Cherie – Chapter 62 – State Of Love And Trust

“I’m home. I feel bad. I’m a dick. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, you’re such a sweet man and I treated you like a dick. ”

“Yay. You’re home safe. Wait what? How did you treat me like a dick?”

“I’ve been really cold towards you.”

“I understand, but why honey?”

“IDK I’m depressed I guess I’m just not feeling anything anymore.”

“For me?”

“I love you. IDK I guess our time apart changed me and I just feel lost in general with life and love.”

“Are you breaking up with me?”

“No”

I feel bad because I’m cold to you and I don’t want to be.”

“What can I do to thaw your heart to me?”

“IDK and that’s the problem”

“But last time you were here you were the same until we had sex and then you were back to your old self.”

“I know but it’s just weird to feel like that today it was worse and I was just not myself with you at all.”

“Maybe you’re just tired of me.”

“I don’t think that. I think we fell off because we were apart for like forever.”

“But we’re seeing each other more now. We’re doing that. Making an effort. My words today told you how much I admire and love you and how precious you are to me. You’re the best girlfriend I’ve ever had.

“You’re the best man and boyfriend ever. We are making efforts now. I don’t know.

“If I’m the best, then why are you treating me like this dear?”

“I don’t mean to. I feel like a horrible person.”

“Please don’t. I love you so much. You’re a wonderful woman. I’m sad.

“I don’t want you to be sad. I feel like I made you sad. You make me to be such a wonderful girlfriend but not when I’m cold to you.”

“I’m patient and understand if you’re not always your cheery self. You have a lot on your plate and have many challenges in your life. I’m just happy to see you and spend time with you. Warm or cold is fine because I love you Cherie.

“Yea, but those aren’t excuses and you are always happy to see me and I need to reciprocate the feelings, I love you.

“If you’re not feeling the same for me Cherie. I will have to understand.  I’m sad. I don’t want to lose you but if you’ve lost your feelings for me I have to understand.”

“Please stop saying that. I don’t want you to be sad. I was happy and okay last time we were together.”

“Will you see me again in two weeks so we can be together? I don’t want to lose my girlfriend that I adore.”

“Yes. I love you too and I don’t want to be without you.”

“Yes. Thank you. I need you in my life Cherie. I love you honey. I’m upset. I don’t want to lose you.”

“I don’t want you to be upset. I love you.”

“Please don’t leave me.”

“I won’t. I’m not.”

“I love you so much Cherie. I’ll do anything to get through this. I need you in my life.”

“I love you and I’m glad you’re in my life.”

“Okay, so can we work on this? I’m just afraid you don’t feel the same passion you once had for me. But I love you like I did the first time we were together.”

“Yes. We can work on this. I love you and I want us to be together always.”

That really struck me.

“Me too!” I’ll do anything to keep you happy, honey. I love you so much.”

“I know, I love you if you weren’t such a perv I’d say I’d do anything too!”

My baby’s back.

“Aww! I love you more and I’m not a perv to you honey. I adore you.”

“I know, but your mind wanders.”

I love that.

“Baby, I need you. I need you in my life darling.”

“I need you too. You keep me sane.”

That’s a solid post.

“I complimented you so much today because you’re so beautiful and smart and wonderful. I love you and treasure you so much in my life.”

“You’re amazing, smart, patient and a gentleman and so much more. I value your love and your meaning in my life.”

“Thank you dear. I feel better. I’ll do my very best to please you. I don;t want you to be sad and numb.

“I’m glad you do. You’ve done no wrong. It’s me.

“Okay. I love you. I really do. I’m so excited and happy we’re together. I love taking you on dates and being with you honey.

“I love you and I never doubt you love me.”

“I’m sitting here worried about us and loving you so much. I don’t want to lose you.”

“I love you. I’m not going anywhere. We will make it work.”

We’ve hit a bump in the road but I believe everything’s fine. I ended up calling her on the phone and we talked about everything. I believe we will be fine. I love Cherie so much. She’s the sweetest woman I have ever met. She’s so much younger that me. I like that, but she has experience in life. Being a mother and a student.

