A Unique Gift – Chapter 15

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Sabrina – Making the Connection

I get to Misconduct around 12:30. I say hello to Mary the hostess (See: Mary – 2016 to Present – Unexpected Table for Two) and go to my table which is number twelve.

We chit chat a bit and Sabrina rolls in around 1pm. We hug and she takes a seat. I’m happy to see her again. First time we ever hung out was yesterday, and now here we are again the very next day.

I get my usual chicken tenders and she goes with the burger. She tells me it may be the best burger she’s ever had. That’s a bold statement, but I can tell she loved it because she devoured the whole thing.

After lunch we move to a bigger table and I break out my box of business cards. They’re cards I have collected over the years from several bars and restaurants. I have loads of contacts in the industry and I want to help Sabrina get a gig as a part time server.

I start going through the cards and text some people. Sabrina is looking through the cards to to find some places she may want to work. She’s very grateful for the assistance and I’m happy to do it. I like helping people.

We go through them and I’m texting and emailing some people. I can she she’s stressed about this dilemma, but at least we’re taking action instead of just worrying about it.

People are getting back to me and she’s filled with hope. She leaves around 3pm and I tell her I’ll keep working on it. She gives me a hug and off she goes.

As people get back to me with leads and more, I push the information to Sabrina.

The next day we’re still texting and I tell her that my contact at Marathon has some news. He wants her to come to the restaurant at 10:30am tomorrow for an interview.

11:15am on Friday my phone rings. It’s Sabrina.

“I got the job! I start on Monday!”

“I’m so proud of you Sabrina! Well done! Anybody can help you get a job, but it’s you who has to keep it!”

“Thank you so much!”

So let’s recap. Monday she has a panic attack when they cut her hours at her regular job. Tuesday she contacts me for help. We have lunch, get to know each other, and assemble a plan. Wednesday we execute that plan at our second lunch. Thursday events happen. Friday she’s hired at a good restaurant.

Anything else I can do for you Sabrina?

 

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Sun Stories: Jill – From Jill to Jezebel

So we know our girl Jill is an alcoholic and can never drink again. She drank with Trish and went out of control. Not my problem, but became my problem when I had to work all of their shifts. They are both no longer with us at the salon.

Jill still frequents the salon and all is forgiven. As long as she pays, she’s back to being a client here. I’m glad she’s doing okay and staying sober. I don’t know what she’s like drunk and I don’t want to know. I’m sure it’s been hard for her working at a nail salon after being a stripper and an escort. Living in a halfway house for women with substance abuse problems and addiction can’t be a picnic. They have to sign in and sign out when they come and go. They’re all used to partying everyday so now they can’t and they’re all bored out of their minds. They have to attend AA and NA meetings everyday. They’re living with a bunch of alcoholics and junkies all at different levels of addiction and it’s got to be a brutal little prison for these ladies.

I had seen her earlier in the week and she came in with hot ex-heroin addict housemate, Sabrina who I’m planning on taking out on a second date for some sober fun. (See: Sabrina – 2017 to Present – The Challenge) I’m glad I had a chance to chat with Sabrina again because I’m trying to score some tickets to a show and take her to it. Jill tells me she’s stressed out at her job at her salon, and Sabrina is really stressed at her job as well. I have some fear for them both because stress causes people to re-offend.

It was a Saturday and I agreed to take the shift for Summer who had a family thing to attend. So technically I shouldn’t even been there. Jill comes in and tans just like she always does. It’s always nice to see her. She looks great. Tawny hair, red top, sheer in the front that showcases her ample cleavage, and skin-tight jeans.

When she finishes tanning it’s around 4pm. She tells me she’s going crazy and that she’s going to drink a half pint of vodka and just come back to the salon and chill out. I advise her against it. She tells me she’s going to think on it and may or may not stop back. She’s not angry, I can tell she just wants to feel the high and relax. She’s done it so long and become so destructive with her addiction that she has no coping mechanisms in place to ease her mind or occupy it now that she’s sober. Stress hits and she reaches for the bottle. Sadly for Jill there’s no alternative.

