Cherie – Chapter 17 – The Fountain of Youth

Once again it has been two weeks without my girl. Between my schedule and hers, it’s just been impossible. She’s had finals at Temple. Crushing late night hours at Children’s Hospital, her job at the pediatrician’s office, and raising her son… it’s been nuts. Add in that I’ve been working nine to five at the institute, and nights at the tanning salon, I’ve been a ghost in my own life.

Throw the holidays into the mix and it’s nearly impossible to schedule anything. I saw all of my family last weekend, and she had her holiday party the same day. It was a glorious day to see all of my sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews. Cherie said she also had a blast at her work party. Her whole family will be together, and her brother and his wife are flying in from Japan this weekend, so it’s going to be non stop frivolity.

It was Friday and I worked the whole day at the institute, then on to the salon until eight. Church made a surprise appearance. It was great to see him and have some company. It always makes the night go faster. (See : Church – Brand Ambassador) I had a very busy couple of weeks and was feeling a bit tired. I took the Saturday shift at the salon for Trish so she could visit her family for the weekend. (See: Trish – The She Wolf)

I had stopped in to see Trish on Wednesday before I was meeting my buddy Spinner at the Flyers game. I had totally forgotten that I told her I’d work Saturday for her. She almost started crying right there in the salon. She really wanted to spend time with her folks. I jumped on the phone and moved a few things around and let Cherie know we had from 8pm Friday to 10:30am Saturday. I felt bad that I had forgotten about what I promised Trish, and wasn’t about to back out on a promise or a friend in need. I assume I was half in the bag when she asked me, because I usually put everything in my calendar. Anyway, it all worked out and Trish still loves me.

So I’d close tonight and then have to go in open tomorrow. I looked forward to just going to my favorite bar and maybe having a drink or two if my buddy, Tusk was working. But ultimately I just wanted to go home, sit in my chair, drink and smoke cigarettes, then sleep in on Sunday.

I’m very happy with my relationship with Cherie. I enjoy our time together, but we don’t see each other all of the time. So it’s intense when we’re together, but there’s plenty of downtime in between. I like being with her and it’s always magic, but I like not having the constant obligation of having to spend a bunch of time with her because we’re simply too busy.  She’s been great about it and I appreciate that kind of patience in a woman. Like I’ve said since I started writing about us, she’s so sweet and chill, and just easy to love. We’ve been texting, and I can see that she’s getting the itch to spend some quality time with her man. I’m tired, but I’m down if we can make it happen. She’s been texting things like, “I’m so horny I can’t think straight.” So I’d better take care of her soon.

We coordinate our schedules and obligations, and settle on tonight when I close the salon. I tell her I have to open the next morning at 11am, but she’s fine with it. So when she arrives we will spend exactly fourteen and half hours together.

I’m glad we were able to make it happen.

“I don’t think I could have waited three weeks to see you. I was ready to beg.” she says. No need to beg. But that’s hot. I’m pretty lucky to be at this place in my life and I still have the charm to earn the love and devotion of a beautiful young lady.

She arrives just as I’m about to close the salon. I tell her to come up and meet Church. He’s eager to meet her. They have some things in common. Her father and brother are Navy guys, she drives a Saab, and is studying neuroscience. Church was a Navy corpsmen specializing in neuroscience, used to drive a Saab, and loves black women.

Cherie comes in, comes right to me first and gives me a smooch. I make the introduction and they start chatting. I’ve been talking to him about how great she is, and I’m glad they finally get to meet. I’m still waiting for one of our best clients to finish tanning, close out the register, and send the credit card batch for the night.

We finally get rid of the last one and I finish up. Church says goodbye because he knows it’s game time for me and baby.

 

Stay tuned for Cherie – The Fountain of Youth – Part 2, tomorrow!

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly

Diana – Overdrawn at the Blood Bank

I couldn’t get up and leave because I was hooked to an IV!

Happy Friday!

I’ve gotten to know a few of my followers. I love that we’ve created a nice little community of writers over the last year. We email back and forth and sometimes even text if both parties are comfortable with that. I was chatting with this one lady who writes her own blog about relationships. She shared an interesting dating story with me and it felt like something that could happen on phicklephilly.

I asked her if I could run it on my site and she agreed. She said it’s not the sort of thing she would write about on her site because unlike phicklephilly, it’s not a dating blog.

So here is the story as told to me by my author buddy, Diana.

 

On a first date when I was a freshman in college, I went on a date with a guy I met at a party. We were going to go to the reservoir for the afternoon on a beautiful Indian Summer day. First, we had to “get some cash.” He took me to a blood bank to donate plasma! We got extra cash since it was the first visit for both of us and while I was there, my bed “won” the drawing and I received an extra $10.

