impressive.

We hammer out our schedules and settle on Wednesday 9/14 at 4:30pm at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I think Wednesdays are still ‘Pay as you wish’ so that’s a good thing. I asked if I should just text her that day to confirm, and she said yes, but wanted to still talk between now and then. I loved that. She also said she wanted to hear more about me and wanted to know about my writing. I told her about what I’ve written in the past and how I currently write a blog. But of course I didn’t tell her what the blog was about. So we chatted back and forth over the next few days. I basically hear from her everyday. It’s refreshing and I like the attention because it’s not overkill. So she gave me her email and I sent her a copy of a screenplay I wrote a few years ago. Well… a lot of years ago!

Even over the weekend she was texting me about her shifts at the hospital and how she had begun reading it. Now that I’m reading her texts on my phone it looks like she has texted me everyday since we connected. She even said that it was so nice to meet a man who appreciates a lady of culture. I told her she is a ‘rare flower’ these days, just to sink the hook.

So we’ve been chatting all the way up to today when she texted me this morning with “Hey! See you tonight!” So it’s on, people. I pray that she isn’t crazy or a hooker, but this seems too smooth. If she is nuts or eccentric, I’ll be disappointed. All this contact and chatter, I hope she is what I hope her to be. But if this blog suddenly stops, please call the authorities because maybe I’ve been murdered and I’m floating face down in the Schuylkill like a kid home from college on Thanksgiving in Manayunk.

I’m going to go hop in the shower and get into character. I’ll finish this after tonight’s date.

 

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Tales of Rock – Special Report: Happy 76th Birthday, Keith Richards!

5 amazing things you didn’t know about Keith Richards

Rockstars always seem to be plagued by one of two afflictions. They either die at 27 and are shrouded in immortal legacy, or they are literally immortal and live forever. I’m not sure which one is worse but Keith Richards is definitely the latter.

Keith Richards is one of the mythologized characters in rock. From his whiskey swilling swagger to the endless hits and iconic look, Richards might as well be rock n’ roll incarnate.

In his 2010 autobiography, Life, co-written by music journalist James Fox, Richards reveals the details on a remarkable, if slightly drug-hazed existence. Many tales are downright unbelievable and make you wonder whether Keith Richards actually did all the stuff people say, if not more.

From the man with a face like a topographical world map and some of the most iconic guitar riffs of all time, these are 5 amazing facts about Keith Richards.

Keith Richards

The Rolling Stone that keeps on rolling, Keith Richards is still drinking, still partying and still making music. These are 5 amazing facts about his life.

5. Nothing better than Merck!

The Rolling Stones were in fine form on their legendary 1975 ‘Tour of the Americas’ with a hefty daily dose of sex, drugs, and violence. The special ingredient however, Merck cocaine.

In fact, the whole tour “was fuelled by Merck cocaine,” Richards wrote in his memoir, referring to an ultra-pure pharmaceutically manufactured form of the drug. “It was when we initiated the building of hideaways behind the speakers on the stage so that we could have lines between songs. One song, one bump was the rule between Ronnie and me.”

Keith also kept a liberal supply of heroin on stage that was cut into lines and hidden amid the amplifiers. If that wasn’t enough, Richards also had heroin-laced cigarettes – aka ‘dirty fags’ – for when he couldn’t wait until the end of a song.

The tour was running fairly smoothly until Richards and his cocaine supplier were arrested in Arkansas. Nonetheless they called in a few favours, paid a $162 bail, and were soon back on the road.

4. Berry Bites Back

As well as being a notorious fist fighter in his youth, Keith Richards has also received his fair share of lickings. The story goes that Richards was in the dressing room after one of Chuck Berry’s shows. “He went up to collect the money, I think. His guitar was laid out in its case like, ‘Aw, c’mon Keith,’ you know, ‘just a touch,’” Richards told Jimmy Fallon in 2014.

He couldn’t resist the allure of Berry’s iconic cherry Gibson ES-355 and, picking it up, began innocently strumming an E chord. Berry came in yelling, “Nobody touches my guitar” and promptly socked Richards in the kisser. As Richards joked to Fallon, “That’s one of Chuck’s biggest hits.”

3. Sleepless

Keith Richards claims to have written the guitar riff to Satisfaction in his sleep. While it’s not an uncommon occurrence, it’s made even more uncanny by the fact that Richards rarely slept.

Keith claimed to only sleep two nights per week on average during the Stones’ glory days. “This means that I have been conscious for at least three lifetimes,” he notes.

Wether aided by drugs or not this is actually a common phenomenon for many of history’s greatest minds. Nikola Tesla was known to only sleep two hours per night, and Thomas Edison slept for three. Leonard da Vinci, its said, slept for approximately 1.5 hours per day, but did it in intervals of 15 minute naps every four hours.

Keith Richards’ personal record is 9 days without sleep while recording in a studio. At the end of the stint he, “fell asleep standing up, eventually … I was just putting another cassette back on the shelf, and I was feeling great, and I turned ’round and fell asleep. I fell against the edge of the speaker. Woke up in a pool of blood, wondering, ‘Is that claret?’”

2. Kneecaps

Keith Richards has been involved in countless drug busts and run-ins with the law. If there’s one thing you should learn though it’s that you don’t mess with Keith.

After the highly publicized Redlands drug raid in 1967, Richards nearly received a hefty year and a half prison sentence. In the wake he found out that is was the British tabloid, News of the World – which was shut down in 2011 after several phone tapping incidents – who tipped off the police.

The plot thickened when it surfaced that it was his long-time Belgian chauffeur who contacted the paper. Richards was seething with rage that his well-paid employee could be bought off by a tabloid.