I say a little prayer for her and hope she just goes home or does anything other than that.

But Jill does come back to the salon around closing time. She seems fine. She’s just hanging out and chatting. Okay, everything’s fine. She’s sipping ice tea from a plastic bottle.

One of my beloved clients comes in and I’m happy to see her. Even though we’re about to close I don’t mind because this lady gave me a five-star review on Yelp. Yea, she can come in whenever she wants.

I’m chatting with her a little bit, joking that she came in late but because of the positive review I’m letting her step over the line. Jill hops into the conversation, which is fine. She and the client are chatting away like old friends.

I notice that Jill is more chatty and lively than usual. Is she drinking? Is there vodka in that iced tea bottle?

I send my client in to her session.  Jill suddenly wants to help me close up the salon. I tell her I’ve got everything well at hand. She’s very chatty and starts grabbing things to clean.

That’s the moment I smell the booze on her. I’m getting nervous. What is she going to do?

She can see that I’m on edge and tells me to relax. But I can’t help it. We all know what happened last time. Got black out drunk and kicked out of her halfway house. Thankfully, they let her back in. She says she’s just going to drink a half pint and then by the time she goes home she’ll be clean and no one will find out.

This lady is playing with fire. Phase one is her desire to drink overcoming her will to resist. Phase two is going to the liquor school and buying the half pint of vodka. Phase three is the over enthusiastic chatterbox. Phase four is the euphoria phase where she relaxes and leans into the soothing buzz. That’s where she is right now, and that’s where she should stay.

But they never stay on that level. The buzz levels off and they want that feeling again so what do they do? That’s right, they drink more and that’s when the trouble starts.

Against my stern warning about what will happen to her, off she goes to the liquor store again. She’s already polished off a half pint and I can see her starting to change. I hope she doesn’t come back. Based on her past drunken actions she shouldn’t be here in the salon like that.

My last client leaves and I close the door.

Sure enough Jill returns with another iced tea and I’m sure it already contains booze.  She goes into the fitness center inside our salon. There are big mirrors on the one wall and she’s primping and doing her makeup and listening to her music. I finish, close up the salon and punch out.

She asks me to join her in the gym. I sit down on one of the blocks we have in there. (I think you’re supposed to jump on them) She’s flipping her hair and taking selfies like a teenage girl.  She is clearly entering the next phase. She sits on my lap and forces me to listen to her music. Her demeanor has also changed, she is sounding more urban in her dialect and is starting to slur her words. (Think black stripper)

Jill is a hot lady and a former stripper and escort so she knows the moves. She starts giving me a lap dance. I am really nervous because I’ve never seen this side of her. I’ve only heard about it from other people and it’s like she’s become a different person.

She’s grinding her butt against my crotch. Then she’s kissing me, and the next thing I know my face is pressed between her breasts.

“I miss dancing so much!”

Here is this client and former employee giving me a lap dance in the tanning salon! I’m stunned, scared and aroused all in the same moment. I know it’s wrong but she has reverted back to a drunken slutty stripper that I know would let me fuck her right now.

But being the gentleman that I am, I make some excuse that I have to drop some papers off. I have had to make this excuse to her several times because she’s not listening to me. She is lost in her mind now. Just all over me, dancing and grinding on me.

As hot as she is right now, and as sexualized as she is, I’m resisting and really worried that this is the end for her. She’ll go do something crazy and get kicked out of her house and she’ll end up homeless. She keeps saying how we’re going to go across the street and we’re going to smoke cigars and drink whiskey at Ashton Cigar Bar. She’s out of control.

I keep telling her I have to go drop off the papers.  She ends up spilling the vodka/iced tea down the front of her. This happened when she was trying to drink it, so you can see how drunk she is now. It’s like I’m looking into the eyes of a completely different woman. She’s slurring, and staggering about. I finally get her to the door, and she drops the bottle on the floor. It was nearly empty and made of plastic. She’s pissed off and mad at me now because I didn’t have sex with her and take her out to destroy herself further.  Her last words to me were: “You couldn’t afford me anyway.” and off she went out the door. I am praying that she doesn’t fall down the steps, but am also relieved that she is off the property.

