Lisa – Cuts Like A Knife

“I miss all of our time together. We should hang out soon.”

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This was a few years back, but it just popped back into my mind.

One night I was at a bar with a group of friends. We were hanging out like usual, when this woman walks in. My friend jumps up and says, “Oh! Hey! Lisa! Holy shit, I haven’t seen you in years!”

She comes over, and she and my friend catch up, then she joins us at our table. Throughout the night, I couldn’t keep my mind off of how she had these incredible blue eyes. It turns out, I noticed them so much because she kept them on me all night. This girl is cool as hell. I’m really enjoying just talking to her, and there’s some light flirting. As our group thins out, we switch to a smaller table. She sits next to me. As the other two people leave, it’s just us.

Then it’s the end of the night. This never works for me, but I thought, what the hell? I invite her back to my place. She says that’d be great. Long story short, we get to my place, and we waste no time hooking up. I tell her she can crash at my place if she wants. She says she’ll take a cab back to get her car, but she leaves me her number and says, “This needs to happen again. Soon.”

Okay, this works for me! I’m a single dude, and I don’t have any irons in the fire. This situation winds up repeating itself 2-3 times a month for about 4 months. One of us hits the other up, we wind up at my place, we hook up, she heads out and wishes me a good night.

Finally, one night, we’re laying there after it’s all said and done, and she says, “This is nice. I really like this.” Then, she snuggles into me.

So I think to myself: She’s super cool. I could totally see us being something more than just hooking up a few times a month. So I ask what she means by “this”. She waves her hand in a circle. She says, “This, all of this, you.” Then, she curls into me even more. I say, “Well, this could become more if you want it to.” She says that sounds nice, and falls asleep on me.

Morning comes. She’s up and showering. She says she’s got to be somewhere early. She gives me a kiss, and she heads out.

 

I quit hearing from her.

 

She doesn’t respond to my texts. Her Facebook profile goes dark. I don’t know if she’s ghosting on me, or what. Did I scare her off? Did she change her mind? I mean, I didn’t bring up things getting more serious until she seemed like she wanted that.

After about a month or two of not hearing from her, I write her off, and I get on with my life. I wasn’t too torn up by her not being around after my friend tells me that she’s done this before in the past with other guys.

Fast forward 2 years. I get a text from a number I don’t recognize.

It’s Lisa. She’s asking how I’m doing. She’s asking if I’m seeing anybody. As it happened, I wasn’t. Then she says:

“I miss all of our time together. We should hang out soon.”

I respond with a resounding yes. After all, she was really cool. But, I decide to myself that I’m going to come into the whole thing expecting her to ghost again, so I’m just going to take things at face value, nothing more. She offers to swing by in a couple of days.

A couple of days later, she shows up. Instead of hanging out on the couch, we hang out in my dining room and kitchen while having a few drinks. After about an hour of that, she says she needs to go get some stuff from her car. I’m a bit confused, but I’m like… okay, whatever you’ve gotta do.

I see her pull a duffel bag out of her trunk. I think… Wow, did she pack an overnight bag or something? Guess it’s on tonight!

She takes the bag and sets it on the dining room table. It makes a clinking noise like she’s just set down a bag of silverware. She says, “There’s something I want to show you.”

She unzips the bag, and the first thing I see is a cardboard box with the word CUTCO on it.

…You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.

A friend of mine nearly sold CUTCO knives years ago, before she realized it was such a scummy company to work for. I politely sit there while she goes through the whole pitch: watch the knife cut a beer can, a piece of thick rope. Watch the scissors cut a penny. Then she asks if I’d be interested in buying any.

I tell her, truthfully, that I just bought a new knife set. She has the nerve to ask if I could return that set and use the money to buy a CUTCO set. I tell her I’m happy with my knife set. Then I make up some story about forgetting that I was supposed to go to a buddy’s rock show that night, and I needed to get ready.

She packed up her stuff, gave me a hug, and said she’d text me later. I never got another text from her.

Fast forward to about 4-5 months ago, I see she’s married and has a kid. Good for her, I guess. But, I still think it was pretty sketchy of her to bring up our past history of hooking up to use that as a way to slide in and sell me some cutlery.