I know she’s going through her growing pains in this relationship but I think she sees the value in us being together. There’s distance, but I know she understands the joy we feel when we’re together.

New for both of us.

Strong and sustaining.

Can’t wait to see her again.

 

 

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Rebecca – Chapter 5 – Cypress and the Oak – 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!

Fall of 2016

“So we decide we want to go someplace else. We leave the bar and start walking. Simon pulls out a couple of joints and we’re all smoking. Just smoking weed walking down the street. We didn’t care. We’re all giggling and Derrick has his arm around me. We end up at some really dark bar. I don’t even remember where it was. We’re drinking and we’re all pretty messed up. The place is full of people. We’re in the back. Derrick is like, Do you ever go skiing? and I’m like, yea, I have been but I’m not that great at it, but I have good balance. Then he pulls out this little bag with white powder in it. I assume it’s cocaine. I go, Oh… skiing. I had never done coke before, but I know Amber has and she says it’s great. So they look around all paranoid and shit, and literally start spooning it out. Derrick does a hit and then offers me a bump. I just do it. I don’t know why. Amber’s like, “gimme some!” Then she and Simon do some. I couldn’t believe it. Doing coke in a bar? It felt cold in my nose, and I could feel this clear euphoria. It almost felt sobering to do it. But different. Higher. Intense. I can see why people love it so much. You were in a band in California. You must have done it right?”

“I saw what drugs did to my peers. I was more of a beer and whiskey guy. I smoked weed occasionally but never really liked it. A little drugs an alcohol can loosen the mind to create, but I knew people who did loads of drugs and it literally sledgehammered their talent and destroyed them. So no. I steered clear of coke.” (White lie) Get it?

“Oh well, that’s good. But anyway, I know I’ve been blabbing on about this. Long story short, these guys come back to our place and we end up fooling around with them. It was crazy. I guess we were all just caught up in the moment. I think we stayed up most of the night. Well, Derrick and I ended up being boyfriend and girlfriend after that. It felt like he really loved me. I loved him.”

She takes a sip and a deep breath, looking off into the distance, as if trying to visualize a faded past. An image that vanished in her rear view mirror long ago.

“What happened?” I say, concerned.

“We went out for about a year. It was intense. We moved in with each other. Amber had gone off to school anyway so it was perfect timing. Things were great at first. But they always are in the beginning. We always did things together and went places together and partied together like a really great couple. I know he was focused on his music and really wanting to make it. But there were a lot of times when he wasn’t around. Times I wouldn’t hear from him and couldn’t get in touch with him. A girl starts to wonder what’s going on. I even started spying on him. Going to places they were playing. He wouldn’t see me, but I wanted to know what he was up to. I wanted to trust him, but you know when you get that weird feeling in your gut that something’s wrong. Well, his behavior had become more and more erratic. I know he was doing drugs but I just wasn’t into it like he was. We just weren’t connecting like we did in the beginning. Like maybe he was just tired of me.”

“Sometimes he would even get really mad about things that didn’t make any sense. Well, one night I followed him after he left me to do a show, and I saw him making out with this redhead at a bar. He wasn’t even playing with his band that night. She was like all emo or whatever with tattoos and shit. I was devastated. I just jumped on the train and went home. I’m sorry I’m telling you all of this.”

I could see that her eyes were wet with the beginnings of tears. “It’s okay. You can tell me. I’m here.” I took her dainty hands in mine. She sniffed and nodded, holding back the tears.

“That night he had the gall to come home and try to do it with me. I pushed him away. He got all mad at me and I told him what I saw. He denied it at first, but I told him I followed him and saw him. He got really mad and started throwing stuff around. He broke this little snow globe he gave me in the beginning. At that moment I didn’t even care about the globe. He had already broken something far more precious than that stupid thing.”

Okay, now I was getting upset. “My God, Rebecca. I’m so sorry.”

Tears rolled down her cheeks. She took a healthy sip of her drink. I wiped the tears from her face with my thumb. She hugged me. “It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s not your fault, Rebecca. You didn’t do anything wrong.”