I’m pretty shaken by the incident, and wait a few minutes and mop up the floor. I dispose of all of the evidence in the dumpster out back and windex the mirrors she was leaning up against and touching while she was doing her sexy little dance for me. I give the place the once over and I think I’m good to go. I won’t mention this to anyone. But I will write about it here because the story must be told.

I lock up and head to the bar where I know my friend Prova works. (See: Prova – 2015 to Present – Glow of the Sun) Prova can see I am visibly shaken. I just tell her I’ve got some anxiety about opening the gym. She gives me a Manhattan and that settles the nerves. I just hope Jill is okay. But I’m scared for her well-being out there. She’s so lost in herself right now.

 

Epilogue

I get a text from Jill the next day around 1pm. “Sorry that I was acting crazy… That’s why I can’t drink.”

“No worries. Just glad you’re okay.”

She comes into the salon that week like nothing had happened. She tells me curfew is 12:45 on the weekends. So she did finally get back to her house around that time. She went straight to her room and fell asleep. So somehow she dodged a fatal bullet and no one knew she got blackout drunk. She calls the person she becomes drunk, Jezebel. Sounds fitting. I didn’t go into detail of what transpired between us because I didn’t want to embarrass her and I didn’t want her to remember any of it. She left me around 6pm Saturday and didn’t get home until 12:45. I asked her what she did for the six hours from when she left me.

“I have no idea.”

 

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Sabrina – Good Morning

Sweet, lovely Sabrina text me this morning. It was a simple, “Good Morning.”

“Hi Sabrina!”

“Did I wake you? I need some positivity this morning.”

“No. What’s up, dear?”

“Just stressed about my job. The boss is never happy. I’m stressed about my ex. He’s pushing me to do things before I want to do them. I just feel like shit.”

“Can you meet for lunch today?”

Yes, I’m sure I can. What time and where?”

I had to work at the salon later, so I suggested noon at Locust Rendezvous. But she wanted to do a little later and not a bar that looks like a tavern. More of a lunch spot. (I should have realized this, based on her past with addiction and recovery.) I just wanted the $5 burger they have there. I secede and suggest Rachael’s at 12:30. She likes that idea much better. Racheal’s is my weekend breakfast spot. I love the food and the prices.

I get there and she appears shortly thereafter. She looks lovely as ever. We go up to the counter and order then return to our table. The place is quiet and this is the first time we’ve ever met outside of the salon. Technically our first date if that’s what this is.

Am I attracted to Sabrina? Of course. Do I care that she’s used heroin for 7 years and has been clean 8 months? No. I want her to be well and live a happy sober life. Do I care that she lived in a halfway house with Jill because she had to be sent there? Nope. She’s a nice lady that had a shitty marriage and got addicted to drugs. But she’s clean now and I like being around her. If I get bored or annoyed with her I’ll cool it. I’ve written about all of the crazy women that I used to hang out with and date in this forum. I only surround myself with good people now. I’ve cut off all of those people and I’m much happier and more calm for it. Jill, Kaja and Sabrina are all nice women that just made some bad choices, but I believe it’s never too late to change for the better. When I was with the crazies they were still in crazy mode. These good women have come out on the other side and hopefully for good.

At this point in my life I like spending time with people who are calm and nice. No more drama. I’ve had enough for two lifetimes. So many of the people who now live in the past and out of my head are just shitty people. I blame their lifestyle choices and their parents. I also love to work and my alone time, so I dig a lunch or a happy hour but beyond that…see ya!

Sabrina and I have a wonderful lunch. We’re chatting for the first time outside of the salon and we can really get to know each other. She’s telling me about her life and what’s been happening, but I don’t need all the details. We just glide across the surface. Marriage, divorce, kids, work. Just first date stuff for people who have ‘seen some things.’ Normally you should never talk about any of your ex’s on a first date, but I discover that she’s still married to her husband. I don’t care. They’re separated so they can date if that’s what they’ve agreed. Not my concern. She’s living in the house and he’s moved out. She’s gotten out of the halfway house because I’m assuming she did her time and stayed clean. Her husband is a contractor and she was a stay at home mom for 12 years. Oh, she has two kids. They live with Dad and she gets to see them on Saturdays. From what she’s told me he sounds like he’s being a dick, slacking on the house payments and utilities, and saying he doesn’t have any money. But Sabrina has access to all of the accounts. He’s not good at any of that, so she still has all the passwords. She can see that he’s spending hundreds of dollars out at the bars. So it’s all a pretty typical divorce mess.

