Rebecca – Chapter 4 – Cypress and the Oak

Another tale of one man’s journey through the dating scene in Philadelphia, searching for true love.

It had been a while since I had 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. 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 is always saying she wants to meet me for drink, but can never pull it together.

But then out of the blue she 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 lead 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.

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 is wearing a burgundy cocktail dress. It comes to mid-thigh. She is 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 am 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 ” I say. “Well I haven’t seen you in a while and I like to dress up.” she responds.

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 am sorry about that.” I tell her it’s okay and I’m just happy that she is 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.” she says. 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 ask, feeling 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 is 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. Just listen. I’m just happy at that moment that I am the one who is 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.” (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 the 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.

“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 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 rearview 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.”

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

We had our intimate moment and then paused.

“Are you hungry?”

“I’m starving!” she laughed.

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

“That sounds like the greatest idea I have heard all day! Do you think I’m over dressed or 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 your wallet 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.

 

Tune in for The Return of Rebecca, Part 2 in Two Weeks!

 

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.

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My Family – Lorelei – 11/17/1996 to Present – The Apple of My Eye

When I began writing this story, I thought I would only cover certain topics. Mainly, my life in Philadelphia over the last ten years. The focus of Phicklephilly is romance and dating. But while on this journey, I realized my life is rich with so many other great characters, I should add them to the Phicklephilly universe.

So let me introduce you to my lovely daughter Lorelei. She turned 20 years old two months ago. Lor has always been a sweet, and easy-going child. Now a young woman. I am very proud of her, and its great watching her grow up and flourish. She’ll be occasionally popping up in my stories.

Her mom and I divorced when she was three and a half years old. She lived with her mom, and came to me every other weekend. This went on for many years. I’m not going to go into all of the details of my divorced life because that’s not what this forum is all about.That blog would be called, Nightmare in New Jersey.

One thing I never agreed with, was her mother putting her on ADD medicine when she was a little girl. But happily when Lor  was thirteen she came told me that she wasn’t going to take that shit anymore, because it wouldn’t allow her to perform in a dramatic way on stage. How fucked up is that?

Let’s have big pharma brainwash a bunch of stupid parents, and turn their creative and rambunctious children into dull robots, and life long drug addled customers. Just so we can make even more money for the stockholders. Pure evil.

There once was a kid whose teachers described him as unreachable. A boy lost in his dreams. Yea… that dude was Albert Einstein. Let’s crush any future Einsteins or Leonardo Di Vinci’s with a bunch of drugs. Shame on you all. And damn you all for what you’ve done. I was very proud that my daughter had the foresight to see what that junk was doing to her body and mind. So she kicked that shit years ago.

Anyway, Lorelei had become tired of the grinding frustration of living with her mother in New Jersey. Her mother’s 2nd ex-husband after me, was usually the blame, but once they divorced and he went back to Arizona, she was out of excuses. My daughter was and A – B student who was a beloved member of her high school’s theatrical group. She was lead soprano in a musical in 2014, and co-star of the musical they performed her senior year in 2015. This was a good kid. You have to wonder why life with her mother was so hard. What do we ask of our children growing up? Do well in school, and behave yourself. Lorelei was doing that and more. But I was married to that harpy for 8 years, and I know what kind of fresh hell it can be for anyone to live with my Lorelei’s mother.

My daughter was having stomach disorders, and anxiety living with her mother. Being in that hell house with her mother had for years been an extremely difficult place to be. Sad thing was, I split after 8 years, her second husband amazingly lasted a full ten years before he left. But Lorelei couldn’t leave. She was a child. She was like a prisoner under the ragged claws of her mother. But once she reached the age of majority she wanted to escape. She turned 18, and by February of 2015, she asked if she could come live with me. “Daddy, I’ll sleep on the floor if I have to if it’ll get me away from her.” Of course she wouldn’t have to sleep on the floor, and I would never turn my child away. So I told her to come live with me in Philly.

There was an obvious shit storm that ensued. Her mother likes to control everything, but lacks any real control over her own life. But my daughter was 18 years old. She could do what she wanted. She could vote, buy a gun, and serve in the military if she wanted. So technically, there was nothing her mom could do about it. She fought it of course, but I think we even had my daughter’s high school on our side. They realized her mom is crazy and were fed up with her nonsense as well.

But all aside, I forgive her mother. It takes too much of ones time and energy to hold a grudge against someone. That is some bad energy that you have to maintain everyday. It’s just a waste of time. You only have to forgive once, and your mind is free.

Lorelei would get herself up at dawn everyday at my house in center city. She would walk in the winter weather to the PATCO station and take the train into Jersey everyday by herself. In the beginning she actually was having anxiety attacks at the end of each day, because she was expecting something bad to happen. She discussed this with me, and it seemed like a form of post traumatic stress disorder from living with her mother. I understand that. You never knew who, or what you were coming home to. I reassured Lor that nothing was going to happen. I was putting her on an allowance, and if she needed anything to let me know. I was always here for her, and she was now safe. All she would be coming home to would be her Dad sitting in his chair, sipping a glass of wine and watching Netflix. Nothing more. In a few weeks she settled in just fine. She’d get up and go to school in Jersey every morning 5 days a week. She did this until she graduated in June of 2015. She graduated with good grades on a Friday, and started working as a hostess in restaurant here in Philly the following Tuesday.

She has since gone from vegetarian to vegan. She eats a balanced diet, and is lean and fit. Her stomach disorders are gone, and she no longer takes any of the medicines her mother put her on. She works at her job and likes it. I let her live her life.

I love her very much, and would do anything for my baby. She’ll always be the apple of my eye. My one and only daughter. My immortality in this world.

I have always believed it’s not as hard as everyone thinks to be a parent. Just give your children love, good information, manners, consistency and discipline. I’m sure there is more to it than that, but that’s a decent foundation.

I always looked at parenting this way. I am the Archer. Lorelei is the Arrow.  I need to be firm when I hold the bow. But I also need to be flexible like the string. I must cast the Arrow straight and true into tomorrow, for that is a place I can never go.

Tomorrow belongs to our children. Try not to fuck it up.

 

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

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I publish new Dating content every Monday at 9am EST. I publish Updates and bios and stories about Non-Dating related characters, such as male and female friends, on TuesdaysWednesdays at 9am EST.

Sun Stories: Olivia – Flirt – Part II

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

From time to time over the summer, Olivia would come in and chat a little bit before her sessions and it was a small slice of paradise for me. Don’t get me wrong, there are dozens of women that come in the spa every day that are really good talent. But there is just something about a small percentage of them that just light me up. I think what it comes down to is, they are obviously attractive but there is something else. They have to be a little engaging. We have hundreds of active clients right now, and I would say under 20 really do it for us. Olivia would talk about her life a little and how she is dating some guy but it’s not working out. (Me, so happy when I hear that!)

One day a former colleague of mine was in town to meet me for lunch. After lunch he wanted to go to the spa. Yes, the same one where I work part-time. We get there and the waiting room is packed. The Temple girls are all going back to school, so they are all back for their treatments. He grabs the last seat and I’m just standing there surrounded by all of these women sitting around waiting. Who walks in but Olivia. She walks right up to me and hugs me. “Where have you been all of my life.” I swear she said that. We’re chatting and to me everyone in the room disappeared. I saw only her. The loveseat opened up when a few of the girls were being waited on, and Achilles from behind the counter says “Will you two sit down!” We laugh and she says “Yes Dad!” And I say, “Dad, you’re embarrassing me!” We takes a seat and she’s telling me about school, and work and stuff, and I’m loving it. This is the high point of the day. She tells me she is working this Friday, and says I should come up and visit her. She says she’s hostessing so she’ll be able to chat all night. I tell her I’ll see. She goes tanning, then off to work.

Of course I don’t go. After working at the spa until 8pm and then cleaning up, I’m ready to just go home and have a drink, and watch Netflix. I’m not getting on the train and going all the way up to Fishtown at 9pm. Not happening.

A week passes and it’s the next Friday, and who comes strolling in at 7:30. Olivia. She looks amazing as always. The great thing is, it’s dead on Friday nights and we can chat. The first thing she says is, “Somebody was supposed to come visit me last week and never did.” I apologized and explained why and she was fine with it. Her phone died and I told her I had a charger. She comes around the counter to plug-in and starts showing me all of these pictures of her family. Of course they are all Aryan greatness, and she tells me everyone has blue eyes. It’s a big family. I think like 5 kids! All good-looking. I’m looking at her beautiful face right next to me and her lashes are so long, and I simply adore her. I’m mesmerized by her beauty.

She glances past me at the other computer and asks what that is on the screen. I was working on phicklephilly on the other unit. I admit that I write this blog about people I meet in Philadelphia. She inquires deeper, and I admit that it’s about all of the women I have met in the last 10 years. She says she wants to read it and I should send her the link. I’m completely under her power at this point, but see a wonderful opportunity. I tell her I can’t do that because I don’t have any of her contact info. I give her my phone and she writes her name with some emojis next to it. A smiling sun, cherries, and a bomb. I don’t know what any of this means, but I don’t care because I am so happy. I now have her contact info. I tell her that if we meet up outside of here, I will have to write about it. I think she likes the idea of the attention. I tell her I change all of the names and use stock photos for the pics on each post. She says I should use her real picture, and I tell her I’ll think about it. She actually uses the words “Text me and we’ll go out on a date.” At that moment I was so excited, I wish I could have tied my belt around my head so that it didn’t explode like that dude in the movie, Scanners.

Ha ha ha! Yeah!!!!

Of course I say: “Are you sure? Like brunch or meet for a drink?” She says, yes. This is all very surreal, but I am overcome with euphoria. I tell her I’ll keep and eye on her phone and she goes back for her session. When she comes out she hugs me and says to reach out to her. I give her the phone, which she nearly forgot. Then off she goes into the night.

I’m super happy at this point. So as I’m closing up and settling the register, I put on some triumphant music.

The next night around 1:30am, my phone rings and it’s her. But I’m asleep! The next morning I see that she called, and there is a voicemail! I can’t imagine my luck. I wonder what she will say? I play the message and it is two and a half minutes of muffled static.

Later, I get this text: “OMGOSH I butt dialed you by accident!! I did it to like a bunch of people bc my phone was in my back pocket at work haha oops!”

I waited a few hours (because that’s the cool thing to do so it looks like you have a life)

Then I responded: “Blame your butt all you want. You know you wanted to call me! ha ha”

Crickets.

Sigh…

 

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

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I publish new Dating content every Monday at 9am EST. I publish Updates and bios and stories about Non-Dating related characters, such as male and female friends, on TuesdaysWednesdays at 9am EST.

Michelle – Chapter 6 – The Wishing Stone

I had been growing frustrated with what was going on between me, Michelle and Delaware Dave. Something had to give. She was with me Monday through Friday, every day. Weekends she was trying to put her relationship back on track with him. That, and of course the annoying, disruptive phone calls from him to her when we were out at night. No matter what we were doing, everything would just come to a screeching halt, and she’d have to take his call whenever the whim struck him. Just youthful nonsense and insecurity.

I consider myself a man of science. I’m sure life itself is a miracle and there are some metaphysical things out there, but most things can be explained by science and mathematics. But when you’re in love, you sometimes can do some crazy shit. Your brain is firing some mad chemicals through your body. I had been reaching a breaking point with her, but didn’t know what to do. So one day I was at my wit’s end and I decided to turn to some darker forces. I know this is going to sound nuts, but I really did this.

It was a Friday in the Spring of 2008. Early May. Weather was a warm and it was a sunny day. I was out making sales calls. I had made my way down to South Street. I came upon Harry’s Occult Shop. I went in and started looking around. I have a friend who is Wiccan and she believes a lot of this stuff. I also know a few younger women that are into all of the magic stones and crystals stuff. Like I said, I’m a student of science. I can’t imagine what all of this stuff does. A very nice lady came up to me and asked if she could help me. I literally told her my dilemma with Michelle. Some how I have been pulled into this store. She was very sweet and took what was happening to me very seriously. Apparently this is quite common, and they are good at this sort of thing.

The first thing we looked at were different crystals. I picked up this sort of translucent pinkish colored stone. The lady says: “Great. It chose you.” Very smooth. I started rubbing the stone with my thumb and index finger. “Okay, what’s next?” I say.  She gives me this nice smelling oil in a little orange bottle. She says to wear it like a cologne and also rub it on the stone in my pocket. I should rub the stone and say Michelle’s name. I should also rub the stone when I’m talking to Michelle or when I am near her.  That’s great. Reach in your pocket and rub a hard object when you’re talking to Michelle. That won’t look weird at all.