She sniffed and I offered her a cocktail napkin. (Note to self: Start carrying a clean handkerchief in your lapel pocket.) She wiped her face, and her nose. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m a mess.”

My bartender showed up at the table. “Is everything okay?” he asked. “Yes…yes. She’s just suffering a loss.”

“I’ll bring you another round, yes?” I glance at her. “She smiles and blinking her eyes, nods in affirmation.

He quickly returned. “These are on me guys.”

My man at Tippling is always on point.

“Okay, so that was over a year ago, right?”

“Yes. He took his stuff and left me. I was crushed. Destroyed. I cried for months. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I drank so I could get some sleep. When I would wake up in the morning, I’d just go to the bathroom and dry heave over the sink.”

I could see she was struggling. “So did something happen recently?”

Heavy sigh. “Yes. He reached out to me on social media. I had blocked him from Facebook and in my phone, but I was on Instagram and he got to me that way. I had a panic attack when I saw his name.”

“Let me guess. This happened sometime after you and I went to the art museum.”

“Yea. I know it’s so stupid. He said how he missed me and how he was wrong and had grown so much. And like the idiot I am, I unblocked him in my phone. We met up and as crazy as it seems I was actually happy to see him. He looked a little older and a little more haggard, but it was still my Derrick. We were at a bar up in Northern Liberties. Things felt different. Time had passed. Too much time. I had grown and healed. But old habits die-hard. I just wanted to take a look at him. He said he was really sorry for what he had done. He said it hadn’t worked out with the redheaded slut. She actually ended up cheating on him with some drummer in a band that opened for them. I was actually kind of glad to hear that. But I’m sure he didn’t feel the loss that I had experienced. I had scar tissue on my heart from what he did to me. But I couldn’t let him tear open the sutures and open my old wounds. I work in a hospital emergency room. That shit hurts!”

Rebecca actually laughed at that moment. It had been the first time the whole night. That sound was like magic to my ears. I smiled a knowing smile. Because she didn’t know that I have been down that road twice in my life, and it’s a nightmare.

Love is a many splintered thing.

“So yea, that was a two months ago. I told him that I’m glad he was doing well, but I had moved on after a year and that I was in a relationship with a really nice guy in financial services.” She laughed again. “I could see he was disappointed, but I couldn’t let myself go through that shit again. It was a small chapter in my life and I had to draw the curtains on that dead body. He had me, and he squandered it. I think in that moment he realized that it was really over for good. It was hard to do, but I told him I had to get home to Cole, my investment banker boyfriend. He hugged me, and I knew I would never smell him again. It was like pulling the plug on a fatally injured patient.”

“So that was it?” I took a sip of my rye infused medicine.

“Yea. I went home and put on and episode of Stranger Things and ate an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s and had a good cry. So… that’s why I disappeared for a while. I just needed to think about some things and move forward with my life. So, I’m glad you met up with me tonight. I’m sure you never expected our second date to be this confessional. I really appreciate you listening to all of that, but it felt really good to get it out. I was like a little tree blowing back and forth in the wind, but now I feel more calm. Like the storm is finally over and I’m safe.”

“Well, I’m glad you trusted me enough after one date to see me again and confide in me, Rebecca. Like my profile says, I’m a good listener.”

“Yea…Thank you.” Taking my hand again in hers. “You’re like a strong tree. Good roots  with unwavering branches.”

“Yea, and my bark is worse than my bite!”

She cracked up.

Rebecca was back.

“You’re awesome.” she said as she again hugged me tightly. Oh, that lovely slender neck and her fragrance was sobering and intoxicating in the same breath.

We had our intimate moment, and then paused.

“Are you hungry?”

“I’m starving!” she laughed.

“There’s a great bar called Mix that’s one block from here that has delicious 12 inch brick oven pizzas.”

“That sounds like the greatest idea I have heard all year! Do you think I’m overdressed for pizza?”

“I’m sure you’ll pass they’re rigid dress code, Rebecca.”

And with that she pulled from her hair the thing that was holding it in place, and those rich ribbons of dark chocolate tumbled over her lovely shoulders.