In the State of Pennsylvania, if she stayed home for all of her twenties (She’s 32) The court will have to take that into account. He was the sole breadwinner while she had to forgo her career to raise the kids so dad is going to have to pay her alimony. So that’s good for her. He’ll also have to cash her out on the house, and divide up the assets. So it would really benefit her to begin divorce proceedings.

Recently the company she works for have cut the hours of some of the staff. Because some of their outdoor bars and beer gardens have closed for the season. This and her husband are really stressing her out. I’m afraid if she gets really stressed she could use again and then she’s back in a drug fueled world of shit.

“What are you looking to do?”

“I was thinking I could maybe get a job as a server.”

She knows that I have the hook up with a lot of the bars and restaurants around the city. She also knows that I’ve helped people get jobs. So she asks for my help.

“What are you doing tomorrow, Sabrina?”

“What are you thinking?” She smiles.

“I get my business cards for all of the bars and restaurants in the city. We get lunch at Misconduct. Then we go through the cards and I reach out to places we think are appropriate for you to work as a server.”

“I love Misconduct! I’ve only been there once! Yes! If you could do that and help me that would be wonderful!”

“I’ll do what I can.”

“Thank you!”

The sandwiches they served us were enormous. Delicious and fresh, but gigantic. I guess the average person that goes there and orders a sandwich wants to stuff their head with a king sized wad of meat. I want a sandwich like the ones my mom used to make. Something that has reasonable portions and I can get my mouth around to bite it. Not rip into a pile of meat like a jackal. I see that she could only eat half of her hot Rueben and I’m in the same situation with my roast beef. There is a half a sandwich left and it’s as big as one sandwich. I grab us a couple of to-go shells and we put our sandwiches in them and head out.

We walk east on Sansom and we’re chatting and come upon a homeless woman lying on a piece of cardboard on the sidewalk.

I bend down. “Would you like this fresh sandwich? It’s really good.”

The poor woman turns on her side and starts opening the container. “Thank you.”

We continue walking down the street.

“You’re my kind of guy.”

“That’s a woman lying in the street. I had to do it.”

“I could cry. I can feel my heart.”

We agree again on tomorrow and I tell her to take a deep breath and just know it will all work out. She hugs me and thanks me for everything.

I watch as she walks north on 18th street and admired her beauty. Wow. First date. She reached out to me and made it happen. Got to know each other and good energy flowed. Second date is tomorrow and maybe I can help her find a part-time job. Fed a homeless person and impressed her.

Sometimes all it takes to get the ball rolling are the words:

“Good Morning.”

 

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Murder Mystery Weekend – Chapter 16

We both laughed. I had spent almost all of my freshman year with a mad crush on Sheila. She resolutely kept me at arm’s length, despite the obvious attraction between us. Well, obvious to me, at least. Once I accepted her decision, we became solid friends. We could flirt, and laugh at ourselves.

“You’re good.” I said.

– “C’mon: tell me one secret. I’ll tell you one in return.”

– “Deal.” I said. This is exactly how these games work. You have to trade information to gain information. But which clue to give her? “How about this: there was a plot afoot, to rescue Redbeard.”

Sheila made a face. “Already knew that. Were you a member of Redbeard’s crew?” she asked, suddenly.

Shit – could she be the Falcon? I didn’t know whether to trust her or not. So I answered a question with a question with a question. “Are you?”

– “I asked you first. Oh, c’mon. Give me something, Colin.”

– “I know one of the letters in the code for the treasure map.” I said.

– “So do I.” she admitted. “But I’m not sure if I’m ready to trade that.”