Man, did she have some crazy blue eyes, though.

 

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Maria – Chapter 8 – I Get To See You Again

Maria, my muse and inspiration for this blog has agreed to meet with me again for lunch. I have a bottle of wine for her to donate to her cause. I want to do anything I can for Maria.

Here’s the rub. It’s March. Winter is on its ass as my father would say here in Philly, but you never know what March can bring. Maria is trying to get her degree and busting her butt to get her studies in order but she is leading the charge on this fund-raiser.

The event is on Sunday. It’s Friday and she’s running around trying to get all of the last-minute details done before the event.

And make time for lunch with me.

I leave my apartment in Rittenhouse. Lorelei is asleep because she works at night too.

I step out onto Pine street with my umbrella and it’s a snow storm. Giant flakes falling and blowing. Insane. It’s not cold enough for it to stick but it is just a mess outside.

This is not good. Maria could bail. I get that.

I’m ready. We’re meeting at Marathon on 16th and Sansom. I know the owner. He gave me a $25 gift card and I’m ready to burn it on my unemployed muse.

I weather the storm and make my way to the restaurant.

I know everyone there and they welcome me. They put me at a nice table at the window on Sansom.

I shoot video of the crazy weather and send it to my ex girlfriend Michelle but she doesn’t respond.  She lives in San Francisco now and I ask her if she can guess where I am but all I get is crickets. (See: Michelle – A Brand New Day)

Maria says she’s on her way.

I’m just trying to dry out and my umbrella is soaked, but I’m just happy I’ve been able to spend time with her.

Maria shows up quickly and looks amazing. I only say this because even if my muse is disheveled she will always look amazing to me because of what she means to me.

Maria leaves her little winter hat on the entire lunch and it looks so cute. But like I said. She can do no wrong at this point.

I know Maria doesn’t see the weight of this. Oblivious and happy for the donations. I am honored to oblige. I’m sure that Maria has no idea of the depth that she has inspired my art. She’s just a regular girl making her way in Philly. But somehow through her actions and her impression on me she has inspired phicklephilly.

Maria is checking her phone and upset that her coworkers may not be pulling hard enough on this event to raise gifts and money.

I totally get it. I’ve managed people before and you always want them to be like you. But they can never be you. That’s the catch with management. You’re always frustrated because your staff can never be as good as you.

It’s a never-ending cycle.

Maria is so frustrated. She goes with the tuna albacore wrap. I hope she likes it and doesn’t get sick.

I destroy my favorite, the barbecued chicken sandwich with fries. I like that Maria picks at my fries. I love sharing anything with her.

It’s a lovely moment. The snow is falling and we’re at a nice table at the window.

I’m having lunch with the woman who I was once infatuated with that inspired me to write again after 10 years. There’s nothing special about her. I think she’s beautiful. She’s charming and has lovely legs. (My usual attraction) She’s dating the owner of the company she works for, her familiar challenges. Maria is 3 months away from getting her degree in Marketing, and now she’s stuck looking for a serving job somewhere in Philly to pay the bills.

My muse has hit another wall but continues to march forward and find her way.

My unrequited love for Maria is classic phicklephilly fodder, but what if my realization that Maria is not meant for me but for a greater purpose?

What if we see Maria in a year successful in her career and through with all of this restaurant bullshit?

I’ve worked in media in this city for years. I have loads of contacts and would do anything to help her.

Maria liked her tuna albacore wrap. She ate half of it and didn’t get sick. Our server at Marathon was amazing and I burned my $25 gift card that had been given to me by the owner because he works out at our gym.

So even though Maria ordered a glass of champagne our bill was $10.

I was happy to give her the bottle of wine because it was a gift and I knew I’d never drink it.

I’m in a relationship with Cherie. I love her with all of my heart, But I did feel the romantic rush of being with Maria for a third encounter. I know it means nothing to her and she’s busy with her own survival and her own romantic entanglements, but it was just sweet to be with Maria.

My inspiration.

She can do no wrong.

I’ll text her job offers and she won’t get back to me.

It’s okay.

That’s Maria.

(She actually did!)

Thank you for the inspiration.

We step out into the snow. It’s not laying. Maria is angry because she has so much to do today based on her event.