I was so shocked by all this, all I could do was sit frozen and hope it was a bad dream. I couldn’t get up and leave because I was hooked to an IV!

After the donation was over we went through a fast food drive-thru and got some sandwiches and then a case of beer. Once we got out in the sun at the reservoir, drank the beer, and ate the sandwich, I proceeded to feel sicker than I have ever felt before and threw up all over the beach. That was 17 years ago and I still can remember how sick I felt.

No cell phone back then, so I was stranded out at the reservoir with a loser who clearly had no respect for me. I felt beyond “used.” I had to give plasma so we could go on this crappy outing and then I got sick so he proceeded to drink all the beer! (Which I think was his goal from the beginning!) I was very naive and I felt so embarrassed for him, that he thought that this was even remotely close to acceptable human behavior, that I downplayed the whole event and tried to pretend it had never happened.

Now that I’m older, I realize the “scene” I should have made once we arrived at the blood bank and gotten out of the whole thing! It was too dangerous a situation. He was the man, he had the plan for the date and I just went for the ride. I never let that happen again. I ask for plans up front. Have an exit plan. And always make sure I voice my concerns.

 

Thank you Diane for your crazy dating story. Live and learn!

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly             Facebook: phicklephilly

Kaja – Monday… Sigh

I get a text on Sunday night. “Are we still on for Monday?” It’s Kaja. I just had lunch with her last Friday. (But she did close with the words, “When can I see you again?” with a hug and a kiss.)

I tell her I go to Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse every Monday for lunch at 1pm. She agrees to meet me and it’s on. I get there around noon so I can do some work and edit the week’s blogs because I was so busy writing about her I forgot to do it. I really wanted to get her story down because it was so good. (See: Kaja – 2003 to Present – Out of the Blue)

She arrives at 12:45. I like that. To me, punctuality is imperative. She looks great as always. This is the most I’ve ever seen her in a small space of time. With Kaja it was always pop in, and then pop out for another two years. But what’s happened in the past year has changed everything for the better.

I hope for her sake it stays that way.

She tells me more about prison. She says the food you get the first few weeks is worse than they describe it in the movies. It’s small portions of gross looking and worse tasking grub you can imagine. So she was basically starving for a couple of weeks. Maybe that’s to weaken the prisoners at first.

After a few weeks you can apply for commissary. A prison commissary (commissary being a word taken out of context in such situations) or canteen is a store within a correctional facility, from which inmates may purchase products such as hygiene items, snacks, writing instruments, etc. Spices, including those packaged with instant ramen noodles, are a popular item due to the often bland nature of prison food. Typically inmates are not allowed to possess cash; instead, they make purchases through an account with funds from money contributed by friends, family members, etc., or earned as wages. Typically, prisons set a maximum limit of funds that can be spent by each inmate on commissary; in the U.S. federal system, it is $290 per month. It’s generally prohibited for inmates to trade items purchased on commissary. However, certain items tend to be used as currency. Cigarettes were a classic medium of exchange, but in the wake of prison tobacco bans, postage stamps have become a more common currency item, along with any inexpensive, popular item that has a round number price such as 25 or 50 cents. As prison budgets are cut in the USA, ramen has become a popular commodity to supplement food needs. Mylar foil packets of mackerel fish or “macks” are one such item. In 1930, the U.S. Department of Justice authorized and established a commissary at each federal institution. Some prison commissaries are staffed by government employees and inmates, while others have been completely privatized. Significant price markups are common in prison commissaries, although some prison systems set maximum markups; for instance, the Delaware Department of Correction has a 20% maximum markup. $100 million in purchases were made from Texas’ prison system alone in 2009. Prison commissary is a privilege that is often taken away for infractions.

She said once she had commissary she ate a bunch of food and a lot of it was carbs and sugary food. I think she just stuffed her sadness with chow. She said she ballooned up to 180 lbs. She’s 5’9″ so when she was a dancer she was 120 lbs. She says, “Too skinny.” I say, “Super hot.” But now she’s 140 lbs. and would like to lose a few more. I still think she looks good, but she’s right. She shouldn’t look like an Estonian matron by the time she’s 40.

She clarifies that she went in for two months and was released on bail. But had to go back in and serve seven more months for all the other infractions. I’m not clear on this but basically she did a total of nine months in the can.

She’s apparently living with this old guy who isn’t all there. I’m thinking she may have met him back in her stripper days. She doesn’t get into the details of how she knows him, but apparently he’s retired, bi-polar and not all there. He just sits around all day and chain smokes and watches TV. She hates it there because he’s nuts and she never knows what she’s coming home to. (That’s bi-polar for you!) Sadly, all of her clothes smell like filthy cigarette smoke.