– “OK.” I told her. “Here you go: The Falcon is aboard. One of Redbeard’s old lieutenants.”

Sheila mulled that over for a moment. “That’s fair. Are you the Falcon?”

– “No. Are you?”

– “No.” she laughed. “All right, you actually gave me something. Not much, but something. You can have this in return: the Scar is also aboard.”

I decided to play dumb. “Who is the Scar?”

– “You don’t know? The Scar is another of Redbeard’s lieutenants.” she said.

– “Oh. So we have a ship full of his former crew. Are you the Scar?” I asked.

– “That’s a separate question.” she replied, with a grin. “What will give me for the answer?”

– “A kiss?” What the hell; it was worth a shot.

Sheila laughed. “Nice try. You can get me a drink, though.” She held up her empty wine glass.

– “Am I allowed to go upstairs yet? I don’t think it’s been half an hour yet.”

– “So crack open another bottle.” she said. “They’re right behind you.”

We drank some more, and she fenced with me, alternating between flirty and coy. We also discussed the other players, and aired our suspicions of who was the most likely murderer. After a while, I decided to gamble. I showed her the pirate recognition signal.

– “What is that for?” she asked, intrigued.

– “The recognition signal for Redbeard’s crew. It’s how they’ll know each other.”

– “So you’re one of them?” said Sheila.

– “Craig showed it to me earlier, and told me what it was.” I answered. This way, Sheila could not be sure: she might think that I was not a pirate. But I could tell that she was very pleased with that piece of information. For one thing, she asked me to show her the signal again.

– “Alright, then. I’ll give you something in exchange.” she said. “If you’re looking for the treasure, there are twelve letters to find.”

That was very useful. I had assumed that since I had one letter, that everyone else had one, too. Eleven of us. So there was an extra letter.

– “You still don’t want to trade letters.” I asked.

– “Not yet, Colin. I still don’t know whose side you’re on. But if I want to trade, I’ll find you.”

Both of us were caught by surprise when we heard the bell ring. Four times.

– “That was an hour?” I said.

– “An hour well spent.” said Sheila. She gave me a kiss on the cheek. Then we went off to our next stations. I was supposed to be in the crow’s nest – the deck outside the kitchen, overlooking the patio.

 

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Sun Stories: Kita – Chapter 7 – Timing is Everything

My mind’s been reeling since the possibility of having dinner with the lovely Kita. I wrote a fantasy piece about her a week ago and now part of it is coming true. Should I start writing about the lottery?

I had an incredible Friday into Saturday with my girlfriend, Cherie.  It’s always magic and we are such a perfect match. I love her very much.  She’s a wonderful woman and I’ blessed to have her in my life.  The pleasure she bestows upon me are beyond words. It is euphoric but doesn’t own me like when I was with Annabelle.

But phicklephilly isn’t going to write itself.

The plan was made to have dinner with lovely Kita last week. I couldn’t believe I was able to pull it off. It hasn’t happened yet, and there are a myriad of things that could go wrong, but I’m an eternal optimist. I’m prepared for it to fall apart at any moment, but I am hopeful of the outcome.

I just want to sit across from this beauty and share a meal with her. That’s it. I love the idea of meeting new, pretty women and getting to know them. Cherie is my queen, but is sometimes absent for long periods of time.

I love the hunt. The thrust and parry of romancing women. That’s always been the inspiration for this blog. I’ve covered so many topics and times in my life but this is my favorite part. If my buddy Church knew I was doing this he would firmly disapprove, but fortune favors the bold and he would never understand what I’m doing. But Johnny R. and my pal Robert and James would.

I have compartmentalized my life. That’s what I tell my close friends. Sleeping dogs need to slumber and the cards must be kept close to the vest.

I made the dinner plans with Kita last Thursday and in classic phicklephilly fashion let the lure hit the bottom and cool off for few days. I can’t seem to eager. I can’t just leap onto the rocks and start chomping at this baby seal. I need to swim a bit and keep my dorsal fin hidden for a few days.

We always want that which retreats from us. 

I put Cherie on the train back to Pottstown today after our magical session. I had planned on running some errands today, but the store was closed and it was all a bust. I don’t care. I can pick up that stuff next week. I stopped at the salon to see Summer and go tanning.

Her boyfriend Jax was there chilling and I’m always happy to see them both. The crazy young couple has soldiered forth with their relationship.

I go into the stand up unit in room 4. It has an input for an audio cord so you can plug-in your phone and rock out to your own tunes. Of course I do this and listen to Joan Jett sing “Do you want to touch?”, “Highway Tune” by Greta Van Fleet (Amazing!) and “To the Top” by Krokus. (From the glorious album, ‘ One Vice at a Time.’)

I hang  bit more and then decide to get some food. I was thinking MacDonald’s, then Giovanni’s Pizza. I settled on the latter and walk in and order a slice and a small drink.

This guy I used to work with approaches me and says: “I got his meal.”

I’m grateful and we chat. The crazy irony of this is that I have been taking meetings with him in the last few weeks and he wants me to sell a new phone app that his company has been developing. He had just texted and called me an hour ago to tell me that they were ready to go forward with me.

I’m stunned. What kind of serendipity shit is this?

The guy that wants me to work for his company and wants to finalize the deal next week, is in the pizza bar I decide to go to for a quick bite instead of MacDonald’s. I just want a little food before I go crush three Chardonnays over at one of my favorite bars with my friend Prova.

The guy is hanging at the bar with his dad drinking a beer. I can’t make this stuff up! We sure up some dates this week and agree to meet again. I rip into my free slice and soda. The only thing better than free pizza is free drinks.

Later I go hang at Prova’s bar for a few and when the places gets crowded, I bail. No discount which kind of irks me. I did go on a run to Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee and pastries for her and the other bartender. But I really don’t care, because things are good and I’m happy to see these girls.

I sometimes like traveling solo to bars where I know the staff. I get all of the attention and I’m not responsible for anyone else’s happiness but my own. That’s not selfish. That’s just me being a Leo.

I pay the bill and head back to the batcave in Rittenhouse.  I know when I get there I have a few things to do. I have to write-up the calendar invite for dinner to Kita. I have to also push my contact info to her. I have to do this today.

I let the moment cool. I waited a few days and now the dorsal fin has to surface for a moment. My father used to say, “Timing is everything.” My dad was great at absorbing original things that other people have said and making it his own. But he did take from the greats and I use his stuff in my own life. Creativity is what springs from the greatest minds but we need good recorders to carry the info of others and present it to the masses. He was good at that.

He had a great mind, but struggled with himself as we all do. But I have learned much from that mighty Jedi.

He may be dead but his spirit and words and ideals live strong in me today. I’ve passed them on to my daughter Lorelei. That keeps him alive in us all.

I pour a glass of chardonnay and light a cigarette.

The calendar invite has to be perfect. There are no second chances or missteps allowed with this rare bird.

Kita knows I’m going to do this but I like that she has no idea when it will all happen.

I hope it doesn’t fizzle the moment I send it.

I have to believe in my powers and my fatal charm is firmly in place. The groundwork has been laid and all I need to do now is follow through with my plan.

But at this point of my life I’m prepared for disappointment and failure. I’ve had enough of that so I’m good with whatever the outcome.

I prepare the invite. Make sure it’s perfect and it’s ready to go.

I put on some heavy metal music. The Haunted comes to mind. I don’t know why. Probably because they crank out some furious shit  that could go any way depending on the outcome of this Saturday send to Kita.

I take a sip of wine and a pull from my cig. I go with sharing my contact info on my phone first. I make sure it’s correct and hit send.

Off we go…

Then I send the calendar invite for our dinner date at Gran Caffee L’ Aquila.

Liftoff.

It’s done. Fingers crossed.

Now we wait… (The worst part, but I’m prepared for the inevitable.}

I go back to making out with my wine and cigarette. I never smoke or drink around Cherie. She’s not much of a drinker and I would never smoke around her because that shit is disgusting to a non smoker. Respect.

I start writing about our little foray last night and this morning. It was glorious and as always really good. Sex and peace for my baby girl.