Shortly afterwards the driver’s legs were mysteriously broken. Richards’ only answer, “As I heard it, he never walked again.”

1. The show was electric

Keith has flirted with death many times throughout his life. One call came closer than most however. On 3 December, 1965, while playing The Last Time in front of 5,000 fans at the Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento, California, his guitar touched his mic stand and a flame shot out as Keith fell to the ground unconscious.

Said attendee Mick Martin, “I literally saw Keith fly into the air backward. I thought he was dead. I was horrified. We all were.” Turns out Keith had suffered a severe shock from the electrical surge of the microphone.

He was carried out with oxygen tubes and rushed to the hospital. Richards looked back on it with laughter in the hospital say, “Well, they either wake up or they don’t.” Richards may have survived because of the thick soles in his suede Hush Puppies shoes. Rubber being an insulator they allowed no electricity to pass through, halting the charge. He was back onstage the next night.

All in all, an incredibly wild life and these tales are only the tip of the iceberg. Happy 76th birthday Keith! Long may you reign! I love you, man.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Tales of Rock – Steppenwolf – First Love

“You’ve got love a Farrah Fawcett before you can truly love an Alessandra Ambrosio.”

When I set down to write this piece it was going to be about my most beloved rock band, Aerosmith. But as I began I realized you just can’t jump right into Aerosmith. I realized for me it was an acquired taste that I grew to love. So I started to write about the band that inspired the type of music I would always love. Hard rock and eventually Heavy Metal. It’s a musical progression.

So now it’s about these guys. It’s like, you’ve got love a Farrah Fawcett before you can truly love an Alessandra Ambrosio.

(Don’t worry. I’ll get to the boys from Boston next.)

When I was a kid, the first time I heard hard rock was probably the song, Born to be Wild, by the band Steppenwolf. My father had an 8-track player in the glove compartment of his 1969 VW Minibus. (Which later became mine and I drove that beast to California) He had a an 8-track cassette of the soundtrack to the film Easy Rider. The album would open with Steppenwolf’s song, The Pusher, and then you’d hear the roar of motorcycle engines and then it would go into Born to be Wild. I remember bouncing up and down in the seat beside my Dad rocking out to the sheer fury of that song. No other song that I had ever heard in my life up to that point made me feel that way.

My father also had Iron Butterfly’s record, In A Gadda Da Vida. Iron Butterfly’s sound was heavy and more psychedelic, but this Steppenwolf song was on fire. I was maybe 9 years old at the time. Something about the energy and power of the song and it’s lyrics really moved me.

It was almost as if that was what my soul sounded like.

Screaming in silence to escape.

We were out as a family one night. Probably stopping at a store after eating at Burger Chef’s on Cottman Street in Northeast Philly. The store was called Korvette’s. I suppose you could compare it to maybe Kmart of their day. I remember they had an abundance of electrical appliances. Record players, radios, TVs, etc. They’re out of business now but very popular in the mid 20th century.

So we’re in the store and I see some records (Vinyl, LPs) in a rack. There was one that really caught my eye. It had photo of a real wolf’s face that took up the whole cover. That LP was entitled, “Steppenwolf Live.” It was a double album! It had Born to be Wild on it and The Pusher, but it had a bunch of other songs I’d never heard. The best part was it only cost $3.99! My mom was a big believer in if you like that one song so much you should probably get the whole record to hear what more of their music sounds like.

I love you Mom.

She bought me that record and I went home and listened the shit out of the album. I turned all of my close friends on to Steppenwolf’s music and still love all of their work to this day. They marked me deeply and forever. This band shaped the type of music that would speak to my soul and inspire me to make music.

Thank you John Kay and the rest of you guys. You’ve brought me 50 years of joy!

That’s producer, Phil Spector! That crazy bastard!

If you have a chance, check out the film, Easy Rider. It doesn’t hold up all that well over time, but is a solid work that sort of is a final signature to the sixties. Altamont, the deaths of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison, the Manson murder all signaled that the summer of love was long over.

While searching for the above video I came across a few cover versions of the song. Here’s one that caught my eye, but not so much my ear. About 30 seconds in I turned the audio off on this one and put the original back on!  Enjoy!

 

It’s a terrible version but a feast for the eyes, boys. (Turn down the sound and listen to the original! Have a great week!)

You’re welcome!

 

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Tales of Rock: SPECIAL REPORT: AC/DC REUNITE WITH BRIAN JOHNSON + PHIL RUDD, NEW ALBUM COMING

Two musicians have just confirmed that AC/DC have reunited with Brian Johnson and that a brand new album is on the way.

Behemoth frontman Nergal recently told Loudwire during an exclusive interview, “I know there’s a new AC/DC album in the making with Malcolm Young. It’s coming. It’s going to be an outtake from Rock or Bust. What do I expect? I expect nothing more and nothing less, just give me fucking rhythm and Angus and Malcom’s guitar. Don’t give me anything extra. [Brian Johnson] is back in the band.”

Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider also confirmed the news, adding that Phil Rudd is also back. Responding to a fan asking if one of the classic AC/DC members was sick, Snider responded, “He died. RIP Malcolm Young. But all four surviving members have reunited WITH tracks recorded by Malcolm while he was still alive. Malcolm’s nephew Stevie Young is replacing him (he’s done this a couple of times before). It’s as close as you can get to the original band. @acdc”

Back in 2018, the members of AC/DC were reportedly spotted together in Vancouver at the studio where they recorded Rock or Bust. Photos were make public and blew up online.

Stay tuned as more news breaks on the reported AC/DC reunion.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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