 

Back in jail she was in a cell that was a  big room, three stone walls and the front is all bars. But she’s in there with 19 other women. It’s all bunks. So take 20 women that are in for different offenses, throw them together. They’re sad, they’re depressed, and they’re angry. Throw in some PMS…That’s a powder keg waiting to go off.

So she said there was all kinds of drama, fights, and even some romance. Classic women’s prison movie stuff.

We go on and off topic and I’m sure more will come out as we hang out. Like I said, I’m just glad she’s okay. We have a delicious lunch together and I tell her my Monday ritual here at Cav’s. She says she has some more things to do, and has to make a few call and will let me know if she can stick around. Either way is fine with me. As I get older I enjoy most people in small doses.

Kaja goes outside and makes a few calls.

I continue editing phicklephilly until she returns. I get the last one finished, just as she approaches the table. She is such and elegant woman with such good manners I wonder how she got into all of the trouble she has. But if she sticks around long enough, I may get the story. I’m okay even if I don’t.

Kaja tells me she has to go. Now worries. I’ll do some writing and sip a Manhattan in a few hours. She drops $25 on the bill and a hug later she’s gone.

While I’m sitting there I get an email from Cavanaugh’s. It said that “You really like us and we really, really like you so we’re giving a free drink of your choice on us.”  How brilliant is this small chain of sports bars? They must know I use their wifi every Monday and see that I’m a trackable regular. They sent me a reward for spending money there on a weekly basis. That’s the future of advertising!

I show the coupon to Karina and she says your drink is free. So when I walked out of Cav’s my bill was $10. Peanuts!  Karina is now my #1 favorite female bartender in the city. Killer hospitality!

I text Roman over at Square and ask him if he’s working, and if it’s busy. (See: Roman – 2012 to Present – Rock and Roll Bartender)

“I am and it’s not.”

I pack up and head over. Normally I would have just gone home but I want to charge up my devices and write some more pieces. I have so many right now. I thought I’d be dry by now and writing about my past more but there are a lot of things going on.

I get there and sit at the end of the bar. It’s quiet. I plug everything in and I’m typing away. Roman sets a glass of chardonnay down and a glass of monster ice cubes. I like ice in my wine. Old networking trick. Water it down, and nobody knows what it is you’re drinking. It waters it down and you can keep going without losing your shit like everybody around you.

Almost like a magnet, people I know start coming in. They’re stopping by and chatting and catching up. It’s lovely. Even a server I thought didn’t like me comes over to chat. She’s telling me how she has been with an older man for over five years because he really appreciates her and treats her well.  (Well done, sir! She’s 29!)

After an hour or so I crack off a couple of pieces and pack up. I had maybe three Chardonnay. My bill was $5.50.

Hookup city!

I pay cash, tip heavily, and head home. I’ve had a lovely day surrounded by good people. That’s my life now. I’m blessed to have gotten to this place.

I go home and chat with my buddy Church on the phone.  (See: Church – 2014 to Present – Brand Ambassador) Daughter Lorelei is over in Jersey at her boyfriend’s house. I have the place to myself tonight. I’m in the command center, (My chair and ottoman in front of my 50″ flat screen watching Netflix . I light a cig and pour myself another glass of Chardonnay.

UPDATE: Kaja is back to working as a stripper in New York City!

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly

My Family – The Phoenix – Part 3

Tell My Mother, tell My Father, I’ve done the best I can.

I stood at the grave of my parents with my sisters and my daughter.

Yes. I have something to say.

I read the Eulogy I had written.

I knew my sister Janice thought I wouldn’t deliver based on my track record.

 

Hello all. Thank you for coming.

To quote an artist I love: “Your bodies may be gone but we’re going to carry you in. In our minds, and in our hearts, and our souls. And maybe we’ll get lucky and we’ll all meet again.”

Over the last few weeks our hearts and minds have been filled with visions of you both.

Although your vessels are gone, you are both so much alive in us all. In our thoughts, our words and our deeds. You’ve achieved immortality in your children… and their children.

And we all have the wonderful children to prove it.

Just like all of the home movies we still have. We can watch them anytime we want. I watched some the other night. You were both so alive that I could almost touch you both.

But only almost. And I won’t be able to anymore.

I want you both to know that every time we did anything, we saw you both in front of us. Your appreciation and love accompanied us every step down the road, and our lives were always shaped by your teachings and values.

Others greater than I will eulogize you both, but none of them will ever have the sweet pleasure that my sisters and I have had to feel the gentle touch of your hands in ours.