It’s hard to believe that this story could get any better at this point, but it does. The bill came and my guy placed it on the table. I reached for it to access the catastrophic damage to my bank account that 6 drinks at 1 Tippling Place would cost me… plus tip.

But Rebecca was faster, and she grabbed it first. “Uh, uh. This is on me.”

I was in shock. My face, a mask of disbelief and mute protest. “Are you sure?” She looked at the bill. “Yep.” She whipped out her credit card and stuck it in the flap, as she nodded to the bartender.

I instinctively reached for my wallet. “Can I at least help with the tip?”

“Put that way.” She said firmly, giving me a wry smile.

“Will you at least let me buy a lady some pizza?”

She ran her fingers through her hair, fluffing her dark locks. “I’ll think about it.”

The bill returned. She signed it and handed it back. “Come along, Sir. I’m hungry.”

I liked that she called me Sir. I also like that she took my hand, and led me out of there. When we were outside she locked arms with me.

I was in heaven. We’re on our way to eat delicious pizza.

 

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Cherie – Chapter 61 – Movie Date

Cherie’s been going through a lot as always. School. Graduating in June with a BS in Psychology that she has worked so hard for. Raising her son and working at CHOP.

A bunch of shit I could never deal with. But the last time she was chilly to me was the last time she cam down here. She was never like that. She was closed the whole day until we went back to the house and had sex.

Once that happened she was having explosive orgasms and loving me like she always did.

Noted.

I know what I need to do to break her wall of defense.

It was pretty clear clear cut. She was shitty to me until I fucked her and got all of the negative energy out of her and she came back to me.

My Cherie was back after we had sex and I was walking her to her car.

I have to deal with this. Life could be worse. What middle aged man wouldn’t want a hot, smart, beautiful, fit girl that drives 40 miles to come to your house and makes love to you and wants nothing from you.

It’s uncanny. But it’s worked beautifully for 2 years.  Cherie is busy with medical school and work and I’m building businesses in Rittenhouse. We both work so much it’s nearly impossible to see each other.

But we’ve decided to try to be better. She knows the Saturdays I’m off and we are making it work.

I broke the shell two weeks ago, but she’s coming down today and what will it look like?

I know what works, but Cherie tells me she’s on her period so there will be no swimming in the waters during shark week.

I’m fine with that. My relationship with Cherie isn’t driven by sex. You would think that based on all of the mad sex we have, but no.

If baby says it’s off limits I’m fine with it.

Do you know why?

The sex with Cherie is some mind bending explosive mayhem of joy, but if I can’t have her, I’m super happy to date her.

Our time is limited and the sex is amazing but if she says it’s off limits but wants to come to the city I LOVE taking her on dates. Pizza, the movies! Anything she wants. Because she never wants anything from me. She’s just happy to be with me.

So if I can’t be with her I’m actually happy to take my girlfriend that I love on a proper date and spend some money on her.

Because she wants nothing from me!

I survive a horrible LYFT ride from some crazy woman that actually seems certifiable but make it to the theater on time. I text Cherie and tell her I’ve arrived.

I love Cherie and am happy she’s making the trek to come to the city. She’s stuck in traffic so our chances of seeing the film we were supposed to see is blown.

I don’t even care because it’s my first day off in a month and I’m just happy to see my baby. We can see whatever she wants.

She parks and rolls in late. Again, I don’t even care because I’m just happy to see my girlfriend. The woman that I really love.

We decide on the remake of Deathwish by Eli Roth and it’s awesome.

Cherie complains of tummy troubles but I plow buttery popcorn and diet coke into my gullet.

She seems different.

I’m doing everything I can to pump her up and tell her how much I adore her and how great she is, but it just seems misspent.

At this point I don’t even see it because I’m so happy to be taking my love on a date. I love dates!

Death Wish is a hard film. Bruce Willis. Eli Roth directs. That’s going to be some hard shit. The original in the 70’s is actually worse and one of the gang members was actually Jeff Goldblum! Check it out.