Maria hugs me and I’m grateful for the attention. I hope her event is a success. We’ve given a gift card, and I’ve bought a ticket and donated a bottle of wine.

I hope it helps.

 

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

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Petition – Help Get Mac Mart To The (Reading Terminal) Market!

Sign the petition to help get Mac Mart into the Reading Terminal Market!
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Sun Stories: Aishah – The Wages of Fear – Chapter 2

A few days go by and once again lovely Aishah returns. Of course I remember her name and I greet her and make a fuss over her. I ask her how school is going and what’s up for the holiday. She says she’s going home to see her folks in North Jersey then off to Costa Rica for the winter break.

I send her to the Cadillac in room 6 this time. Let’s see what happens this time.

A few minutes pass and the bed lid squeaks closed. The bulbs light and her session had begun. I’m doing my thing around the salon and I’m coming out from the back room with some towels when I hear the familiar squeak of the hood on the Caddy, (We call it the Cadillac because when it’s closed it looks like the front of an old Caddy.

OPEN

CLOSED

The bed must be open or at least partially for that much light to stream forth from the room. I decide to ask her if everything’s okay with the unit when she comes out.

A few minutes later and hot Aishah appears. She’s waving goodbye and I motion her over. I gotta find out what’s going on.

“Aishah, got a sec?”

She nods smiling, she approaches. “Yea. What’s up?”

“I noticed when you’re in tanning during your session, a lot of light is coming out of the room. It’s as if the hood of the bed is open. Do you have any questions about the machines?”

I see a nervous fear wash across her lovely visage. She takes a deep breath and drops her gaze to the floor.

“You alright?”

Aishah looks back up at me. “I’m so embarrassed. You’re going to think I’m crazy. It’s so silly.”

“We’re all professionals here. Whatever is happening I’m sure I can help. What’s up?”

“Okay. Here goes… I have really bad claustrophobia. Like… really bad.”

“Okay. That’s more common than you’d think. Please don’t be embarrassed about it, dear.”

“It’s just an awful feeling. Like, I know I really need to tan, so I go in and breathe and lie on the bed and just wait. I try to stay calm. The bulbs come on, and I slowly close the lid. I try to just chill and breathe. I try to think of anything else, but in a few minutes I start to really panic. Like trembling with fear. I have to push the hood up immediately just so I can breathe.”

“Oh my God, I’m so sorry Aishah. That’s why you don’t do the stand up units.”

“Oh no! That’s an even smaller space. I could never. I’d run out of the room.”

“Well between now and the next time you come in maybe we can think of some ideas to get you tan and not scare the hell out of you in doing so!”

“That would be nice. I’ll try to come up with something as well. I’m so claustrophobic I don’t even like how I feel when I close and lock the doors on the room. It’s like I’m locked in a tiny room and then in a box with the lid closed. It feels like I’m being buried alive in a crypt.”

“Holy shit. That is scary!”

“Yea, it really is. If I ever had to go into one of those MRI machines I’d jump out a window! But I do feel better talking to you about it though. (takes my hand in hers) I really appreciate you taking the time to ask me if I was okay. That really means a lot to me.”

“Yea. Don’t worry. We’ll come up with something to help make you feel better.”

“Okay. Well until next time. (She smiles weakly and walks out the door.)

 

This poor girl. I never thought about it before but that’s a new one for me. I’ve heard people say that they do get a little claustrophobic in the stand ups. But not this bad where some one is literally having a panic attack. I kind of like cozy places. Probably because of my anxiety and depression. To be in a small womb like space. It always feels safer to me. Just the opposite for poor Aishah. She feels trapped like a frightened animal in a cage.

We’ll figure something out. We always do. I need to do some research.

 

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Cherie – Chapter 36 – Four to Eight – Part One

So baby’s coming down on Sunday to see me. We both have crazy busy schedules. But we make it work and I like it. I like the distance between the pillars that support the temple of our relationship. I’ve never had that. It’s always been the traditional American bullshit progression that goes nowhere and ends in failure. This actually works really well for me. I love intense bursts of energy with my friends but then I like to be alone for a while. It’s inevitable right now based on where we both are in our lives and it’s working beautifully. I love it.

She says she’ll be down around 4:30pm on Sunday.

Cool.

I get done at the salon at 4. She says she has to be on an 8:30 train back to Pottstown. I’m thinking, perfect. Come down early Sunday, I’ll feed her and give her some dinner, and then tomorrow we’ll get up early, I’ll take her to breakfast and she’ll be on a train back home or to school, and I’ll be writing this blog getting the 1/2 off cheesteak by noon on Monday at my local haunt.

I finish up at the salon, and we meet up on the street after she gets off the train. I take her to Mix Pizza, because I know she loves that place from our early encounters.

We get there and instead of sitting in the back bar, we sit in the main dining room. We order a 12 inch pie that is just enough for the both of us. We’ll murder that tiny pie. She likes extra cheese, and I’m okay with that because she wants that but I know that dairy will fuck with my stomach. But I don’t care. I love her. If that’s what baby wants, that’s fine.

Our waitress is banged up. I don’t mean drunk, I mean it looks like she was in a car accident or is a victim of domestic violence.

We can’t say anything even though I want to so badly. Puffy eye, cuts and bruises on her. I’m feeling sad and concerned. I have three sisters a daughter and a girlfriend. If I know a man raised his hand to my waitress I’ll have a hit put out his worthless ass.

But Cherie tells me to behave. We’ll get our little brick oven fresh pizza and go home.

She brings out not a 12 inch pizza, not the next size up, but the biggest fucking pizza they make with extra cheese. The order is wrong, I’m tired from work and I know I’m going to spend some quality time in the bathroom. But I’m happy to be sitting across from my queen and I’m okay.

I make some jokes to her about why the order is wrong to Cherie and why our server got beat up.

“Because she doesn’t listen.” (Kidding. I feel bad for her. Maybe she just fell off her bicycle.)

“I will kick you so hard under the table your mom will feel it, if you don’t stop.”

I always make jokes when I’m sad or suffering for someone, to ease the tension in my heart, and Cherie knows this but she just wants me to stop.

(I did make a few more. Just to deal with it, and I love to watch her lovely dark almond eyes narrow and tell me to shut up.)

She knows I’m kidding. She knows me and knows I feel for this girl, and hates the fact that she is feeling what she’s feeling from my dark jest.

When I’m scared or sad I always joke to deal with my anxiety, sadness or depression. It’s a combative mechanism to help me deal with life.

We have a nice dinner and she’s happy. I love her braids. I hope they last all summer. Every time I see her, she seems more beautiful to me. She’s already gorgeous, but I am falling deeper in love with her soul. Her spirit. Her voice. Her mind. Her heart.

Cherie is a complex, beautiful human being that has come a long way at her ripe 27 years. I love her sweet calm with me. I love her wise maturity. I love that she is a parent like myself. She’s always struggling with what we all do with work, children and education, but she does it as a woman. My relationship with her has redefined me as an adult. I continue to evolve. She makes me grow as a man. I love that I continue to evolve. My life is changing.

I’m about to open a new business in Rittenhouse. If it’s successful, it will change my life dramatically. It will mean I can do more for my daughter Lorelei and change her life too. I’m beginning to think that sitting at Square 1682 getting cheap drinks and hanging with the same cast of characters is a waste of my talent.

I like these people but I think our time together is a bit of a waste of time. Nice people, but I’m carrying a lot of their water on my ship. I appreciate them.

I do. But I think I am growing out and away from them.

Just evolving as usual. It happens.

I was sitting at the bar the other night at Square and as usual I am loving the bartender Roman. He’s glorious. He is what I need him to be and he knows that. I take care of him. He’s amazing. He’s a husband and a dad and we have a history that is connected.

But I looked to the friend to the right of me and I started to see that I don’t need to do this anymore. The game is changing.

I’m changing.

There’s no value in this anymore. She has positioned herself with someone I no longer speak with and I know is nuts and has hurt my friend Alice.

I look to my left and here is my other friend. A lost confused damaged soul that can’t get out of his own fucking way to do go forward.

What am I doing here?

I was at City Hall today with my business partner getting our permit to open our fitness center.

That’s what I need to focus on. Going forward and building a business.

This happens throughout ones life if you continue to evolve. They come in and visit for a while and then they have to go because you grow beyond them. I think I need to faze them out. I may or may not do that, but I need to withdrawal from their stagnant drama.

I used to be in the public eye all of the time. Blowing up social media constantly. Many people and beautiful women basked in my light and I was just left with the hangover.

It’s okay. I had a great time but I’m getting older and I just can’t carry their weight anymore.

I want to build something.

 

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Sun Stories – Mike – Really Dude?

We hired a girl named Caitlin to take Jill’s shifts. She’s a nice girl and does a good job, but she runs track and field at college and her schedule for practices is changing so we lost her after a few weeks.

Achilles meets this guy Mike. He came into the salon to tan one day. He’s a mountain of a man. Admits to Achilles that he uses steroids to get that huge.

Achilles is chatting with him about the fitness center we’re opening soon and Mike tells him he’s a certified personal trainer. So Achilles hires him to work at the salon, and when the gym opens he can work there.

Perfect. A muscle dude that said he’d be here to run the classes and could make some real income from the personal training. People pay big bucks for that stuff. This is a great opportunity for Mike.

I stop in one Saturday just to escape the heat. I chat a bit with Mike and he seems like a really nice guy. I even spoke to him about a business opportunity I was thinking about and he gave me good advice having had experience in a similar business. So all good.

Everything seems to be going well. We’ve recovered nicely after Trish’s cocaine arrest, Jill’s alcoholic meltdown, and Caitlin’s track re-scheduling.

But two weeks later, Achilles calls me. “I’m going to have to fire, Mike.”

“What happened?”

“He’s stealing money from me.”

“Stealing?”

“Yea. There’s almost no cash transactions on the nights he works and I’m just starting to see a pattern. I don’t think he knows the level at which we can track everything on the computer.”

“Aww dude. I’m sorry. We just can’t catch a break lately.”

“I know. Come in and we’ll have lunch today and figure out what to do.”

The next day when confronted with the crime, of course Mike denied any wrong doing to the point where Achilles almost believed him. But once Achilles dug deeper and examined all of the records in the system there was no doubt in his mind that Mike had been skimming cash from the register.

I hear that steroids are expensive.

Anyway, we fired his thieving ass and banned him from ever coming to the salon again.

Guess who’s working all the shifts everyday for a while?

That’s right! Me. At least Achilles and I know that the people who work here are trustworthy and dependable. Because it’s down to the two of us!

 

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Sun Sories: Trish – Trail of Destruction

I come home from work the other day, and Trish is in my living room chatting with my daughter Lorelei.

I’ve cooled to Trish since her arrest, but my daughter likes her and they hang out sometimes at the house. Trish lives in the apartment below us, so I need to be civil.

Trish is telling the story of her cocaine arrest to Lorelei. How she got a small fine, has to attend some classes and has to do community service. I guess its because it was her first offense and she doesn’t have a record.

“Yea, it’s been a wake up call for me.”

“Well that’s good.”

“My community service is over at the senior center helping the old folks. I really like them!”

“Maybe you’ve found your calling.”

“How is Jill making out at the salon?”

“We fired her.”

“What happened?”

“One day she was supposed to work and she didn’t show up.”

“Wow. I just saw her earlier in the week. I was upset about my arrest and I went to the salon and then we went out together.”

“What did you guys end up doing?”

“Just went out for a few drinks. I wanted to go home after a couple but she said she was heading for another bar.”

“What? When was that?”

“Monday night. Why?”

“Oh my God. No….”

“What?”

“You were with Jill when she got blackout drunk and was subsequently kicked out of her sober halfway house!”

“What?”

“She didn’t show up for work at the salon the next day because she was looking for a place to live!”

“But she wasn’t drunk when she was with me.”

“But you said she left you and was headed to another bar. You were there that Saturday before when she was sitting in the salon and said, “I can’t just have one drink. I have to keep going and then I want to go out. I can’t stop.”

“Oh fuck. So I’m the catalyst that made her relapse?”

“Looks that way.”

“Shit.”

“Anyway, I’m going to go to my room and watch my show. I’ll be through for some ice periodically. Night girls.”

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish everyday at 8am & 12pm EST.

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