To merit your words and warm embrace that was reserved… only for us.

To see your smiles and hear your laughter, told us so much.

 

But those are no longer. Only in our memories.

There is so much to say about this wonderful family that has come to Earth through both of you. We will share our stories as long as we all can draw breath.

I once asked you both, “What was the key to a happy life?”

Mother you said, “Do everything in moderation. Moderation is the key to a happy life.”

I turned to my father and said, “Dad?”

He replied, “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.”

Well, we always went big, and our family is rich in history… and most of all… love.

Anyway, rather than go into every wonderful Christmas we ever had, or the summers at the shore, or how my mother was the greatest person I ever met, or how my Dad taught me how to ride a bicycle, or drive a car, or taught me how to read, or taught me how to catch a fish, or how to talk to girls, or art, or music or everything that is essential to living in this world and being a better person, and moving us all forward as a family.

You’ve both done all of that and so much more.

More than any words can ever describe.

Thank you.

 

I’m not done yet…

My sisters and I are left with no alternative.

Janice. April. Gabrielle.

And my only daughter… Lorelei.

We will say goodbye to you, Mother and Father. And we will ask that you rest in peace.

I know you will think about us all down here and miss us.

We will always love you both so very much, and we will never, ever forget you.

You both are all of us.

And we are you…

Until the white wings of death scatter our days.

 

I will leave you all with this:

“Life is fleeting and fragile.

Enjoy yourself.”

 

Thank you.

 

That’s it. That’s the eulogy I wrote for my parents.

I read that at their burial.

I always felt like I failed them both my entire life. But I always loved them.

 

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly   Twitter: @phicklephilly

Duncan – Blind Ambition And The Sin of Avarice

I have known Duncan for a long time. Nearly 20 years. He is originally from Northeast Philly like myself. I met him back when I was in retail banking. I was selling mutual funds at a branch in South Philly. He was my underwriter. So I would procure the clients, and sell to them, and Duncan would put together the hypotheticals and make recommendations. So he was my back office support person assigned to me. He had followed a girlfriend to Charlotte, North Carolina a few years before. Our headquarters were there.

We became friends shortly after he saw that I had written, “The Green Manalishi with the Two Pronged Crown”, on the auto reply on my internal email. It’s a Judas Priest reference and he got it. We started talking and got to know each other and our mutual of all things heavy metal.

He had family in Pennsylvania and would come up and visit occasionally.

Over the years he would come and stay at my house and we would plan his visits around heavy metal concerts. We’ve seen AC/DC, Motorhead, Ronnie James Dio, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Cinderella, Iron Maiden, and many other bands on several occasions.

When I got divorced he dumped his girlfriend who had gotten heavier and lazy. I bounced around the banking industry for a few years, and dated a few women. Some crazy, some not so crazy. I don’t remember if he dated much after he split with his girlfriend. Here’s the thing, Duncan is a good-looking, fit guy, but he has absolutely no game whatsoever. He works out, but doesn’t eat all that well. The boy needs more fruit and vegetables.

He always had around five dogs. They were his buddies. He lived on a remote road and had a big yard for the dogs to run around in. Always the dogs. So while I’m working in and out of banking and consulting, Duncan is taking all of these courses to become a CFA. (Certified Financial Analyst) He meets a woman in one of the courses he takes at night and they get to know each other. I think she was married before or in the process of getting a divorce.

So they hook up because they are both sporty and good looking. They eventually get married.

One thing about Ducan that is his biggest flaw is that he has no coping mechanisms in place. He has to control everything, and everything has to be about him and meeting his needs. Kind of like my dad. So after two days with the guy you’re ready to escort him off the property. You have to do the activities he wants to do, and eat the food he likes to eat. That shit doesn’t work long-term with any relationship. But he only visited a couple of times a year so I didn’t mind. We had good times for years.

Duncan was driven to be what he wanted to become and put off family until he felt he had reached a certain level in his career. “When I pass this test, or when I get that license, we’ll try to have kids.” Well, he put it off for too long and the window was closing on his wife’s ability to reproduce. They tried for a while but nothing was happening.  She finally did get pregnant but at some point lost it. It was painful physically and emotionally for her. She didn’t want to go through it again, and that was it.

Duncan’s wife came from money and had no real concept of it. I remember him telling me she had over one hundred thousand dollars in revolving debt. She kept promising to pay it down, but I don’t think she ever did. He only found out about it when they were doing a refinance on the house and she couldn’t be on the loan because she was so upside down with her credit card debt. Duncan always kept all of their finances separate. She liked to blow money on frivolous things, and Duncan was always frugal.