I’ve seen a lot of mad films in my life, but like my father before me, I’ve softened. I can’t take films like that anymore. I’ve been a husband and a dad. I don’t want to see that. It was upsetting, but once retribution happens, I’m, loving it hard.

But I notice Cherie isn’t being her loving, passionate self.

I’m fine. I don’t know what her current deal is so I even compensate with how great she is and how much I love her.

After the movie we kiss in her Saab and I cup her supple breast as our tongues swirl. But it all feels forced. By me. That’s never how I roll. All my love and sex is always a mutual celebration.

What’s up with Cherie?

We drive around a bit and then she ends up dropping me off and going home. I know she’s on her moons but what’s up with my girl?

Things seem amiss.

She texts me that she made it home safe.

But then there’s something else she says.

To be continued…

 

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Rebecca – Chapter 4 – Cypress and the Oak – Part 1

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

It’d been a while since I’d heard from Rebecca. She certainly made an amazing impression upon me on our first date. It didn’t make sense that she “ghosted” me after our very first meeting. It felt like it had been a couple of months, and all I heard was the deafening sound of crickets. But I had prepared myself for this.

I did text her twice in that time to meet up for a drink and just never heard back. This has happened before. I know this other little hottie that’s always saying she wants to meet me for drink, but can never pull it together.

But then out of the blue Rebecca texted me. “Sooo sorry for being off the grid. Can we meet up for a drink soon?” I told her I could do Monday or Wednesday. She picked Monday. I liked that because it was sooner. I asked her if she had any preference. She said for me to pick the place. I wanted somewhere that was nice, but not some place where we’d stick out like a sore thumb. I had a few days to figure it out. I have to come up with a place where they knew me, but I’d have some privacy. I decide to meet her at 1 Tippling Place at 6:30 the next Monday.

“Great! I always wanted to check that place out!” was her reply.

1 Tippling Place is a really cool, living room style cocktail bar. It’s located at 20th and Chestnut streets. The outside is really nondescript. Just a glass and steel door, next to a large window. If you blinked or sneezed while walking by you’d miss it. But inside there is all kinds of neat comfy furniture and coffee tables. The artwork is eclectic and the room as a whole is nicely appointed with interesting artifacts. The cocktails are first-rate. They really don’t serve any food. I mean, they have some little hors d’oeuvre, but that’s about it. You go there for the quality drinks and the atmosphere. I also enjoy the snarky attitude of the head bartender. When you first meet him you think he might be gay. Then in walks his smoking hot girlfriend.

It’s one of my favorite bars in the city because it’s an original that has real character.

I arrive early. I always like to get to a place early to scope out the scene and get the lay of the land. I chat with the owner. She’s awesome. Normally she’s in and out during the day, and then leaves around 7pm. We’re pretty tight. I’ve even walked her home on occasion.

I normally don’t order off the cocktail menu. I just tell the bartender that I want something dark and spirit forward. They make it and I drink it. It’s always good. I will say that the place is a little expensive. Most of the drinks cost between $12 and $14.

I look at my watch. 6:20. Hope she isn’t late.

I hope she shows up.

 

Five minutes later the door opens.

It was like one of those moments in those 80’s teen comedies, when everything moves in slow motion and they play some cool song. Rebecca enters the bar. I take a deep breath. Her dark hair is up, which always looks so sexy on the right woman. Her ripe lips an exquisite pout. She’s wearing a burgundy cocktail dress. It comes to mid-thigh. She’s wearing black sheer stockings and elegant black high heels. She looks amazing. I’m blinking my eyes trying to focus on this vision.

I immediately stand to greet her. She hugs me, and I’m more intoxicated by her beauty and lovely fragrance than any cocktail that could be crafted at this bar. “Rebecca,” is all I could say. “Shall we get a table?” she replies. I nod, and guide her to a quiet table in the corner so we can chat.

“You look lovely. I feel under dressed.”

“Well I haven’t seen you in a while and I like to dress up.”