It was a spectacular fourteen hours with my love so there is much to write in my ongoing love letter to her.

But then my phone pings.

“Charles!!!!”

I respond accordingly; “Kita!!!!”

“Are you in tomorrow???”

I love her urgency. I pray she’s sitting home alone studying on a Saturday night.

“11 to 4!” (Sun emoji,  because it’s a tanning salon)

“Okay! I’ll see you!”

“Great! See you tomorrow”

“(Smiley emoji with the little hands up)

That’s adorable and affectionate. I’m smitten. I am going to be trembling when she comes in tomorrow. It should be dead tomorrow so I’m hoping that she can hang out and chat.

I love Kita… phicklephilly style.

Can’t wait to see her tomorrow. So far the plan is working.

Please pray for me she makes it to dinner next week.

 

 

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Chapter 11 – San Diego, CA – Ocean Beach

I woke up early. The sun was up but it was early. Frank was still asleep in the back of the van. I felt the chill of the morning as I slowly drove out of the desert and back up to highway 10.

Final day on the road.

Frank soon awakened and was up front with me. Once on the road we stopped and had breakfast at a roadside diner. Their all the same wherever you go in America. Nice little warm spots that always have quick service, friendly waitresses and fresh food. I like consistency in my life. It helps me cope with my anxiety.

We finish and hit the road again. It’s a long drive across Southern California. Highway 8 is close to the Mexican border. There’s not much out there. Drove through a few Indian Reservations. Highway 8 heads a bit north and continues right into San Diego. We should hit it by dusk.

I think about the trip leading us out here into the unknown. I’m 3000 miles from home. There’s no going back now. I’m happy to be on this adventure with Frank and we both still have plenty of money, so we’re in good shape financially. I brought $1000 in Traveler’s Checks and left $1000 home in my bank account in case of emergency. (Travelers Checks! Google it. It’s what we used instead of carrying cash when we traveled back in the days when there was no such thing as debit cards.)

No cell phones. No internet. Just letters, postcards, a landline phones to communicate with out loved ones. And folded paper maps to guide us on our journey. Primitive by today’s standards but that’s how we rolled back then.

As we get into San Diego’s city limits it starts to feel like California. Palm trees, taco spots large Latina population. This doesn’t look like any city I’ve ever been to.

San Diego (/ˌsæn diˈeɪɡoʊ/, Spanish for “Saint Didacus”; Spanish: [san ˈdjeɣo]) is a major city in California, United States. It is in San Diego County, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, approximately 120 miles (190 km) south of Los Angeles and immediately adjacent to the border with Mexico.

With an estimated population of 1,406,630 as of July 1, 2016,[9] San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States and second-largest in California. It is part of the San Diego–Tijuana conurbation, the second-largest transborder agglomeration between the US and a bordering country after Detroit–Windsor, with a population of 4,922,723 people.[12] The city is known for its mild year-round climate, natural deep-water harbor, extensive beaches, long association with the United States Navy, and recent emergence as a healthcare and biotechnology development center.

San Diego has been called “the birthplace of California”.[13] Historically home to the Kumeyaay people, it was the first site visited by Europeans on what is now the West Coast of the United States. Upon landing in San Diego Bay in 1542, Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo claimed the area for Spain, forming the basis for the settlement of Alta California 200 years later. The Presidio and Mission San Diego de Alcalá, founded in 1769, formed the first European settlement in what is now California. In 1821, San Diego became part of the newly independent Mexico, which reformed as the First Mexican Republic two years later. In 1850, California became part of the United States following the Mexican–American War and the admission of California to the union.

The city is the seat of San Diego County and is the economic center of the region as well as the San Diego–Tijuana metropolitan area. San Diego’s main economic engines are military and defense-related activities, tourism, international trade, and manufacturing. The presence of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), with the affiliated UCSD Medical Center, has helped make the area a center of research in biotechnology.

We head down to Ocean Beach and get a motel room. We plan on staying for awhile and seeing the sights and figuring out the job situation.

But we’re going to the San Diego Zoo this week because I heard it was awesome!

We finally made it! What a trip!

 

 

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