Annabelle – Chapter 10 – Girlfriend

Oh great, we’re “In a relationship” on Facebook.

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I could feel things were moving forward with Annabelle. We would text and Facebook message each other when we were apart. We would send each other songs and it was nice. I could tell she had thrown the switch and I was the man in her life now.

It’s funny when you read Michelle compared to this odyssey with Annabelle. Here we are in chapter 10 and she’s just becoming sort of my girlfriend. When you live something you feel it immediately. But you’re in the movie and you can’t really see the whole show. Because you’re just one of the actors. Then you think about it later, and talk about it to your friends, it’s another layer. But when you write about it, you really can see it clearly, even if you can’t remember all of the dates and moments. I think that’s why therapists ask their patients to keep a journal. Writing lets you stand back from the events of your life and really see it for what it is or was.

Writing these stories has really helped me break the shell of my understanding and bring a calm clarity to my life and the journey itself.

Annabelle was in her 20’s and trying to make her way. I could see she was bitter that her parents had spent $100k on her education in college to go the School for the Arts here in Philly. She wanted to be an actress. Like millions before her she had the dream of being a successful actress. Her sister is an emergency room doctor. Her other sister is a lawyer. Both of then seem nuts and can’t keep a man. Her brother flies helicopters for NATO and lives in Texas. Annabelle’s parents had the money to send her to a good school and do whatever their “weird, artsy daughter” wanted to do. I’ve never met her family, because she said she didn’t want me to meet them because she kind of didn’t like them.

I know… Here it comes. Deep water.

This family is a product of dysfunction. Her father has an amazing job and makes a fortune each year. He’s fat and unhealthy and seems like a miserable person that hates his life. They’re from the south so there is some racism and homophobia in that family as well.

Annabelle has an uncle that she loves who’s gay and the family have basically disowned him because “being a faggot” is against God. What the fuck? I’ve met him and he’s a wonderful man.

Annabelle’s dad was always distant so that makes the daughters over achievers to please dad and never really understand men, and have fucked up relationships, because they were never raised by a man who led by example to send his daughters into tomorrow on a solid straight line.

The son usually ends up moving away and barely talking to the family, because dad’s a dick and mom’s tuned out.

Annabelle’s mother was I assume a trophy wife who lives the rich life. She blows money on all kind of stuff and even shoplifts sometimes for the thrill of it. This is a woman who is profoundly unhappy and thinks the rules don’t apply to rich people. Annabelle actually told me that she said that. She never cooked meals for the kids and all they did was eat take out so they’re sort of like wealthy white trash.

I guess this is where Annabelle learned her eating habits. You know how I feel about this. I’m an elegant dude with killer manners and I was appalled to watch Annabelle wolf her meals down when I was with her. She ate like my buddy Church when he’s stressed out and instead of drinking he stuffs his feeling with chow.

But here we have is this very tall somewhat average girl who just isn’t right for New York or Hollywood. They want a type and she just isn’t it.

A million people go to Hollywood and NYC each year thinking they are going to “make it.” Do you know how hard that is to do? It’s just mostly luck and being in the right place at the right time. I lived in LA and wanted to be a metal god in a rock band. It never happened. I’d probably be dead or a complete asshole had it happened.

Matt Leblanc had $17 in his checking account when he landed the role of Joey Tribbiani on the hit sitcom, Friends. He was broke. By the final season he was being paid $1 million an episode. That is lightning striking.

All of these dancers, writers, actors think their going to make it in these cities and maybe about 9 make it a year. Those are less than Powerball lottery odds.

So all of these failed “artists” are bitter when I tell them I’d like another round of drinks, or that I’m going to need these shirts back from the dry cleaners by Wednesday instead of Thursday.

So they huddle together with all of the other failures in their little circle of people and just do whatever they can. It’s really sad. You have to accept the inevitable and go do something else. I have an outgoing personality, so I went into sales and financial services. I was fine. I can comfortably wrap myself in my memories that I gave it a shot and it just didn’t happen. My father used to say, “if you don’t get something in life, you didn’t want it bad enough.”