We order a round of drinks. I have my usual dark power, and she goes with something equally strong. Interesting. That’s either a good thing or a bad thing. Maybe she likes a heady drink or maybe she needs a bit of courage. We chat about what we’ve been up to and she’s telling me about work, and some of the challenges she obviously faces in the medical industry. Then she says, “I suppose you’re wondering why you haven’t heard back from me in a while, and I’m sorry about that.” I tell her it’s okay and I’m just happy that she’s here tonight.

“Remember how I told you that I went out with that man who was older than me and I didn’t feel any chemistry after four dates?”

“Didn’t that guy get married? He didn’t try to…?”

“No…no. Nothing like that. I just wanted to preface what I was about to tell you, that it doesn’t feel that way with you.”

Now I’m getting a little worried and a little confused. “Do you mean you do feel chemistry with me or you don’t?” I feel a slight searing heat in my heart. This could go be a short date. She smiles and takes my hand. “I do like you. It feels different just being around you. You’re not like anybody else I know.”

I visually sigh in relief and she reads my expression. I need to be cool. “Don’t worry, I’ve thought a lot about where my life is and it sometimes can be confusing.” I reassure her that whatever she’s concerned about I understand, and will listen.

Women don’t want men to solve their problems. Men are all about solutions. They like to fix things. Women are more about their feelings. That’s why men define themselves on what they do, and women define themselves on who they know. The way to a woman’s heart is really quite simple. Don’t tell her what she should do, or how she should do it.

Just listen.

I’m just happy at that moment that I’m the one who’s present to listen to whatever it is she needs to get off her chest.

I just hope she can’t hear my heart beating.

Rebecca takes a sip from her drink, not breaking her gaze with me. Looking into me with those brilliant emeralds. “Two years ago I met this guy on Tinder named Derrick. He was around my age. As you know, guys my age basically suck for the most part. They don’t know what they want or who they are yet. But he ‘Super Liked’ me on Tinder. And… I did the same on his profile so I thought it was kismet. I know now I only did that because he was really cute and not much else. Isn’t that why most people swipe right for the most part anyway?”

“I suppose. But I’d like to think that some of us are more thoughtful when it comes to matters of the heart.” I reply. (Bold faced lie.) She seemed smart in her profile, but I know I swiped right because she was smoking hot.

“I know, right?” she exclaims. “Thank you! But I guess I was dumb and just being superficial. So we exchanged numbers. It all happened so fast. We met up, and it was fun. He seemed kind of full of himself and his band. But he was good really good-looking. He invited me to come out and see his band play and we’d hang out after their set. So I get dressed up and go to the bar where their playing. Derrick was the lead singer. I was kind of hoping he’d take me on a proper date, but I thought that would happen after we got to know each other. I suppose it’s not a bad way to meet someone for the first time. You’re in a bar surrounded with people so it’s not like you’re meeting a stranger in some isolated place. I also prepared myself for the fact that he was the singer in the band and usually they are surrounded by willing girls. I mean, you told me you used to play guitar in a band in L.A. Weren’t you always around a bunch of girls?”

“Sure. There were a lot of girls and guys at our shows. We played hard rock, so our audience skewed more male than female. But I had a steady girlfriend at the time. I was committed to my relationship with her.” (Another Bold faced lie)

“Well you’re one of the rare ones.” (I wonder if she can see the devil horns sticking out of my head?) “Anyway, so I’m at their show. I didn’t want to go to a bar alone, so I took my roommate Amber with me. We had an agreement that if things went well with Derrick she’d either hook up with someone there or UBER it home. I mean it wasn’t a real date so I don’t think there was anything wrong with bringing my friend with me as backup.”

“What kind of music did they play?” I ask, hoping to get insight about the boy through his musical tastes.

“It wasn’t emo, but it sort of sounded like that. I guess it was more post hardcore.”

This guy already sounds like a douche, I thought. She takes another sip and this time her eyes are down. I can see this is hard for her. “Okay. Please go on. I’m listening.”