Then she gave me this plastic bottle of a special body wash. I’m supposed to use this every day until it’s gone. Thing is, the liquid inside appears to be black or grey. It didn’t really appear to look like something you should be washing your whole body with, but who am I to question these occult wizards?

I ask if there is anything else, or is that it, and she says she has one more thing for me. She reaches up on a high shelf and hands me a tall glass candle. She says this is some sort of love spell candle. the glass is red and the candle is white. On the glass that holds the candle there are two white hearts they are connected. She tells me that when I get home tonight, I have to write Michelle’s name and my name in the little hearts. Then I’m supposed to light the candle and burn it continuously for as long as possible. I ask if I can blow it out when I leave the house so I don’t create a fire hazard at my apartment, and she says that’s okay.

So I buy all of this stuff. It came to around $40 or so. She bags it up and I head back to the office. I dab a few drops of the oil onto the stone and on my neck and forearms. I reach the building and go up the elevator to our floor. I have to get my bag of goodies in quickly and stash it under my desk so I don’t become the laughing stock of my department. I see Michelle and chat briefly managing to get a few rubs of my stone in without being noticed.

When I got home that night, I set up my candle in the corner of the room. I took out a sharpie marker and wrote my name and hers on the hearts. Apparently this is supposed to bring our energy together, and drive a wedge of bad energy between Michelle and Dave.

Over the weekend, and all the way up to Monday morning I burned the candle and wore the oil and kept my little stone oiled up as well. Each morning I bathed using the black body wash. It wasn’t awful. It didn’t smell bad. It just looked dirty because all of this black stuff would be circling the drain. But it didn’t seem to discolor my skin at all.

I went into work on Monday and it was business as usual. I had burned the love spell candle all weekend long. I had my stone with me, and had freshly showered in the body wash from the river Styx. So I was ready. By the time 5 pm came, I decided to do something different. Instead of leaving with her, like I always did. (I was fed up waiting for her to figure out what she wanted.) I simply got up from my chair and walked down the hall to the elevators.

Michelle nearly ran up behind me. She hadn’t even change out of her heels into her flats. I was a bit surprised at her behavior. “Aren’t you even going to wait for me?” she exclaimed. I sort of acted like I hadn’t thought of it, but I had. So we left together and did our usual “walk her home every night” routine. We were chatting about some general things. We were at the corner in front of the GSK World Headquarters. Right where the Freedom sculpture is.

You can see it here: http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/sculpture-breaks-free

I love this sculpture, because I love the idea of breaking free of ones bounds whether it be physical or mental. That’s never easy to do, but this work really captures the spirit of changing your life and not being chained to your past. Of all places for the next thing to occur…

She turns to me and says: “Can I ask you a question?” I’m like; “Sure.” She asks me if I were in a relationship with someone, and they had dated or had a relationship with a black person in the past, would I have a problem of that? I told her that answer was an easy one. I had a black girlfriend when I lived in Los Angeles in the early 80’s, and also another black girlfriend when I lived in New York before I moved back to Philly. You can’t be anymore non-racist than that. I told her I love all women. I have all they’re albums. All shapes, sizes and colors. That’s what makes life beautiful. The differences in people. (As you will see in this blog my deeds speak the truth more than my words)  I asked her if Delaware Dave had a problem with her having been intimate with that black guy Tyrell in the past. She said he did. Maybe he called her a nigger lover or something. (Which I find abhorrent) But whatever had happened over the weekend it wasn’t good.

We discussed it further for a bit, but I knew. That had been the deal breaker. Maybe not a life long deal breaker. People can change. They can have different views about things. They mature and sometimes learn to forgive. They can even simply settle. But it looked like for now the whole reconciliation with Dave was off the table.

I called my friend Vicky who is the Wiccan and told her the crazy ritual I had performed, and what the outcome had been. Her response as a white witch was appropriate and hilarious. “Do not ever do that again! You don’t know what dark forces you’re fucking with! Why didn’t you consult me first!?”

Did it work? I’m not going to question any of it. If it got Michelle to be with me, it was the best $40 I had ever spent. So technically some thing worked. Maybe it was all simply in the timing. Like Shakespeare’s Hamlet says to Horatio: “There are more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

Oh, and that little magic pink stone that I rubbed for luck 9 years ago?

I was just looking at it this morning in the little wooden box on my desk.

 

 

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

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I publish new Dating content every Monday at 9am EST. I publish Updates and bios and stories about Non-Dating related characters, such as male and female friends, on TuesdaysWednesdays at 9am EST.

Sun Stories: Olivia – Flirt – Part I

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

I work part-time at a spa. The spa owner was an advertising client of mine for about nine months. I’d go to his place of business every week to drop off proofs and chat with him. He was always complaining about his staff, which was basically a bunch of irresponsible chuckleheads. Or as I call them teenagers and kids in their early twenties. I told him that I like to stay busy and his clientele was easy on the eyes. All attractive, fit women. I started working a couple of nights a week and then people left and some got let go, and I ended up working 5 to 8 every night and Sundays 11-4.  It’s easy work, the clients are nice and the cash flow is good.

We close every night at 8pm. Last session is 7:45. If anyone comes in after that we can’t help them because then we literally won’t get out of there until after 8:30. But in stumbles this really beautiful young blonde girl at the stroke of 8pm. She’s a little tipsy and apologizes profusely that she’s arriving late. Saying she was walking around Harbor Park earlier that evening. The weather is warm and Harbor Park is a great spot to hang in the summer. On a side note, named one of the best places to visit in Philadelphia by national press, Spruce Street Harbor Park presented by Univest/Valley Green Bank features colorful hammocks, floating gardens, beautiful lights, refreshing craft beer, and food from popular Philly restaurants, making it a summer gathering space for locals and visitors alike. It’s open May through September.

Anyway, obviously I give in because I can’t say no to a pretty face. There’s the rules and then there’s hot chicks. Let’s face it. If you’re beautiful, you get the hook up everywhere you go. It’s just the way life is. I tell her I have to mop and fold some towels, so it’s okay that she’s here now. She has big, bright flashing blue eyes and extraordinary naturally long eyelashes. Her hair is like ribbons of flax. She is slender and all of 22. Very sweet and charming and of German decent. I know she went to Temple but not what she studied or if she still goes there or has her degree. I do know that this lovely girl works as a bartender and sometimes hostess at a bar in Fishtown.

Olivia thanks me and goes back for her session. I am taken by her beauty. I settle the register, fold some towels and mop out the rooms. When she comes out she is in a low-cut black cocktail dress and heels. She looks stunning! I don’t know where this outfit came from but she must have had it in her bag. Probably heading out to the club with her girls. She thanks me again for letting her get a session in at the last minute. I’m so smitten with her, she could have pounded on the door at 8:15 and I would have let her in. In my heart I wish I were going with her to wherever that destination may be, but alas it is not to be.

I walk back to wipe up and mop the floor of that room. I pick up the towel from the little table and there curled up is a delicate little necklace with the letter “O” on it. I have a reason to contact her now! Or…did she leave it behind for me to retrieve it knowing I would have to call her and she would have to come back? No. I’m imaging things. She doesn’t give a crap about me. What am I thinking? Creating scenarios that don’t exist in my head. Desire does some strange things to the mind. It’s like I’m some sort of beauty addict. My father always said I liked beautiful things. Apparently beauty is nothing more than symmetry. But I believe it’s something more. Much more.

I pull up her account on the system up at the counter. I grab the house phone and dial her number. It rings and rings, and then goes to her voicemail. I take a deep breath as I hear her sweet voice. I leave a message that states who I am and the salon, and that I found her necklace in the room she was in. I tell her it will be in a baggie with her name on it, safely locked in the drawer behind the counter. I hang up. I want her to know that I care enough to call and I have her necklace and its super safe and she can get it anytime. I hold the chain of this delicate piece of jewelry between my index finger and thumb. The gold “O” spins, twinkling in the light. Just like her lovely blue eyes.

Unfortunately she comes in to pick up her necklace on a night I wasn’t working. I can’t control that but I knew because the next night I worked the baggie was gone. I would have liked to have seen her and received the accolades and attention, but no dice.

Some weeks later I was walking towards the counter from cleaning one of the rooms in back and she comes through the door. Looking amazing of course. My heart leaps. She goes: “There’s the man of the hour!” Comes up and hugs me. Her hair smells like Heaven. “Sorry I’m a little sweaty.” she says. (Like I care about that.) “Thank you so much for finding my necklace! My mother gave that to me. I have like two them, and this has happened twice already! Crazy right?” I love this delicious little fraulein. We send her back to the room and go about our business. When she comes out as she’s leaving she sweetly blows me a kiss, which is wonderful, but I have to assume she does this to everybody. I’m not getting my hopes up in any form.

You know what’s weird though? If you’ve been reading these stories for a while you’ll notice that I don’t like that the wallets have not been coming out as of late. It’s 2017! Going out is expensive! What’s wrong with these women? I notice the feminists want equality but when it comes to dinner and drinks it’s the 1950’s again. Anyway, the point I make is moot if it were to come to a date with Olivia. I would completely lay down and pay for everything just to have the honor of sitting in a restaurant with this gorgeous, slender legged beauty. Yea. Total 180 for Olivia. Just slap down the credit card. Yep…I’m an idiot.

Go Team PhicklePhilly!

 

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

I publish new Dating content every Monday at 9am EST. I publish Updates and bios and stories about Non-Dating related characters, such as male and female friends, on TuesdaysWednesdays at 9am EST.

 

Trish – She Wolf

Happy 2017! I’m going to start publishing on Tuesdays too now! I have so many stories to tell I need another day. And who better to kick it off than lovely Trish!

Trish is my hot neighbor. She lives in the apartment below mine. I met her back in 2012 sometime after she moved in. We would chat occasionally, but she was busy with her life and her artwork. She is a really talented graphic artist, who does work for several companies around the city. She loves the X Files, (Mulder mostly) sci-fi and all things mystical. She’s a really cool chick. Loves her coffee. She also keeps herself fit.  Trish is a bit eccentric like all artists, but she’s got a great heart and is very sweet and giving. Always roots for the underdog. She cares deeply about her beliefs and is very passionate in regard to the causes for which she stands.

Like most of us, she’s had her ups and downs with the opposite sex. I think if she met someone nice who understood her, and embraced all of her little quirks, it could be a match. Although Trish may still be holding out for Blink-182 and Alkaline Trio’s guitarist Matt Skiba.

Recently we lost one of our seasonal employees at the salon. She went to work down the shore for the summer. I came home, and Trish was sitting on my sofa next to my daughter. They were just chilling and chatting. I mentioned it, and Trish’s hand shot up like she was in school. I knew she was diligent and a clean freak, so she’d probably be perfect for the job if she wanted it.  She was a quick learner, and has been on our team for over five months now. (So she’ll be making several appearances in upcoming episodes of Sun Stories in this blog.)

She works the shifts that I don’t but we still get to hang out sometimes. She’ll come up to the apartment and we’ll watch some crazy horror movie together. Sometimes my daughter Lorelei will pop downstairs and hang with her, so it’s really a nice relationship for us all. It’s always great to connect with your neighbors. People don’t do that enough anymore.

It’s great having Trish as a friend, neighbor, and co-worker.  You’ll see her making appearances as I expand the Phicklephilly universe.

Oh, one other thing. When I decided to bring in other characters to my story, I asked her if she had any suggestions as to what her title could be. She was the one who came up with “She Wolf.”  So this should be interesting.

 

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

I publish new Dating content every Monday at 9am EST. I publish Updates and bios and stories about Non-Dating related characters, such as male and female friends, on TuesdaysWednesdays at 9am EST.

Scarlett – Sexy chica de tamaño más – Part II

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

The Date

I was supposed to meet her at Square 1682 at 5pm but I got a last-minute meeting with a potential new employer the night before when I was with June. (I know… Phickle is as Phickle does.) So I called her Sunday night after dropping off June and rescheduled it to 7pm.

So I had already been hanging at Square for a while chatting to some of my friends that drift in and out during happy hour. 7pm comes and goes. These young people can never manage the clock. But she is in touch and says she’s coming up from Delaware. The traffic could be an issue. So she rolls in like 7:45. I see that beautiful face.

And then I see the rest.

Ok. So normally I date younger women that are tall and fit or if they aren’t tall they at least have everything in the right place and everything is about the right proportion. This is all new ground for me. You’ve already seen the photo with this post so at least you have an idea what I’m seeing. So let me describe Scarlett as best I can. But let me preface this with a disclosure statement. I’ve met plenty of women and I’ve heard everything they have had to say in regard to body image. Many women use the word “curvy” now to describe their shape. Normally the women that say that have let themselves go or are simply overweight. But let’s take Scarlett top to bottom. She’s 27 and of Dominican decent. She stands 5’8″ (I like that) Her skin is a lovely light caramel color. Her hair is dark and rich with some tawny highlights. Her eyes are dark brown. Her lips are colored with a deep red lipstick. Her face is really beautiful. Like the photo her arms are soft and fleshy. Her bust is proportionate for a girl of her height.  She has a silky black and white blouse on and she is wearing black slacks, and shoes with a small heel. She has bracelets and rings on and all of her nails look fake and are flashy. (trashy) She is very curvy. She has a very large and round posterior. Since her legs are clad in pants I can’t see them but her thighs are proportionate to that glorious backside.

(cue up: Sir-Mix-Alot) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reTx5sqvVJ4

If you watch that video you’ll notice the women aren’t that big in it. But you know what I’m talking about. Scarlett has a huge big round booty. Forgive me, but she is built like one fine ass black girl. I mean no disrespect. My friend Church is on the other side of me and he doesn’t get it, he just hears her going on about herself and he has low tolerance to chatty girls. Anyway, he bounces out and leaves me with Scarlett. (Which I wanted). I’m sure the crew at Square is wondering who all of these women are that I keep bringing in there, but it’s a good spot and I like the service and staff. But getting back, (no pun intended) This girl was like none I have ever encountered on a date. Chicks that look like her just don’t go out with guys like me. It just doesn’t happen. But she says she likes gentlemen, so we’ll see.

I obviously already have a drink going and I ask her if she’d like one and she agrees. She picks out something light and feminine. I’m chatting with her and I’m looking at her and she is really beautiful. I’m attracted to her. I’m feeling good energy for this Rubenesque beauty. She tells me how she formerly worked for the Dominican Government here in Philly for a while and then returned to the DR and recently came back to the US. She said she had done some dating and was in a relationship for 7 months or something but it didn’t work. Maybe he couldn’t handle being crushed by Dat Azz!  But I was digging her, She said her Mom still lived in the DR but her younger brother now lived with her here in Philly. Better access to more education. The kid is like 19 so at least she doesn’t have to babysit him. She says she wants to focus now on selling jewelry and designing and selling her own line of jewelry in the near future. I ask her what she’s doing in the interim, and she says she’s living off her savings. That’s not good. She needs to find a job. You’d be surprised how fast your loot runs out when you have zero income. Little bit of a red flag there.

She finishes her drink and of course again no wallet comes out. But I’m cool, because she’s new and charming and it’s one drink…not five. And certainly not dinner. She asks if I’d like to go somewhere else. I’m down. Something with a view but R2L is going to close in 25 minutes. R2L means “Restaurant at Two Liberty. It’s at the top floor of the tower on 16th street. It’s a cool spot with a great view of the city. I’ve been to every part of that place and the views are impressive. Unfortunately, the drinks are expensive and the food on every occasion that I’ve eaten there has been mediocre. However, if they still have the same pastry chef the desserts are amazing. So go there to impress someone, have a couple of drinks, enjoy the view, have the flat breads and twisty breads at the bar and split.

She suggest Assembly at the new Logan Hotel. (Which is the old Four Seasons Hotel) Where did the Four Seasons go? It’s going to be taking up the very top floors of the 2nd Comcast tower that is being built right now. Should be amazing. I’ve never been to Assembly, but I hear it’s expensive with a view. So we grab a taxi over there. Baby doesn’t want to walk over there in heels. We get there, and they have completely changed the lobby. I have so many great and crazy memories at the Four Seasons. (we’ll get to them in future Michelle posts) Now when you walk in there is a bar right there. But assembly is upstairs. She’s been here before. We get in the elevator with this kind of hot young black woman. We get to Assembly and it’s closed for a private party for the Presidential Debate or as I call it the Q&A Improv Comedy Show. So we can’t get in there and neither can the hot sister. I’m thinking… is she a pro?

So I guess I’ll see assembly some other time. I suggest The Ranstead Room. I love that bar. It used to be one of my secret spots and of course when the whole “speakeasy cocktail” thing happened a few years in this city our cover was blown. Everybody wrote about it and showed pics of the interior. But out of respect I will not disclose its location in this forum. Find it yourself. It’s well worth it. I’ve had some crazy times in there too!

So we hop in yet another cab. Actually she gets in the cab and instead of scooting over I have to go around to the other side because once that ass is planted, Those monster whoopee cakes take root. The driver takes us close enough to the Ranstead and we get out and go in. The place is dead. Which I like. Normally they pull a pretty good crowd but it’s getting late, and it is a Monday. I like the place a little darker and intimate. The music is too loud for the number of people in here right now. Just us and another couple who look like they are preparing to leave. Which they do. We pick our cocktails; spirit forward and dark for me, light and dainty for her. We toast and we do the through the arm thing like at weddings. You know what I mean. It’s fun and takes a little dexterity especially if you’ve been drinking. We pull it off flawlessly. “Are you trying to seduce me?” She blushed.

So there was a lot of physical contact between Scarlett and me. She’s very charming and feminine which I like. I think the touching was more her nationality than affection. She had no problem touching my arm or my leg several times during the evening. But I think she liked me. She said she likes gentlemen and I am definitely that. Like I said before, this is not the type of girl I would ever have the chance to date. But I like things that are different and things I’m not accustomed to. Her face is model pretty, that brings a lot of wattage with it. This opportunity, even if I don’t go out with her again has been fun and an experience.

We finish our drinks and decide to wrap it up for the evening. The bill comes and, you guessed it, I pay. We head out and walk up to 20th and Market. “Will you call an Uber for me?” she asks. I’m thinking, really? I gotta pay for that too? She’s playing with my hair. She had been doing that a little bit before that. I think some of my hair couldn’t decide which side of the part it wanted to be on and she keeps trying to fix it. I start kissing those ruby-red lips. She is beautiful. I kiss her cheek, then her neck. I kiss her lips again. Then I pull back and look into her dark brown eyes. “I hope you don’t think I’m being a bit forward Scarlett, but I really like you.”

“I’d stop you if I didn’t like it.” She replies. I go in for more love. She yields to me. She’s hot. I am sooo going to call her a fucking Uber on my account. I order the car and it comes pretty quickly, but not before I steal a few more intimate moments with this curvy, bodacious Latina.

I walk home and I’m feeling pretty good. Since I ordered the car I can track the ride to make sure she gets home safe. When I get home I get this text: “I’m home, hun.”

Hun? Who says that but world worn waitresses and hookers?

Then she asks if I like the Opera. I reply that I love the arts. Especially the opera and the ballet. She asked because on her way back home she saw a billboard for Turandot and says it’s her favorite. She says that she’s never seen it live. I tell her I’ll look into it. Then I text: “Dulces suenos, hermosa dama.” (Sweet dreams, my dear) And she replies: Buenas noches amor.(Good night, love)

So I think overall had this been the 1950’s this would have been a pretty sweet date. But it’s 2016 and life is what it is. I would definitely go out with this curvy chica again. I kind of like the idea of being out with this twenty something flashy bootylicious babe. There’s just something really sexy about her. I just gotta watch my money. Remember, she isn’t currently employed and likes finer things.

I have since looked up tickets for Turandot and they start in the $100 plus range. The good news is the last performances are tonight and tomorrow and I’m busy working both days, so I’m off the hook.

We have texted since our date a little bit. Something about her still having her DR government ID so she was able to go to a rally where Michelle Obama was speaking. I think that’s pretty cool. Time will tell on this girl.

 

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

I publish new Dating content every Monday at 9am EST. I publish Updates and bios and stories about Non-Dating related characters, such as male and female friends, on TuesdaysWednesdays at 9am EST.