Okay that’s total bullshit and something he read somewhere. His brother had a great creative mind but my dad just didn’t. No fault no foul. He was just that guy. But he educated himself with books his whole life. But the problem with that is you become the sum of other people’s experiences and thoughts. Not your own. It makes you sound smart and helps you get ahead in life, but there is no creativity in it. He once gave me the greatest compliment he would ever give me when he saw me play guitar. He said. “I love music but you can actually MAKE music.” That was huge to me. I’ll get into that whole thing in another post series that will publish in 2018.

But what I’m saying is, these failed artist types just aren’t very talent so they all cling together for support. That’s a normal reaction. Showbiz is the only vocation that devours its young. It’s sad, but if you choose that life be prepared to work as a waitress a lot.

When they’re with their failed brethren working on some shitty project or stage play that just suck Royal Canadian moose cock and is painful to watch you feel sorry for them as to how silly it is. It’s a shame. They always use words like “Amazing” to describe the performances of the people around them, and it just isn’t true.

I have been and artist (pen and ink) a musician and a writer. There is nothing AMAZING about any of it. They will say things like, Our musical director and pianist is so AMAZING. No. He’s not. He’s just a bitter asshole who is mean to everyone around him as he plinks away at his piano playing the shitty soundtrack to your play that makes no fucking sense.

He’s not at Carnegie Hall, he’s not selling out the Wells Fargo Center. That’s what he wanted, but it never happened, so he’s stuck with your shitty little troupe to just keep going.

People use the word, AMAZING and AWESOME all of the time now. Everyone is misusing it.

There once was a little boy who at 6 years old his teachers said. “I think something is wrong with your son. He hardly speaks. He is unreachable and unteachable. He’s lost in his world of dreams. That little boy was Albert Einstein. Now that motherfucker was AMAZING.

Little myopic, chubby, homosexual Reginald Dwight struggled in his life. That little boy became Sir Elton John. That man is AWESOME.

See the difference? I know it seems like I’m digressing into something else. My last girlfriend Michelle had her challenges in life but on the ground floor and pound for pound she’s a solid lady.

Annabelle is a handful. I feel love and lust for her, but now she’s picked up a camera and like a thousand other swinging dicks in this city calls herself a photographer. She’s struggling to figure out what she’s going to do with the rest of her life or at leat the next 5 years.

She’s a very juvenile 27-year-old. Michelle had worked in business since college. She’s worked for corporations and been in offices and worked with people in real commerce. Annabelle is a failed actress who is trying to make her way as a photographer taking other shitty actors headshots and shooting people’s weddings. It’s a constant struggle for a person who never worked in a real job and spent her childhood making art in her bedroom. If it was good and she got discover it would be a totally different story, but it’s not. It’s the other side of the coin.

This is what I have gotten myself into. I think I’m in love with her. I feel it. But there is a euphoria that is connected to it that isn’t real. It’s not good. I’ve felt this before but the drug of falling in love is so strong with this one that it’s doing things to me.

I had it with Michelle in the beginning as we all do, but with her it settled down into domesticity. That cools the addiction.

I’m older now and I have turned the clock back once again on a young girl. I’m older now and here I go with another 27-year-old who doesn’t know who she is, what she wants and where she is going. This is the problem dating younger women. It’s a vicious circle that I have repeated many times. Michelle was stable. This one is all over the place. Lost.

A leaf blowing in the wind.

But the drug of love takes me and I’m in it now. We don’t make love, we fuck. Annabelle has sex like she does everything else in her life. Like a fool. We have sex like she eats her food. There isn’t a mutual celebration of us sharing our most intimate vessels in union.

Because if the only tool you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.

It’s good. It’s hot. Come on. Even mediocre sex that isn’t what you want is still sex. The fury. The release. Sex is like free beer and pizza but if the pizza is tough and the beer is warm it’s just not the same.

She always had to be working on her photography, because her mind and calendar were unmanageable. But I get it. We’re in different places in our lives. She’s trying to make something. I’m cruising at 51.

There were times she would get so wrapped up in her work that she would come over. I was cooking her a romantic dinner in front of the fireplace. (I’m a deadly cook) She would show up sometimes and say tonight was a work party. That meant that at some point she would be working on her photography stuff. Do that shit at home. Manage your schedule and your work load and be able to turn it off when you’re with a loved one. I can always separate the two. That’s a person. Focus on them tonight.

I quit smoking and it was really easy. I literally stopped buying them. No withdrawal, because I had replaced that addiction with Annabelle. I know I loved her more than she loved me so it was easy. I went from a 36 waist to a 32 waist in 3 months. Yea. I did that for Annabelle.

When somebody really loves you, they love you for you. Period. They dig the person you are right now. But me being in love with the idea of love and not even knowing it was happening to me is a crazy addiction. That was me then.

I am no longer that man. (But still sporting the 32 inch waist, baby!)

I thought this post would be different. My notes said how when she came over and we watched Jurassic Park together. Or how the first time we had sex, I remember looking in her eyes with a sense of teenage nervousness as I slowly slipped her black lace panties down her long slender thighs and having sex with her for the first time. It was great. I was happy to be with her. I was lit the fuck up from being in love with someone.

So the relationship is hot and cold. I’m feeling a little crazy being with Annabelle. That should have been a string of red flags, but like when I started this tome you just can’t see it.

She’d be isolated from me for 10 days at a clip because she was so wrapped up in her stuff. Shoots, working on two plays at a time that were both garbage, and just being a scatter brain. She doesn’t have a good relationship with her dad, but it seems she is very much like him. Just an isolated person that is consumed by whatever she’s working on and to hell with the real people in her life.

She started talking about moving to Belgium out of nowhere and studying animation. (No idea) The next time I saw her (Which was like 3 days later) She said she was going to become a company member of a drag cabaret.  It’s just this one guy that loves to run around in public in a dress, and a few other losers that put on the most godawful shitty musical comedy plays that absolutely blow.

So here I am in love with the idea of love with a girl half my age and I am only feeling three things outside of the sex and dinners.

Frustration, aggravation, and grinding disappointment.

Oh great, we’re “In a relationship” on Facebook.

Fuck. What am I doing?

 

Google the lyrics to this song….

 

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Tales of Rock – Marianne Faithfull Ends Up Homeless

You’ve got to feel for Marianne Faithfull. At the age of 17, she was snapped up by the Rolling Stones’ manager Andrew Loog Oldham merely for being “an angel with big tits” and shoved at the Stones. She churned out some blandly alluring pop records but was most famously Mick Jagger’s girlfriend and muse. When the police raided Keith Richards’ Redlands mansion in 1967 as its occupants concluded an epic acid trip, they claimed they found Faithfull wrapped in nothing but a rug with a candy bar inserted in her vagina (Richards debunked this myth in his 2010 book Life).

She co-wrote the tellingly titled “Sister Morphine,” only to see the Stones wrest control of the song and release it, without crediting her, on their 1971 album Sticky Fingers. By the end of the ’70s she was homeless, living in an abandoned building in London. It was a fate once unthinkable for a woman so beautiful and sexual that still images of her alone created a media sensation and who directly influenced one of the most significant bands of her generation and place.

But Faithfull got the last laugh.

Given the opportunity to cut another album, she turned in the raw, confessional Broken English; an unflinching narrative of what it was like for a glamour model and pop star to find herself an addict living on the street, all backed by understated yet fashionable musical accompaniment. The Stones of this era were singing about “Some Girls,” and this was first person reporting from one they’d cast off.

 

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Johnny R – 2009 to Present – Dive Bar Blues

Johnny came into town recently. I hadn’t heard from him the entire day, and was concerned he would bail. I had just come off an exhausting evening with a lady, and was pretty tired. I had to work at the salon all day and then go meet with him. I wasn’t burned out because I hadn’t drank or smoked anything the night before. She simply wore me out. “Junior achiever, had the old bull by the horns.”(As Steven Tyler would say)

I kind of was hoping he’d bail, but thought it better to text him. It was the end of my shift and he told me he had just arrived at Mcglinchey’s. Being Sunday afternoon, I knew even if we hung out neither of us would last long.

I lock up the salon and headed over. When I get there some seats had opened up at the end of the bar and I beckon him down. I love this place. The staff is surly, the jukebox is good, and the drinks are cheap and you can smoke in this bar.

Perfect.

Johnny’s not happy. So what else is new? He’s always a little disgruntled about something. Currently, he’s pissed that the bartender is hanging all the way at the other end of the bar chatting with her boyfriend.

The bar has somewhat emptied out. There are just small clusters of drinkers at the bar. The jukebox is blasting country music. Which just adds to Johnny’s rage. I don’t care for country music either, but that shit was relentless. He blames the guy that he assumes is the bartender’s boyfriend. She’s not our usual girl, but I can tell she knows us. Johnny is making his faces and doing his hand gestures of disbelief about the poor service.

“Dude, It’s McGlinchey’s!” I tell him. But it does seem way off tonight. It’s not busy enough for us not to be getting the attention that Johnny thinks we so richly deserve. The country hits keep coming and it is getting on my nerves too. I should go over to the jukebox and play a block of Lamb of God, but I don’t know if we’re going to be around long enough to hear any of it.

We have a few rounds and catch up. I tell him what’s going on with work, life and this blog. I even show him in my phone his first chapter. He becomes suddenly giddy and loves that I’ve included him in my story. But, he’s still sore about the poor service and shitty music. “I have an idea. I’m going to hit the head. Be right back.” He says.

I’m still feeling a bit worn out from the previous nights nocturnal exploits. But this always happens. I’ll just go to bed early tonight and be as good as new tomorrow.

Johnny returns from the bathroom with a twinkle in his steel-blue eyes, and a spring in his step.

“Well this is a change in attitude. Did you meet a guy in there?”

“Ha ha. I just did a little bump of coke.”

“Oh nice. Maybe you’ll be in a better fucking mood now.”

“You look a little tired. Want some?”

“I’m good, Johnny, but thanks.”

I like Johnny on either adderall or coke. Stimulants help him focus and actually sober him up a bit. He’s Irish and he loves his Bud bottles. If he has a little something extra, it sustains him at the bar longer. However, things aren’t improving at our beloved McGlinchey’s tonight. I’ve had a couple of $2.60 glasses of wine with ice and he’s throwing back the beer and coke, but the vibe is off due to the music and poor service. Normally this is a bar we’re happy to camp out in for hours on end, but it’s just not happening.

I tell him we should leave and go to one of my favorite spots. He’s fed up as well and agrees. We cash out and hit the trail. The better bar is only about four blocks away. He’s complaining about the cold and doesn’t want to be out in it too long. I assure him he won’t die of frostbite. Plus his nose must already be frozen from the blow.

We get there and take a seat at the bar. Totally different vibe. Warm and happy. The bartender comes over to greet us with an open hand. Roman is one of my favorite bartenders in the city. There are better mixologists with more knowledge in the city, but Roman brings personality and creativity to his bar. He’s part of the experience and makes everyone feel welcome.

Johnny is happy when Roman hands him an ice-cold Bud bottle. It’s a nice upscale place, but there is something for everyone. Roman is letting me test out some new cocktails, and Johnny is feeling much better. After a while I no longer feel as tired as I did earlier. Just good energy flowing from all around.

Johnny’s girlfriend calls him. He thought maybe she’d be picking him up but she says that she’s not. He’s usually in two different places with Rachel. Aggravated or frustrated. They’ve been together for over eight years and that seems to be the way they love. Who am I to judge? Johnny talks about writing a blog again. I tell him, I’m not going to bring it up again. He says he has all of the information in his head. He just needs to let it out. It’s easier than ever to release your thoughts onto the page. The trick is to actually do it. Thinking a lot of great and wild thoughts is cool, but actually bringing them forth is quite another, and no easy task.  I think if Johnny would make the time, and could be on the right cocktail of drugs and alcohol, he would write some fucking great shit. But the only way to do that is to sit down and write.

Write everyday if you can.

After a while, we’re both feeling good, but Johnny needs to get home and feed his cats. He says that maybe the coke will put him in the mood to write. I don’t mind if he never writes a word. I just enjoy having him in my life as a friend. I know you were hoping we’d get into some vice this time, but again, we have behaved ourselves.

Maybe we’re both just getting older.

 

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Church – 2013 to Present -Seizure Salad

I’m sitting in my go to bar with Church. It’s our spot and it’s what we do. He’s sipping a Sailor Jerry and Coke, and I’m having my usual Chardonnay with a side of ice. He orders a salad and I go with the sliders. There is a couple a few seats down from me to my right. I know the guy, his name is Brian, but I don’t know the lady he’s with so I wave but don’t approach. He could be working.

On the left of Church, is a brunette in her thirties and an older gentleman. Looks like a lawyer. We don’t really pay any attention. We’re chatting and doing our thing.

Daphne rolls behind the bar and says hello. She tells me it’s a slow night. Not much happening. She goes back to her hostess stand and it’s just another night in paradise.

Suddenly, the woman who was sitting to Church’s left, goes off the bar stool and hits the floor. Normally, I’d call that Thursday night.  We see so many banged up people around the city losing their shit. But this woman was having a seizure. People within visual range are shocked and the bar goes quiet.

I point to the phone on the wall, because the bartender on duty didn’t see one of her patrons suddenly vanish from the bar. “Liz, call 911.”

She starts dialing. Church, with his cat-like reflexes, springs into action and goes from sitting next to me sipping a drink to all the way around the other side of her on the floor holding her head to keep her steady. I get down there and untangle her leg from the lower rail of his bar stool. I have the legs. Church is focuses on the poor woman’s head. She’s thrashing about, and Church is barking commands to those around him. He’s literally single-handedly coordinating the effort to help save this poor woman, and keeping her from injuring herself further.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but Church was formerly a Corpsmen in the United States Navy.

A Corpsman works in a wide variety of capacities and locations, including shore establishments such as naval hospitals and clinics, aboard ships, and as the primary medical caregivers for sailors while underway. Hospital corpsmen are frequently the only medical caregiver available in many fleet or Marine units on extended deployment. In addition, hospital corpsmen perform duties as assistants in the prevention and treatment of disease and injury and assist health care professionals in providing medical care to sailors and their families.

They may function as clinical or specialty technicians, medical administrative personnel and health care providers at medical treatment facilities. They also serve as battlefield corpsmen with the Marine Corps, rendering emergency medical treatment to include initial treatment in a combat environment. Qualified hospital corpsmen may be assigned the responsibility of independent duty aboard ships and submarines; Fleet Marine Service, SEAL and Seabee units, and at isolated duty stations where no medical officer is available.

Yea, pretty bad ass. That’s the guy you want next to you when somebody takes a header at your favorite bar.

She’s making what almost sounds like barking sounds, and staring wildly about. He’s got a good hold on her. He’s talking to her. But mostly he’s trying to keep her from bashing her face into the wooden wall of the bar. The bartender comes around, and some others have gathered. I grab a cloth napkin and ask if we need to put it in her mouth. I always heard that epileptics could bite or swallow their own tongues. Church says, no. He knows what he’s doing and has the situation well under control.

She seems to be calming down. I look over at the guy who was with her. He’s just standing there staring, and looking uncomfortable. The paramedics come and stabilize her. I feel so bad for her. It’s the holidays, and she’s out for a drinks and this horror befalls her. They get her onto the gurney and roll her out. The police are there and also ask some questions. Church is on point, he gives law enforcement the full report.

They also speak to the guy she came in with. He says he doesn’t know her very well. He met her over at DelFrisco’s steakhouse, and then brought her over here for a drink. That’s a big lawyer hang out. Not my scene. This guy didn’t do anything to help or comfort her when she had the seizure, and he didn’t go to the hospital with her. I don’t care if you just picked up the chick in a bar. Lady falls down, you go to the damn hospital with her. I’m thinking that weasel was married and didn’t want any problems. How would he explain to his wife that he was at the hospital with some other woman? I may be wrong, but I got the vibe something was definitely shady about that guy.

We go back to our seats at the bar and have another drink. Church is pissed because somebody was telling him to turn her head when she was foaming at the mouth and that’s not what you’re supposed to do. Me, I was just glad the lady was okay.

Daphne came over to chat and get a recap. I tell her what I know, and tease her.”You had to say it was a slow night and that nothing was happening, and look what you did, Daph…”

“I know, right? Me and my big mouth.”

Indeed…

 

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Michelle – Chapter 10 – Night & Day

A week went by after the Friends of Rittenhouse Ball crashing incident. I figured that we got away with it without incident.

Michelle: “We’re going to get fired.”

Me: “No we’re not. My numbers are good, so are yours and everybody loves you. We’re in the clear.”

But within a few days we were called into the President’s office. He ripped us new ones. Then they sent us over to human resources and we were written up. Those fuckers. I hate them all. As a matter of fact none of them are at that company any longer. The Prez eventually left, our manager the crazy Russian was fired, and the lady from HR left a year ago. So we’re all equal now. We didn’t even care that we got written up. We were both prepared to go work in a restaurant somewhere together if they had really fired us.

Ain’t love grand?

The whole thing blew over and we were all none the worse for any of it. Funny thing was, if anything it emboldened us even more to pull stuff. We were high on love and life and we just wanted to have fun. People would overhear our conversations and buy us drinks. We were a little surprised by that but loved getting free drinks. We were out almost every night. We’d hang out at Twenty Manning and spend our last $20 on wine on Sunday afternoons. Michelle even went as far as taking out a $1000 loan from our credit union just to maintain our lavish lifestyle. We didn’t buy a bunch of things, we just went out and drank and ate all the time. We’d be hungover and go to The Continental Midtown for lunch and our favorite bartender Mike G would hook us up with cool free drinks. He made us these cool drinks called Kate Moss. I think it was champagne, a shot of booze and a sugar cube which represented a lump of cocaine. We’d hang out at Chris’ Jazz Cafe and close the place. It would be two o’ clock in the morning and we’d be sitting at the bar drinking and smoking cigarettes. Speaking of which. I quit smoking cigarettes ten years before when my daughter was born. But sometimes Michelle had trouble lighting her Parliaments in the wind, so I’d do it for her. Next thing you know I would take a little puff. She was worried I’d get re-addicted to tobacco. I told her I’d only be hooked if I started buying them.

I started buying them again. God damn it.

We’d supposed to be out making sales calls and we’d be napping on a blanket in Rittenhouse Park. We’d also pack wine and snacks and go to Concerts in the Park every Wednesday night. We’d go to Devon and destroy an assorted seafood platter. We drank oceans of martinis. We’d be banged up after a crappy day of meetings and sales, and head right over to Mantra (Which is now where Dandelion is located on 18th Street) We would run out of money drinking martinis and the awesome bartender Kevin would just keep bringing them to us. I would always go back the next day and give him money.

Her bitch faced roommate traveled a lot and we’d go to Michelle’s apartment and drink her roommate’s wine. She always drank Clos du Bois chardonnay and we would drink the whole thing. We used to have to keep going to the liquor store to buy replacements for her. She never found out, but we must have replaced her wine at least five times. I still had an apartment in Pennsauken, New Jersey but I was hardly ever there. I practically lived in Michelle’s room. It was insane. We would work all day together, and then hang out every night and sleep together and then do it all over again the next day.

We were out of control and loving every minute of it. One night I just lifted up Michelle’s skirt out front of the Philadelphia Public Library and went down on her right there. Her sitting on the wall and me just going to town on her. Right on the street.

One day while out on four-legged calls, we crashed a private event for Deaf Children at the Rittenhouse Hotel. We drank their booze, and ate their food. Grabbed a couple of gift bags and left. I remember us dumping out the contents on the ground and just grabbing what we wanted. I took the DVD of North by Northwest, Michelle grabbed up the make up. I know all of this is wrong but we just didn’t care. Nobody probably heard us leave anyway.

Hanging out in Alma de Cuba, going anywhere we wanted. Michelle would take me to bars and I wouldn’t even remember having gone there we were so drunk most of the time. Once we decided to go see a psychic. Michelle believed it that stuff back then. I know it’s just a parlor trick, but it’s sometimes fun to do. But the night we went, this woman started bring up all of this stuff about my life and it was freaking me out. I started crying during the reading. Bizarre!

Oh here’s one… One of the local sales reps had just signed a new client. It was the G Lounge. I called it the D Lounge because only a bunch of douchebags went there. But he was all happy about getting them. It was a thirty thousand dollar ad campaign. Somebody came up with the brilliant idea to make a promotional video for them. But they would use Michelle and our boss, (the crazy Russian) as romantic interests in the video. That is wrong on so many levels. They went and shot the video and of course Michelle looked amazing, but after that everyone was drinking and our boss tried to kiss Michelle! Awful!

Michelle always said: “I have so much fun with you, that when the day is over, I wish we could do it all again.”

Oh, and here is the crazy irony of it all. After shooting the video and running it on their website, running banner ads, email blasts and newsletter insertions, G Lounge never paid the thirty thousand dollar bill. Never. Then they went out of business. There is now a place called 1925 in that space. It is equally awful.

 

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