“So they end their set and we’re hanging out. Me, my friend Amber, Derrick, and his lead guitarist, Simon. We’re drinking and laughing and having a good time. We’re at this table all the way off to the back. I’m sitting next to Derrick and Amber is across from me with Simon in a booth. Amber likes to party. Simon is ordering shots and beers and we’re all getting pretty buzzed. I feel like I’m really liking Derrick. He’s going about how important the music is and all of that stuff, but I don’t care, I just think he’s hot. Next thing I know Amber is all over Simon. I look at Derrick and he’s on me. We’re just making out like crazy. Normally I’m not like that but I think it was the drinking that made it easy. Plus I wanted him cause he was so good-looking. It was fun.”

At this point I’m wondering where all of this is going. We order another round.

 

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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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Are Dating Apps Just For Hookups? Here’s What You Need To Know

One of arguably the best and most controversial 21st century developments seems to be dating apps. For better or worse, you can skip any quaint courting ritual and go straight to getting it poppin’ and sneaking out the morning after. But the question remains: Are dating apps just for hookups? If you’re no longer interested in hookups or never were, it’s easy to get jaded with modern dating. Whether it’s your friends, pop culture, or your own lackluster experiences, it might seem that dating apps are just for one-night stands, FWB situations, and flings at best. You’re left wondering, “OK, is there a version of my swiping, matching, and messaging on dating apps that can get help me get back to actual dating?”

Ultimately, it comes down to a mix of your intentions, those of your potential matches, and which app you’re on. Looking at the big three (Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble), you’ll find that yes, you can find a committed romantic relationship on dating apps. A 2017 study found that about half of U.S. couples met online. On average, 39% of straight couples met via the internet and 60% of queer ones did. So, never mind any preconceived notion of what dating apps have to offer. And as it turns out, there’s a lot going on behind-the-scenes that puts the odds in your favor — beyond curing horny Friday night boredom.

Mauro Grigollo / Stocksy

For starters, there’s Bumble, which is founded explicitly on respect. That’s evident in women holding the power to make the first move on the app, subverting gendered power imbalances. It’s also evident in new features like d*ck pic detection, aka “Private Detector,” which goes live in June 2019. More than the app’s reputation and features, a 2018 survey found that 85 percent of Bumble users are “looking for marriage or a boyfriend/girlfriend.” Less than four percent of people were looking for a hookup.

So if you’re looking for someone to date on Bumble, it’s truly just a matter of specifying what kind of dating you’re interested in. “Not everyone is looking for the same thing when it comes to dating, so we encourage our users to make it clear what they are looking for on their profiles — to help set expectations on both sides,” says Alex Williamson, Bumble’s chief brand officer.

One tangible way to do that is by customizing your Bumble profiles badges. Do you want casual dating, a long-term relationship, or marriage and kids? Whatever you’re looking for, don’t be shy about it. You can even filter what other folks are looking for, too, Williamson says. She also explains that she and Bumble staff hear from app users all the time about how they’ve found love. Williamson has already officiated a Bumble couple’s wedding and will be officiating more later this year. She adds, “I was just getting coffee somewhere in Austin wearing my Bumble hoodie and our waitress pulled out her phone to show me a picture of her Bumble baby!”

Alexey Kuzma / Stocksy

Hinge, too, makes a compelling case for romance over hookups via dating apps. Its tagline is “Designed to be Deleted.” Basically, that means Hinge was designed with IRL dates and (fingers crossed!) a budding romantic relationship in mind. From the jump, Hinge encourages users to put their most authentic self forward. It invites you to add tidbits like lifestyle habits to your Hinge profile or fill out its monthly, thought-provoking prompts. Then, the app’s “Most Compatible” feature takes care of the rest. The algorithm takes into account likes you and the community have sent within the past 24 hours, and then analyzes in-app behavior. By limiting likes, too, Hinge ensures that users’ likes are meaningful. The app also prompts people to reply when its their turn in the convo, cutting down on accidental ghosting in the process.

The “designed to be deleted” slogan doesn’t just apply to Hinge’s “getting to know you” set-up. The app’s interface was literally designed to help you focus on your match and get on a real date with them. The ample white space, cute drawings, and gentle splashes of royal purple, lilac, and yellow are intentional.Hinge’s Director of Design Lucy Mort said, “The colors and illustrations invoke a sense of optimism in a process that can often feel draining. We want the warmth and spiritedness of the new design to motivate our members to get off the app and out on a date.”

The changes appear to work. “The new illustrations, rounded corners, and more whimsical palette do make the design less serious or sterile,” UX designer and cognitive researcher Maxim Leyzerovich told Elite Daily. “By designing experiences that are aesthetically calming — but also visually balanced and laid out — the inherent anxiety of using the app can be decreased.

Studio Firma / Stocksy

And then there’s Tinder, the one with a reigning reputation as a hookup app — a playground of nothing long-term, nothing serious. It seems the data reflects that, too. Tinder’s 2018 survey of more than 1,000 singles from 18 to 25 years old found that 72% of millennials have “made a conscious decision to be single for a period of time.” Of that group, 62% made this decision to focus on their own needs and 47% did so to focus on school.

So, yes, millennial Tinder users may be staying single for responsible reasons, like nurturing their ambitions and working on themselves. And the fact that 40% of respondents said they wouldn’t “settle for the wrong person for the sake of being in a relationship” could be encouraging. You can even be explicit about what you’re looking for in your Tinder bio. But the bottom line is: The vast majority of Tinder users aren’t looking to be boo’d up anytime soon. Bumble and Hinge are going to be your best bet if you’re looking for a serious relationship.

So, if you’re out there on dating apps, there is a chance you might run into one or two or five matches you really like (who just want to hook up). But there’s an attitude shift, on behalf of dating apps and app users, that’s looking super promising for finding love online. With the right app and intentions, know that a potential spark is only one swipe away.

 

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

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If You’re On Dating Apps But Not Into Casual Hookups, Here’s What To Write On Your Profile

Fortunately, dating apps have made connecting with like-minded singles easier than ever before. However, if you’re not looking for a casual encounter, making your intentions known might seem like the best way to get the most out of your matches. That’s why anyone who’s on dating apps but not into casual hookups has probably considered how to communicate this without it coming off as too “intense.”

Although it’s definitely a good idea to be honest, online dating coach and dating profile writer Eric Resnick recommends avoiding the use of language that could dissuade people from contacting you. “Writing that you aren’t looking for a hookup is defensive language,” Resnick tells Elite Daily. “It makes you sound like you aren’t going to trust the intentions of anyone who contacts you, regardless of what they may actually be.”

Finding matches who are on the same page isn’t always easy, and ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which approach you’re most comfortable with. “Being honest may scare away a potential match and you have to decide if that is a risk you are willing to take,” prominent couples’ therapist Dr. Gary Brown tells Elite Daily. Thankfully, both Dr. Brown and Resnick agree that keeping your profile focused on what you are looking for instead of what you aren’t is a good place to start.

“If you aren’t looking for a hookup, don’t talk about hookups,” says Resnick. “Talk about the type of person you want to meet and the type of relationship you want to find. Don’t say you are looking for someone to rush you down the aisle or to have a baby with, but be honest about the type of relationship you’re looking for.” Even though it may seem like adding a disclaimer against casual encounters will help sort through incompatible candidates, according to Resnick, casual sex seekers will probably still reach out. There’s not much you can do to avoid that. “The people who just want a hookup are going to message you anyways,” explains Resnick. “For them, it’s a numbers game.”

To anyone looking for something more meaningful than a fling, Dr. Brown recommends casting a wide net and not limiting yourself to dating apps that have an overtly casual implication. If it still seems like you’ve been getting attention from people who are almost always looking for casual sex, Resnick says it’s also important to consider your profile photos.

Resnick suggests avoiding photos that are overtly sexual in nature. “On dating apps, people are going to look at your pics more than anything and those pics tell a story,” he says. “Make sure they’re telling the story you want to tell.”

Figuring out the most effective way to present yourself on dating apps can be tricky. That said, the results you get are oftentimes dependent on crafting an image of yourself that’s in line with the type of relationship you’re looking for. That’s why staying true to yourself while also focusing on the kind of relationship you’re hoping to find is key.

 

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

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