Annabelle – 2013 to 2014 – Chapter 4 – My “A” Game Lunch

I wasn’t sure, but I sure felt the euphoria of Annabelle. It had nothing to do with her, but at that point, neither of us knew that.

I had sent an email to Annabelle sometime after our “First Date”  thanking her for a wonderful time. I also asked her if she’d like to meet me for lunch at Jones (Stephen Starr restaurant at 8th and Chestnut) I knew the General Manager and knew I would get the exclusive hook up.

She got back to me and said yes!

I made a reservation, and got there early. My table was clear and I took a seat. the staff knew what to do. I waited. Annabelle arrived and I waved her over. She she had a t-shirt on and was wearing a pair of denim cutoffs that showed off her long slender legs. I hadn’t seen them before, but at nearly six feet tall, she had incredible pins.

She said she had just come from the pool where she had been swimming. I didn’t care. I was just happy that she had shown up. She had this scrubbed, day at the beach air about her. I liked it.

Within minutes a bowl of their signature mac and cheese, (which is glorious at Jones) arrived with a side of siracha. Annabelle was impressed. She wasn’t accustomed to going to restaurants with older men that made things happen. I could tell this. She was a simple girl who was surrounded by artsy people who had nothing.

We dug into the mac and cheese with great fury. Baby was hungry and liked to eat. We chatted, and I was happy to see this beauty again. I did my nervous talking thing I do with all new women in my life. But she was laughing a lot and I knew it was working. I was still friends with Michelle, but she was moving on with Delaware Dave, and I was feeling the power with this one. (See: Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day)

I gave her a dvd of “The Art of the Steal” the documentary about the Barnes museum that we went to on our first date. I also brought her two miniatures of Chivas Regal’s Maple Whiskey, or as I call it, Hangover Nightmare Juice. At some point on our first date she mentioned that she liked maple syrup. Annabelle was delighted. How crazy will it be when I go to her apartment and find that she has no DVD player or a TV???

Sadly, I was still in love with the idea of love and didn’t know what I was getting myself into. If someone had pulled me aside and told me that this whole thing was a mistake that would have been great. But I know I would have done it anyway. I missed the drug of love I once had with Michelle and wanted it again. Annabelle was twenty-six and I wanted her. I didn’t even care so much about her age, I just needed to feed the addict.

That was me back then. I suppose that was me always. The failure that could always close beautiful young women. I wanted Annabelle to feed my addiction to love. I was the guy who couldn’t have a healthy mutual relationship with a woman. I had already gone down in a ball of flames years ago. A failed marriage, and a string of bad relationships. Nearly more than I could count. The last few had failed because they were younger than me and wanted marriage and kids. I had already destroyed that and had a kid to prove it. A hundred thousand dollars blown on child support and a broken family. Nothing worked. I wasn’t cut out to be in a relationship, let alone a marriage.

I think maybe I should just be alone. I love women. Desperately. But what if for some reason I am only in love with the idea of love and I am unable to actually be in love. I want Annabelle. She’s receptive, and artist, blonde, long legs…

I’m a fool. I am only chasing and courting her because she is young and beautiful. Just like Michelle. That unattainable gazelle that is just out of reach. I must have her. But do I really know her? Is it a match? She works in the arts. They’re a bunch of weirdo losers in the “arts”. We have nothing in common. Just this common connection. A girl I met in a bar that is kind of finding her way in life.

But I’m happy in this moment. I love the sound of her warm voice.

The lunch goes well. It’s the 17th of July. My father’s birthday. He’s 83 today. I picked this day because 17 is a common number in my family. It keeps turning up. That’s why this second date is happening. Annabelle is along for the ride. I’ll call my father tonight and tell him all about it. He’ll listen intently and live through me for once. But not really. He’s had his life. It has been so much more colorful than mine. Just like when I’m talking to him and telling a story. He’s not listening. I know he’s just waiting for me to shut up so he can talk.

He’ll ask her name, and I’ll tell him. He’ll access her heritage and maybe approve. If she sounds western European she’s good.

I remember when I was out in L.A. and working as a musician. My girlfriend at the end was a nineteen year old black girl. I remembered when we finally packed it in and came home. I loved and trusted my dad, because he was awesome. I told him about the black girl and what had happened. I’ll never forget what he said, ” Are you into blacks now?”

I should date and fall in love with a beautiful black girl just to smite that motherfucker. Yea, I can call my dad a motherfucker, because he fucked my mom and made me.

But I digress…

The lunch goes really well. She was excited about the pair of miniatures of Chivas Regal Maple.(The shit tastes terrible)  I also told her I would have asked her out to a second date sooner, but I was waiting for the Art of the Steal DVD to be delivered in the mail!

I have to go meet with the nice people at Chris’ Jazz Bar and she has to go to a photo shoot.

We go outside, and her bike is locked to a pole out front. A bicycle. A simple girl. She’s young and beautiful. Oh, those legs.

I’m in love with the idea of love.

What’s wrong with me?

I tell her I have to go and we hug. I remember very specifically, I went in for the hug…and went for the kiss on the cheek back by the ear. I think we all want to kiss on the lips. But you must sometimes settle for the cheek. It’s just the stupid rules of dating. Especially in the beginning.

She tells me her birthday is coming up soon.

The baby seal is hot. She’s been sitting on the rocks with her mom. She decides to jump into the sea to cool off. The water is crisp, and frothy.

Twenty five yards away, a dark grey dorsal fin cuts through the  water, sensing the life. Feeling the drug of the next love affair. Ready to feed.

I tell her I have some good ideas for her birthday, and she agrees. (I’m so going to make this happen)

I kiss her cheek and say that she’s great.

I walk west on Sansom. I text her that it was amazing seeing her and want to see her again.

When I get to Chris’ Jazz Cafe, I’m waiting for the general manager, and I get a text.

It’s Annabelle. She agrees, and gives me the XO

When I saw the XO I knew it was on. I kissed her on the cheek. That’s still the friend zone. But you can cross over. If a girl throws you an XO in an early text, you’re in boys.

I wasn’t sure, but I sure felt the euphoria of Annabelle. It had nothing to do with her, but at that point, neither of us knew that.

She wanted her dad, and I just wanted to be loved by pretty girls when I was thirteen. So here we are, and we’ll have to see what happens.

 

 

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Eliana – 2016 – Part 2 -The Art of Philly Cheesesteaks

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

Eliana and I decided to meet again. She said she wanted to go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I love the PMA, so I was down for that. Back then I was off on Mondays, so she said she’d come down again.

She drove down into center city, and because she don’t know the city, and is not the best parallel parker, she picked me up. I was at Rachael’s stuffing a bagel down my throat. I don’t think she’d get down here as fast as she did.

I hop in her Chevy Volt and off we go. I direct her out to the PMA, because she’s clueless. We pull into the underground parking garage and lock the car. We take the elevator to the surface, and head towards the back entrance of the museum. The back of the building is not nearly as exciting as the front, with the Rocky steps and all.

We get to the door, and the nice man guarding the door says the museum is closed. What a disappointment. I was really looking forward to walking the halls of my favorite museum with this lady. But I’ve got an idea. I work my charm on the guard and he provides us with a coupon for cheap parking.

Eliana, is giving me some ribbing about bringing her down here on a monday, and the museum being closed. I get it and I’ll fix this. It was a little annoying though.

It’s a beautiful warm day, and I tell her leave the car there in the lot. We get our coats out of the vehicle and walk down Ben Franklin Parkway. I take her to the Rodin Museum. I love Rodin. It’s a small museum, but his sculptures rock. (get it?)

We tour the museum for a bit, and then take a seat in one of the rooms to chill. I steal a kiss or two from her. I think she knows by now I like her. I’m not blown away by this girl, but she’s nice and I’m feeling decent energy. I’m not that attracted to her. She’s got a sexy body, but there’s something missing. Maybe it’s a cultural gap. Did you ever notice how sometimes people from other countries just aren’t as hip as Americans? I mean no offense by this statement. But we have so many diverse culture references, that, and our fast way of life, it just makes us different.

The sun is shining and it’s an amazingly warm beautiful day. We stroll the parkway, and I have us walk south around 20th street. That’s a great area out there. The Franklin Institute, the Academy of Natural Sciences. I could have taken her to the Barnes Museum instead of the Rodin, but there’s a difference. The Rodin Museum was free. I made a small donation. The Barnes if $25 per person. I’m not dropping $50 on a second date. I don’t care if it’s a billion dollar art collection or not.

I’ve done the Barnes as a first date, but I got in for FREE. Totally different situation. I don’t know if this chick is going to make it.

We walk all the way back down to Rittenhouse. It was a hike, but a lovely stroll. I take her to a good spot I know for Monday lunch. We go in and get a table in the back. My favorite Monday bartender is on duty. Anna Marie is a love. She’s a beautiful Vietnamese girl. Petite and fit. I do the necessary pleasantries. Eliana had told me she had never had a Philly cheesesteak.

Today is the day, because they are half price on Mondays at this place. If I’m going to date all of these women, I have to be creative as well as thrifty. She’s pleased with the outcome, and happy that I remembered.

We get our food and chat. Our day is going well. She likes her cheesesteak well enough. I of course pay the bill. But so far this has been a pretty light date financially.

We walk west on Walnut street. We had some leftover food and I am carrying it so that I can give it to the next homeless person I see. It’s a real problem in Philly. But it seems like every time I have food, I never see any of them. This has happened on several occasions. But I do finally run into a guy and give him the food.

We walk all the way out to the Schuylkill River. There is a long walking and riding path there. It’s a lovely scenic area. You just have to watch out for the cyclists speeding by.

Check it out here: https://schuylkillrivertrail.com/

It goes on for miles and miles. They’ve really done a great job developing and maintaining it. We walk along the manicured trail. The view of the river is great. You can see Thirtieth Street Station, and the Cira Centre, which is my favorite building in the city. Because it looks like a big shard of glass jammed into the ground.

More here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cira_Centre

There was some kisses as we strolled along the path. It was a long day, and we basically spent almost six hours together. The beauty of this little journey, is that the path leads right back to the Art Museum. It really has been a lovely day. But when you spend a great deal of time with someone, you get to know them pretty fast.

We get to the parking garage and hop in her car. It’s been an amazing day weather wise. I like Eliana. She asks me if I want to drive her car, and I leap at the chance. Just so much technology in these modern machines. I’m going to drive this car right down to Square 1682 at 17th and Sansom. I’ll be sipping a drink with Carly and Church in twenty minutes.

I just don’t know how thrilled I am with Eliana. I think she’s nice and I like her, but somehow, something’s missing. I’m just not feeling the energy. I don’t need to feel the euphoric power I have felt in the past about anyone. I hope that aspect of my love life never happens again.

I need to think about this. I’ll know what I’m going to do by the next date.

Probably before that.

She does have a slammin’ little body on her…

I promise to let you know.

 

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Annabelle – 2013 to 2014 – Chapter 2 – Guy Walks Into A Bar…

“I wish I could go to cool events.”

I had met Annabelle a year earlier while she was tending bar at that crappy tavern at the Warwick hotel. That was the Saturday I was waiting for Michelle to meet me for brunch after her hair appointment. (See Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day)

I was with Lorelei and I took her to get her nails done. I had been at a First Friday event the night before and was a little banged up. First Friday is just what it sounds like. It’s mostly celebrated down in Old City. The businesses down there showcase work by local artists and serve free wine, beer and cider. The company I worked for normally had these huge parties at our office the first friday of the month, once a quarter. So it was a shit show and oceans of booze.

The place she goes to get her nails done is right across from the tavern at the Warwick. I haven’t set foot in the place in over a year. I walk in to get a beer to take the edge off my hangover. Who’s standing behind the bar but Annabelle. I remembered her name and say hello to her. She greets me using my name as well. I was surprised and impressed. I must have made a favorable impression on her a year ago.

I am once again the only person in the place. I order a Corona, put some cash on the bar and start chatting with her. I tell her I am no longer with the publication where I formerly worked for five years. I am working for a start-up that shows people where to go drink around the city. I do advertising sales for them. Because of my job I get to go to a lot of cool events for free around the city. I also tell her Michelle was leaving town to go live in San Francisco, with her former ex-boyfriend. They had rekindled their relationship and were giving it a serious go.

“I wish I could go to cool events.” she says.

“I’d be happy to bring you along to one! Let me see what I have coming up.”

Annabelle was under the impression that I was married to Michelle, and that Lorelei was our daughter. She said she remembered me friending her on Facebook a year ago after we met and me reaching out to her. She never responded because she thought I was in a relationship with Michelle. But I told her that Michelle and I were just friends when we walked into the bar last year and had been done since 2010. It was now 2013, and so much had changed. It was June and Michelle would be leaving around November.

We had a really great conversation and I felt energized. She was still doing her photography business, but still did the bartending gig to support it. She had worked at this spot for years. Annabelle didn’t like working in the restaurant business. She said she hated it. I would later find out why.

Annabelle cracked open another beer. She tells me she lives up in Northern Liberties. She had a mock studio in her loft apartment there. I don’t really ever go to Northern Liberties. Just not a fan of the area. I like being in the center of things. That’s why I’m in Rittenhouse. She says she rides her bicycle down here a few days a week to work here.

I ask her if she’s been to the Barnes Museum yet. She says no. I knew the answer would be no, that’s why I asked her. It was still relatively new to center city, and tickets were expensive. I knew she didn’t have that kind of paper. I mentioned that there was a rum tasting event that’s coming up in a couple of weeks. I knew the marketing director over there and knew I could get us in to see the collection and get some free drinks.

“That would be cool!”

I looked at my phone. Lorelei was done, and needed Daddy to come across the street and pay for her new manicure. “I gotta go. Daughter needs me for my wallet.”

As I’m walking out, I tell her I’ll send her a calendar invite for July 5th and if her night’s clear, I’ll take her.

“Sounds good!” she smiles.

I step out into the warm Spring afternoon and bolt across the street. There may be something here. Met her a year ago. Made the connection. Reconnected just now. Locked down a potential night out with her. We’ll see what happens. If nothing comes up, I’ll be checking out a billion dollar art collection, sipping rum with a tall pretty girl.

 

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Roman – Rock and Roll Bartender

I introduced myself and gave him my card. (I’m in sales. Automatic behavior) I’m sure he didn’t give a shit.

I started hanging at Square 1682 because of Carly. (See: Carly – 2012 to Present – The Mad Baker) It was our time to commiserate and share stories and just enjoy each other’s company. But along the way you start to love the staff too. Roman was my first.

I was sitting at the bar one night waiting for Carly. I started chatting with the bartender on board. He was 30’s, dark hair, a little long, medium build and a no-nonsense kind of guy. Not a big conversationist, but an attentive barman.

I introduced myself and gave him my card. (I’m in sales. Automatic behavior) I’m sure he didn’t give a shit. I told him his lastname was unique and I only knew two girls in my life with that last name. I knew them in my senior year of high school at Wildwood High School.

I was in American lit, and there was this girl Lisa with the same unique last name as this fine bartender. I would be reading Bell for Adano and checking out her lovely shapely stockinged legs and I knew she knew I was looking at her but she knew I would never have her. I was just a guitar player in a band. But… I was a straight A student in English and American lit, because I love words.

I told him about Lisa in my American Literature class in Wildwood back in 1980, and her younger sister Maria, and he said they were his aunts! God, I’m old. But I love this amazing connection! Lisa was in my class and a delicious brunette and her sister Maria was a blonde that was in my lead guitarist’s math class. Amazing. James was totally into her too.

So this guy who lives in Jersey and comes over on the PATCO everyday to work as a bartender is connected to a very old history of mine. Instant respect.

Roman is also a musician. He works the bar, and has been doing more work in the office when it comes to ordering product for the bar. But there is more…

This is a Kimpton hotel. Every night in every Kimpton hotel in the world at 5pm they serve free wine and cider in the lobby to all of the guests. Have I been a slob and drank my face off for free at those happy hours with my friends, of course. I have brought guests and everything. No one has ever said anything to me. I have drunk oceans of free wine at the expense of the Kimpton family. They either don’t notice or have accepted me as a regular. Regardless I’ve done it but I don’t do it anymore because it’s a bit of a weasel move.

On Thursday nights Roman plays guitar live in the lobby for everybody for an hour set. It’s really good. I work at the salon on thursday nights so I have not been able to see him perform in over a year and I really miss it. He is fantastic. The guests are sitting around chatting, stuffing their heads with delicious greasy truffle popcorn and slugging wine and Roman is singing his heart out. I have shot video of him performing Elton John and sent them to Michelle (See: Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day) so she can enjoy the power too.

Roman’s a good guy. Married. Nice pretty wife, and they just welcomed a happy baby boy into the world. So, rock n’ roll.

I love when life works!

 

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Michelle – 2007 to Present – Chapter 12 – The Good, The Bad, and The Awesome

“Your behavior is making the other guests uncomfortable. We’re going to have to ask you to leave.”

These stories aren’t really long enough to support their own chapters, so I’ve decided to round them up into a nice little trilogy for you. Enjoy!

 

The Mann

Michelle was having some minor problems with her lady parts. It was nothing serious, but she said that until things got back into proper balance we couldn’t have sex for like two weeks.

I guess because I was still in my love/euphoria phase of our relationship and I went out of my mind. I don’t even remember why. We had a fight about it. It was weird. Why would I get angry if I couldn’t have sex for two weeks? I’ve gone for longer than that.

It was the Fourth of July and we had tickets to see the symphony play out at the Mann amphitheater. I remember us both being in a bit of a snit on the drive over. Then I decided to do something to hopefully impress her, because I didn’t want my bad behavior to wreck our night. I pulled out a cassette and popped it in the player in the dash. This was 2008 and although I had all CDs this particular car was a 1994 Ford Taurus wagon. All you could play in it were cassettes.

Anyway, the cassette I popped in were studio recordings of three songs I wrote and recorded in the studio years before. Tear Me Up, Betty Ann and Can’t Let Her Go. I composed those songs and played all of the instruments on them. Well not all of them. The drum track was digitally created. I played guitar, bass and sang all of the songs.

Michelle liked them. I think she said it sounded like eighties music. But as we listened to the last song as we were pulling into the parking lot, we had both cheered up and I was done being an asshole about not getting laid.

We got some food and got a couple of glasses of wine. It was still light out because of the time of year. You could see the city off to the east. It looked beautiful at sunset. I think we brought a couple of bottles of wine with us, but we didn’t want to crack them until we got situated in our spot.

We put our blanket down on the grass and took a seat. I was surprised at the amount of people who were there. It’s nice to see that classical music is still enjoyed. We ate the snacks we brought and drank our wine. It was so nice lying out on the grass like that on a warm night. The music was wonderful and at one point I may have even dozed off.

At the end of the show the finale was with fireworks. Behind us they began to burst in the sky as the orchestra played on the stage. We simply rolled over on our blanket and looked back and could see everything. It was a lovely night and one we won’t forget. We were so well-behaved for a change!

 

Parx Casino

Parx was a client of mine at the company Michelle and I worked. A casino is always good for recruitment as well as brand advertising. My contact invited us up for dinner. So we decided to make a night of it. They comped us on a really nice dinner with cocktails and wine. We gambled a bit. We’re not really into gambling. we’d rather spend $20 on wine than pump it into a slot machine. I remember sitting at the bar with Michelle, watching the Phillies killing it in the playoffs, playing video poker and smoking cigarettes. That’s a lot of vice right there. But we had a wonderful night.

Parx at the time had a hotel that was across their vast parking lot. I don’t know if they have built up and gotten one closer, but it did seem odd at the time. So we stumbled over to the hotel and went to bed. It was late and I think I snored a lot that night. If Michelle wasn’t drunk enough it would keep her up at night. So I don’t think she slept all that well.

I woke up early the next morning with quite a hang over. I figured if I got some fresh air it would give Michelle a chance to sleep in. I went across the street to a diner and ate a monster breakfast. If you’re not too sick to eat, a solid breakfast will fix you up. Eggs, bacon, pancakes are all good fuel for the body. Protein, carbs and sugar. That, and drink as much water as you can. You’ve gotta clean that machine. I was over there for a bit and then came back to the room. We checked out and drove back to the city.

But the story doesn’t end there. We put my car in the lot at the company where I worked. I planned on staying over at Michelle’s place that night. We ended up going to a bar out by her apartment for a little hair of the dog. It’s called Kite and Key. Solid food and beverage program. We sat outside and started with champagne, later switching over to wine. I think we were there for over six hours. But once again, we were well-behaved.

 

The Four Seasons

Let’s see if we can stay well-behaved three times in a row.

One night Michelle and I were out on what I believe was a Friday night. We went especially hard on Friday nights. Partly from the stress of our jobs in advertising sales and just happy it was the weekend.

We hit a few of our usual haunts, Twenty Manning being one of them, but at some point during the night we ended up in the Fountain Room at the Four Seasons Hotel. We were sitting at a table in the corner and were drinking martinis. The Four Seasons is one of the nicest if not the very best hotel in the city. It attracts celebrities and the affluent. I remember using the urinal in the bathroom and the guy next to me was wearing a tuxedo.

So we’re there at the table and we’re getting a little amorous. Now, I’m not a big fan of PDA (public displays of affection) but I love her, and she’s gorgeous, and I’m drunk. So some of the things that we were doing became a bit arousing and sexual in nature. But I’m not going to go into detail here. Use your imagination. We didn’t care, and frankly we couldn’t help ourselves. Love is a powerful drug.

So the Maitre d comes over and leans in and says: “Your behavior is making the other guests uncomfortable. We’re going to have to ask you to leave.”

I’m not one to start trouble. I was just a fool in love. I know when it’s time to go. If I fucked up enough to get thrown out of a bar in the nicest hotel in the city, I better do it with a certain level of dignity.

We apologized and paid our bill and got up and left. Of course we were escorted to the door to make sure we left, but at least this time it wasn’t by law enforcement.

But the story doesn’t end there. When we went out into the street. We saw that it had rained. We were up near the Ben Franklin Parkway. I looked down and there at our feet was around eight dollars in cash! The bills were wet, but we were both forty bucks richer.

But the story doesn’t end there either!

Around two months after the incident I called the banquet coordinator at the Fountain Room. I told her we had met at event and I was really impressed with her and the space.  I was representing my company and was considering the Fountain Room as a place we could have lunches with clients and hold meetings there. (A bold-faced lie)

She was delighted that I had called her, and invited me to come in and sample the food. I told her I would be bringing my associate with me to the lunch. I gave her my name and she made the reservation. I told Michelle, and of course she was nervous about going back there because of our behavior. I was nervous when we arrived there too. If the President of our company ever found out we used the company’s name to pull another stunt, I’m sure he would’ve fired the both of us.

We go in and I give them my name. I don’t see anybody that I know. The girl I spoke to on the phone wasn’t even there. They seated us in a small private room near the window. We had this really great waiter. They treated us like gods. The lunch was delicious. and so was the dessert. We refrained from anything alcoholic, but they offered. When we finished eating there was no bill. It was absolutely free. That had been my plan all along. Get a free lunch out of the Four Seasons as their apology for throwing out the Dark Lord and his Queen!

Sadly, the Four Seasons is no longer there. It’s called the Logan Hotel. It’s all different inside now. I don’t go there. The good news is, The Four Seasons is taking several of the top floors of the new Comcast tower that is currently being built. It will be the tallest building in the city upon its completion. So who knows, maybe I can get up to some new deviltry in the new Four Seasons in 2017!

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

 

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Nadereh – 2016 – Persian Beauty

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

I met Nedereh on the online dating platform, Clover. It’s like Tinder but I think the woman has to speak to the man first. (Or maybe that’s Bumble) She lives in Jersey City which is up near Manhattan, so she’s really far away. Normally long distance just doesn’t work. But she is going to be in town to meet with her brother. I was at Square 1682 and ran into my buddy, Church. (See: Church – 2012 to Present – Seizure Salad) His phone was dead and he needed to use my charger. I always carry a charger in my blazer. He senses that I seem a bit on edge and asks what’s going on. I tell him I’m meeting some chick I met on Clover for a drink. It was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving which is a huge drinking night. Everybody gets together with family and friends and goes out to party. I didn’t plan on staying out late, I almost never do anyway. I’m getting too old for that shit. Besides nothing good ever happens after midnight when there has been a lot of booze involved.

Nedereh texts me that she is parking. Church asks me if I want him to leave. I told him to hang in case I hated her. Besides, she was only staying for about an hour or so and then going to her brother’s house.

Nedereh arrives and she looks good. Early fifties, but great skin so she looks younger. Pretty face and a fit body. I’m drinking my usual chardonnay with ice and she orders a glass of red. I introduce her to Church. We’re at the bar and she’s sitting between us. We start chatting to learn more about each other. She’s originally from Iran. Her family came here to the US twenty years ago. She said her husband is an asshole and they have been divorced since 2002. She has one son who lives in California and works in IT in Silicon Valley. Match.com and Clover haven’t yielded any good matches for her yet.

She works in Manhattan, selling insurance through brokers. She lives in a high-rise  apartment building in one of the better neighborhoods of Jersey City. A coincidence is that her birthday is 8/6/63. I’m 8/9/62. Both Leos and although a year apart, very close in birthdays. Who knows? Maybe we could share our birthdays with one celebration next summer if this works out.

She asked about the distance factor. I knew that would come up and be a problem. I like her. She’s pretty and sexy and I think we could be a match. But Jersey City? Come on. I lived there. She might as well be on another planet. I thought helicopter and told her that, but she had a better idea.

Nedereh  thought we should drive toward each other and meet in the middle. That’s a great idea actually. It would keep her away from my Philly lifestyle and my longing to be alone, but I could occasionally visit with her in some foreign town and explore, and go on a date. Could be sexy and fun.

I don’t know. Seems like a stretch. The holidays can be such a bitch.

I think the best part of the encounter was Church. He ignored us most of the time, which was respectful. He played with his phone and ran his business. But he would chime in and occasionally and be the best wing man ever. Nedereh asked me about my music career and Church started whipping out pics of me back in the day with my band. Nedereh liked the pics of the young, skinny, me but said I looked great now. I liked that. He showered her a pic of me last year holding my axe and she liked that too. Church was there making me look totally metal and I realize that he is an amazing wingman.  I don’t require a wingman, but he was perfect. I won’t forget him for that.

Church was funny and lively and I really appreciated having him there.

In some of my Tinder pics I have a beard. I shared some pics with Nedereh and she asked me about my beard. (Middle Eastern chicks like beards) I told her it now comes in completely white. She didnt’ seem to mind and liked the beard just like Michelle did. Michelle inspired the beard. She always thought I looked good with a beard and if I wasn’t clean-shaven, it would scratch her sweet face and she didn’t like that. I told Nedereh if she became my girlfriend I would grow my beard back. She loved that and laughed.

It was a wonderful hour and I’d love to see this Persian beauty again. She was fiery and fun. I love when there is good energy with people around the holidays. It makes it so much more intense and romantic. Everyone is in the spirit.

She had to go and I walked her to her car. She was driving a Mercedes 2 series. Which is little but I don’t care about material things. I’m sure she is proud of her little coupe. She said she may come back into the citylater to party with her sister-in-law. I told her I was down but I didn’t really want to do it. I was done. I hooked her, gaffed her and brought her aboard and was done.

I actually hoped I didn’t have to go out again. I spent my energy on meeting her and being in character and that took a lot. Church was awesome and he was waiting for a friend of his to show up to meet up for a drink.

I kissed Nederah and I told her I wanted to see her again. She is a solid lady and I would love to spend time with her. But the distance thing will probably sledgehammer any of that and I have to realize that. Fucking Clover. Too much distance. I am not ruling her out because she has great energy and we definitely had chemistry.  We’ll just have to see where this takes us.

I  texted her later and I told her I was tired and had family commitments, and wouldn’t be able to come back out later, (a bold-faced lie) and she agreed she was going to stay put as well.

Church said the best line of the night: “What nationality is she?”

Me:”Iranian.”

Church: “Maybe she’ll take you hostage.”

Me: “I hope so.”

 

I have spoken to her since that night and we both agree we like each other and would like to see each other again. It’s just the distance factor.

 

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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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.

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly