Murder Mystery Weekend – Chapter 2

 

https://lapetitemort17.wordpress.com/?p=41

 

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Christmas – 2018 and Beyond – Part 5 – Duncan

I’m home.

I’ve an incredible Christmas with my entire family. I’m emotionally spent.

I’m on my laptop writing and watching Christmas shows. Doing what I love doing

I’m sipping vodka club and settling into blissful night of my own satisfaction.

 

It’s 10pm and I’m well into my zone.

My phone rings and it’s Duncan. My very best friend of 20 years who explains that he’s in Old City right now.

I’m half in the bag at this point and can’t believe he’s in the city.

He wants me to come out and hang.

Let’s be clear.

 

If I’m home and done work and don’t have to see anyone or have a date… once I’m home I’m done.

It’s like a vault. Once I’m down to the T-shirt and shorts and slippers there is no turning back.

Ever.

I have said that if Alessandra Ambrosio was knocking at my door to come out and hang I would blow her off.

I love her and have met her, (See: Alessandra Ambrosio) and have the pictures to prove it and I wouldn’t come out.

But I love Duncan and this asshole is some how in the city so I have to do it.

God Dammit.

Ha wants me to come to Amada for free drinks. For fuck’s sake. I don’t care about that. I spent the whole day with my family. I’m tired. There is no way I can come out and hang with you and your girlfriend and cousin.

Why have I not gotten on any notice on this arrival?

 

15 minutes later  I’m in a Lyft and on my way to Amada.

 

For Duncan I’ll do it. We have history. Deep history. I have to see him.

I arrive. It’s great to see him. The last time we were together was when the Eagles won the Superbowl ‘

 

I love Duncan.

 

There is also a welcome addition. His girlfriend Misa.

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about her.

I was so happy to meet her, and she is an absolutely lovely person that Duncan should probably marry. That’s how good she was. I thought she’d be like Yoko between John and Paul.

 

But Misa was wonderful. I wish only happiness for these two.

Later that night after I pounded a couple of free Manhattens, I told him that Misa was so amazing he should marry her or I would.

He seemed shocked.

I told him I was drunk and not to try to marry anybody.

 

But I can’t wait to see Duncan in February for the Superbowl.

 

EAGLES ARE IN THE PLAYOFFS!

 

We are so going to hang at the Ritz Carlton and sip expensive cocktails and nosh on some savory snacks.

 

I love Duncan and I’m so happy this fucker is still in my life!

 

Happy Holidays, one and all!

 

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

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Christmas 2018 and Beyond – Part 3

The train goes back underground as we enter Camden NJ. That place is a den of scum and villainy that could have been a mini mirror to Philly but has failed in so many horrible ways. I’m actually glad in this moment my internet connection has gone black again as we enter Camden.

I think back on good and bad memories in Camden and will write about them at some point but that time isn’t here.

Camden is an awful place in New Jersey, but at some point I’ll tell you some stories from that once great seaport but for now I’m just passing through.

Happily locked in an extruded aluminum passenger car on PATCO.

 

The train once agin rises from the darkness of Camden’s tunnels and re-enters the sunshine on the this fine sunny day.

I look at all of the scenery and as the train roars east. I see all of the ghettos and shit neighborhoods below the elevated tracks. It hasn’t changed in over 40 years. I’m sitting here in a brand new train in a comfy chair, listening to Howard Stern and Christmas Carols and I’m shooting past absolute poverty below me.

What will Christmas morning be for the children in this neighborhood.

But I’m facing backwards. So I watch it all fall away from my view. By not sitting forward the sadness was never coming up… but going away from me.

See how this is working?

We roll into the Ferry Avenue stop. This is the stop where for years I would pick up and drop off of my daughter with my ex-wife.

I remember I would pick her up there and bring her to Philly when she was younger. But I also remember when I would ride the train with my little one and arrive at Ferry Ave to give her back on Sunday, I knew I wouldn’t see her for two weeks.

I was always sad on that quiet train ride back to Philly.

 

I feel all of that rush back into me but I’m not sad because I know at the end of the line, my daughter and her boyfriend will be picking me up and we’ll all go to Janice’s house for an amazing gathering.

The train rings and surges forward, and I watch as that sad memory fades as well and becomes joy.

Collingswood, Haddonfield, and all of the rest of the stations pass.

I can see my whole history living in New Jersey in my miserable marriage fall away from me. All vanishing down the gleaming rails.

All of it. I’ve lived in several of those towns and it’s good to see them all fall away from me and know that my daughter and I are no longer prisoners to the lie that is a domestic life so many hold dear.

I no longer have any feelings or emotions about any of that nonsense, but it’s nice to see South Jersey simply go away through a window on a train ride.

I could feel the cleanse of that moment and the exuberance of all of the wonderful people I was about to see, and where I was now in my life.

 

I finally arrive in Lindenwold. I don’t know this station. iI don’t care. I get off and head down the escalator and go outside. I’m listening to music and feel really good. The weather is surprisingly mild and I take a seat on a bench outside awaiting the arrival of Lorelei and her boyfriend.

I’m so happy and so filled with holiday bliss and energy I’m not even listening to Christmas music anymore. I’m listening to songs by a Swedish metal band called Angel Dust. I haven’t listened to any of that in 10 years! Maybe longer. I must be drinking deep on my dopamine.

I text my daughter that I have arrived and I think she’s a little stressed as so many young people are. She doesn’t want to keep her dad waiting. I tell her not to worry and to take her time and be safe.

I know this lovely day will unfold as it should.

I sit back on the metal bench and smile.

It’s been a while since  I simply sat in the sun.

I feel it on my face and it is as comforting as my mother’s hand in mine.

I don’t know why, but I was just in such in a beautiful moment of calm sitting on this bench out in the middle of nowhere in a place I’ve never been.

I knew my daughter was coming, but I loved this moment in the morning sunlight by myself.

I felt the sun’s energy on my face. I put out my hand and felt the sun in my hand.

Sun in my hand.

Happiness in my hand.

It’s within me and right here on my face and right here in my hand.

This is my holiday alone moment.

Just waiting but not impatient. Just calm. It’s so nice. It’s never been like this.

Sun in my hand.

No problems. Just Happy Christmas time.

Maybe for the first time ever.

 

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Christmas – 2018 and Beyond – Part 2

I’m happy to see her fade from my view like all of the other beautiful women in my life. Like beautiful Christmas ornaments on the tree of my life. Some are gone. Some fallen and broken, some stolen by guests and strangers.

I had been talking last Sunday about how I had been searching for the Christmas spirit before my sister’s annual holiday party.

All of the Christmas carols, the lights in Rittenhouse, the hustle and bustle of the season. None of it gave me the surge I was expecting.

But if you read that post, (Christmas 2018) you’d know that the holiday season had been in me all along.

What a blissful feeling it is.

My life is so simple and elegant now. I finally get it. You don’t need a bunch of stuff and events to be happy.

Live simply, and simply live.

 

Before the event I stopped at the liquor store. Every year I have a ritual where I present my sister Janice’s husband with a quality bottle of liquor.

I figure, I come into his home, and eat and drink as much as I want and am surrounded with all of my favorite people in the world. So give the guy a good bottle of booze!

I pick it up the night before and settle in at home after work listening to Christmas music and writing. My favorite place to be most evenings.

I’m really looking forward to seeing my whole family tomorrow.

 

The next morning I get up and grab a healthy breakfast. In years past I always had a great deal of anxiety when I had to travel. Just an old ailment. Usually there were several moving parts to traveling to my sister’s party. There would be daughter Lorelei, my then girlfriend Michelle. We had to pull it all together and get to 30th Street Station.

It was always stressful for me. But the end result once we got to my sister’s was always so good.

I had to get all of the tickets at a machine I always struggled with at the station. I would sometimes go out there the day before and buy all of the tickets just to take the edge off.

I always got a large bottle of water and a package of crackers just to put something in my stomach. Just nerves and anxiety and travel.

All of that is long gone.

The plan has changed. NJ Transit is doing track work and not running. (Now what do I do?) I’m not getting any younger, and my lovely daughter Lorelei takes charge and I love it.

I get the text. “Dad. Take the 10:15 train at PATCO and take it to Lindenwold, NJ. You’ll get there a half hour later, and we’ll pick you up in the car and drive you to Janinice’s house.”

I love it.

I’m finally at a point in my life where I don’t have to figure everything out and manage everybody else.

After a nice breakfast, I head to the PATCO station at 16th and Locust. Normally for a solo mission to Absecon NJ on New Jersey Transit it used to run me $40 round trip.

I enter in my coordinates into the ticket purchasing machine at the station and it tells me it will be $6 round trip!

Six bucks! It’s a Christmas miracle!

I grab my ticket and hop on the train.

It’s been a while since I’ve set foot on PATCO. They’ve replaced all of the trains with newer models! Lovely train cars. I step into one of the cars and figure out if I want to sit forward or backward.

I know it may seem odd, but that’s part of the trip.

I go with my instincts and decide to sit at a window seat and actually decide for some unknown reason to sit backwards.

It was a great decision.

I don’t travel much and I don’t know why I chose this. Normally people like to face the way they are going and so do I. That’s just normal existence. Makes sense.

Underground in the subway at 16th and Locust there’s no wifi or cell contact. So I sit in silence waiting to go.

The bell rings and the train lurches forward. I’m just chilling in the darkness thinking about all of the wonderful people I’m going to see this afternoon.

This one day a year.

This one day in time.

A party that someday I will no longer be around to attend. Just like my parents before me.

The train is traveling east and then south. It will leave Philly underground and then rise from the depths of the subway and traverse the Ben Franklin Bridge which crosses the Delaware river into New Jersey.

I always took New Jersey Transit to get to my sister’s house. But like I said,  NJT is having construction done through January, so it’s down. I am taking PATCO for the first time to Lindenwold.

As the train roars up along the side of the Ben Franklin Bridge the view is spectacular. I watch my beloved city stand in the cold winter sun glistening under the blue blue sky on this Sunday before Christmas.

I love her.

I want to die in this city.

I’m happy to see her fade from my view like all of the other beautiful women in my life. Like beautiful Christmas ornaments on the tree of my life. Some are gone. Some fallen and broken, some stolen by guests and strangers.

I know I’ll be back around dusk to see her again. I’ll feel the snap in the air and the flash of her holiday season as her heart beats in every household, restaurant and chest of every Philadelphian in my city.

 

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

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14 of the Weirdest, Craziest, Philly-est Stories from 2018

Greased poles, profane potholes, farm animals roaming the city. Just another year in Philadelphia.

https://billypenn.com/2018/12/27/14-of-the-weirdest-craziest-philly-est-stories-from-2018/

 

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

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Phicklephilly Reaches 50,000 Views!

Oh my God!

We did it!

After two and a half years and 942 blog posts I have miraculously reached 50,000 views on phicklephilly!!!

This is the best Christmas gift that I could have imagined this holiday season.

When I started this I never thought it would reach such heights.  I didn’t even know what I was doing. I just wanted to create again after not writing for over 10 years.

I was inspired by a lovely, charming waitress and a guy I worked with who said I should write about all of the ladies in my life.

It started out once a week on Mondays. I wrote about a waitress I was infatuated with at the time. (See: Maria – Amor En Vano)

Maria has become my muse and the ongoing inspiration for this blog.

The best part of that relationship is that we’re friends but rarely hang out. There’s no romantic connection and that’s what keeps it healthy. I could never get involved with her because we live in two different worlds.

When I see Maria, it’s the very best of Maria. I don’t ever experience the other aspects of her life. I’m sure they are extremely challenging for my muse. Life is complicated and confounding to my muse as she navigates the minefield of her life in the service industry and her romantic entanglements.

She has limitless value to me, but I never experience the darker aspects of her life.

It may seem one-sided but that’s how it’s best suited for our current relationship. She lives her life and I live mine. Completely different. I never see her struggles. I only hear about them.

Granted, I’m always available to help her in any way I can and I’m willing to help her in any way I can.

But for the most part when I see her it’s “Greatest Hits.”

 

I’ll be spending Christmas day going through all of my contacts to try to find her a marketing gig at an agency somewhere in the city.

I want to do it. I want my muse to be happy and successful. She’s been through too much. I have very little invested in her. But her presence has been the trigger that ignited this blog so I must honor her.

Maria needs to do nothing.

The train that is phicklephilly is already rolling down the track and has been for the last two years. (27,000 visitors and 50,000 views!)

She’s my inspiration! I have to help her!

The beauty of all of this is for once the muse doesn’t become the girlfriend. That’s where the problems always start.

I’m in a better place than I’ve ever been and my creative work continues to flourish. Whatever was inspired two years ago worked!

 

I remember when I created the first skeleton of phicklephilly I had no clue what I was doing or where I was going. I knew I had to start dating again, (Ugh) and knew I needed content.

I created the blog and that was a huge first step. But actually, that’s the easy part.

You can sign up for any writing site on the internet and they’ll pretty much effortlessly walk you through it.

What it really comes down to after that is up to you.

I created phicklephilly in July of 2016.

I never wrote a word until September.

The whole summer went by with me having a blog and not doing anything about it. Pretty much a bit more of what I’d done for the last 10 years.

Nothing.

I asked myself, “Is this going to be another thing you talk about with people you know at lunch and over drinks and never do?

I paused and thought about Maria. A beautiful, sweet woman from humble beginnings like myself, that was self-made. A woman who told herself that she was determined to get her marketing degree and rise above her current vocation.

Am I going to write and create again, or am I just going to talk about it over beers with a bunch of people and never do it?

That would be easy and dumb.

I know people who are far better than me in regard to the written word.

I discussed what I was going to do. They said I had inspired them to write again too.

Here’s the difference.

They are stuck in their lives and will NEVER take pen to paper ever again.

That’s fine. It has no effect on my life. But I needed to evolve and start creating again. I’ve done art. I’ve done music. Writing should be easy if I just put my mind to it.

Anyone who is reading this who writes knows it’s not easy.

You have to find your space and be alone and bang out a 1000 words about whatever. Fuck writers block. You just have to be alone and create. You do it every day and crank out the art.

Like a ballerina, she takes classes every day. My father once said, if you want to be a painter, go paint every day. Well I like to create and I write everyday.

I was chatting with my sister Gabrielle at the holiday party on Sunday, and I was telling her about what’s coming out in 2019.

“How do you have the time to come up with so much material and stories to have it come out everyday, twice a day?”

“I like to work and be busy, but in my down time instead of sitting around or blowing money doing anything else, I write. When I’m off I edit or create. It’s not hard if you put your mind to it.”

Nothing’s hard if you put your mind to it.

That’s how everything has been accomplished in the world.

Most people just go to work and then do a bunch of other things that don’t evolve them and they wonder why they’re going nowhere or attach themselves to things they think will make them happy but it’s all a fail.

Put something on Earth that wasn’t here before you got here.

Tell your story.

If you’re serious you’ll do it.

If you want my help. I’ll help you.

Everybody needs a mentor.

Me included.

 

Happy Holidays! Thank you one and all for all the views and comments and follows. phicklephilly has grown beyond anything I could have imagined.

 

Thank you, Maria for your inspiration!

 

I’m going to try to write this damn thing until the day I die.

 

I hope you all enjoy all of the new aspects I’ve added in 2019.

 

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

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