With any hope of gestation off the table, she started going out on the weekends with her soccer buddies. Many of them were younger and she would stay out late and party at the bars and clubs. Duncan used to smoke a bunch of weed when he was cool, but was never really a drinker. He doesn’t go out anywhere. He’s not social at all. He doesn’t really have any friends. I think I was his best friend for many, many years.

He did cut me off for about two years once when I first returned to Philly from New York. I don’t remember why. Some trivial shit. But out of nowhere he started texting me again. When I asked him why he cut me off, he literally said he had no recollection of doing it. I remember exactly where I was when he cut me off. Saying, “we had a good run, but it’s over.” But I was just happy we were back. Even if he lived fifteen hundred miles away.

Duncan is telling me he’s getting fed up with his wife going out all of the time. But she probably was bored with him by then. I know if I were a woman I wouldn’t stick around. He’s got to be 48 years old by now and he still acts the same way he did back in his late twenties when I first met him. He hasn’t evolved as a man at all. Still the same guy. But he gave up weed years ago.

So after about a year of her going out he finally says he’s going to divorce her. They were married for eight years. He worked his ass off for the bank. They own him. Scooter is married to his ambition. He spends so much time working that he has amassed a small fortune. But of course his loser family all have their hands in his pockets. He had to go on their mortgage or they would lose their house and have to go bankrupt because of their reckless spending.

They split up. He’s on his own with his house full of dogs again. He tries to date some woman at his office and she’s not interested. He has to go to therapy for his divorce. Not because he’s sad that it ended but because he’s so angry that he failed. He started dating some older Asian woman at his tennis club. He says he’s never getting married again. But he bought her $5000 earrings last Christmas. He makes killer bank now. They have been together for a few years now. I refer to her as Yoko because I hardly ever hear from him anymore. They’ve come up to the area twice, but the first time I really didn’t feel like hanging out with them. Then around last 4th of July, they were supposed to stay in the city but ended up staying out by his parents and I never saw him.

One of the last conversations I had with him this year was him telling me that when he sells his house in the Spring 2017, he will be worth a million dollars. Maybe then he’ll finally be happy.

But I doubt it.

UPDATE: Duncan text me over the holidays that he was on the train with his girlfriend on their way to Warminster to see his family. He sent me a photo of a 1.75 bottle of Grey Goose being held by her in a liquor store. He said it was for me. No warning. No planning. Just has a bottle for me and am I available in the city tonight. I already had really important plans with a lady, and I wasn’t going to be around. I told him I’d be available Saturday night and Sunday. I got a text later from him saying he was on South Street, and where could he take his girlfriend for dinner. I told him Serpico or Ella. I never got a thank you or another word from him. He said later that maybe on Sunday he could see me because he was visiting his cousins. At this point, I wished he just left the bottle on my front steps and left. Because it’s all about “Mr. I have no coping skills.” So I think I’m done. (Still love him though) Too much has gone by and he’s so locked into his old Asian granny of a girlfriend that I won’t hear from him for a long time. I liked him better when he was a pot smoking clerk. At least he was fun back then.

Bitter?

Yeah. Table for one.

(But… Stay tuned. There is more to come in the future and will be glorious.)

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 9am EST.

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly

Welcome to Phicklephilly

This blog is about my life here in Philadelphia, people I meet, and the experiences I’ve had with them. Mostly women. I’m a gentleman, but I’ve been told I’m very fickle. My goal is to bring you the best dating and relationship content I can.

I appreciate you reading, commenting on, and most of all following my blog. 

I publish every day at 8am and 12pm EST.

Please check out my Collections tab. There you’ll find a list of all of the great collections of stories that are so fun to read.

Here is a list to get you started!

*** Go to the SEARCH widget on the Homepage and simply enter the name of the series you’re interested in, and off you go!

Here’s the list:

Celebrity Sightings

Crazy Dating Stories

Dating and Relationship Advice

Miscellaneous Stories 

Sun Stories

Tales of Rock

Tinder Moments

Wildwood Daze

 

More to come!

 

I also have several series about all of the people I’ve met here in my 10 years in Philadelphia.

*** Go to the SEARCH widget on the Homepage and simply enter the name of the person and you can read their series!

Annabelle

Carol

Cherie

Clarice

Dina

Eliana

Johnny R.

June

Kylie

Maria

Marisa

Mary

Michelle

Rebecca

Sarika

Trish

Valerie

 

If you’d like, you can just cut and paste the names into the SEARCH widget on the home page and go from there.

If anyone out there knows an easier or a better way to do this please let me know!

Thank you for your continued support!

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly         Facebook: phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly