Rebecca – 2016 to Present -Ghost Girl

“I really want to kiss you.”

“So kiss me.” I leaned in our lips brushed lightly. It wasn’t an overly passionate kiss. Instead, it was a tender, eager one. All too soon, it was over.

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I’ve been on a lot of dates. But I always wanted one of those dates you see in movies where everything just kind of comes together naturally and provides an amazing time for the couple. I’ll never forget the first time it finally happened for me. (At least in my opinion)

To be honest, I was part of the reason I never had that movie moment date before. Okay, so I was all of the reason. I over planned before dates and way over analyzed after. I thought about my dates so much that they could never seem spontaneous or natural. True, I occasionally had a few moments during a date, but never the whole date. This was probably due to my anxiety.

Perhaps the reason this particular date went so well is that I didn’t have time to plan, much less over plan. It had been awhile since I’d seen Rebecca. We’re both so busy. I was just happy she agreed to meet up with me again. I barely had time to run home and change. I did of course. And brushed my teeth, and put on extra deodorant, and made sure my hair looked decent, and spent a few minutes repeating, “You’ll be fine,” at the face in the mirror. My reflection seemed unconvinced.

I made it to her restaurant just before it closed. Although she has a great job she’s one of those people that always keep one hand back in their old life. I know another girl that does this. Rebecca works one dinner shift a week at a local restaurant. I think it’s cool. It’s like me with the real day job and working at the tanning salon nights and weekends.

I went inside and tried to ignore her ex-boyfriend who was a cook and who clearly did not try to ignore me at all. I shifted on my feet uncomfortably and attempted small talk with the hostess. She wouldn’t stop smiling and told me how happy she was that I was about to take her friend out. It just added to the pressure and my nervousness. I just have strong feelings for Rebecca. There’s just that “something” about her.

Finally, my date walked out. She wore a brown leather jacket over her uniform. She looked tired from her shift. There was a grease stain on her collar and some other food stain on the front of her blouse. She was breathtaking.

Not her usual, sheer stockings and pumps.

She looked at her feet as she walked over. She looked up at me. Her eyes seemed larger than normal, but no too big for her slender face. They were wide open, eager. My heart beat quickly.

“Hey,” she said.

“Hey,” I managed, “Ready to go?”

“Sure. What are we going to do?”

My heart beat even faster in panic. I had no idea what we were going to do. (This is really out of character for me. I am a Master dating expert!)  I had been so busy preparing for our date that I never got around to planning it. I had nothing to offer. I thought I managed to destroy our date before it even started.

I went for the change up. (What it is about this girl?)

“Uh, whatever you want to do,” I said,thinking it would at least buy me a little time.

“Really?” she asked, “What I want to do?” Her eyes widened (which didn’t seem possible) and she looked at me differently. She seemed to express amazement, but that confused me.

“Yeah,” I said, “What you want.”

The edges of her eyes glistened like a perfectly still pool under a waning moon. I worried that I upset her, but she spoke a moment later.

Wow,” she whispered. “Can I think about it for a minute?”

“Of course,” I said. We walked outside into the chilly air. I hustled in front of her as we approached a taxi. I grabbed the handle of the passenger door and opened it for her.

“Are you opening the door for me?”

“Yeah.”

“Why?”

“Uh, it’s just what I do.”

She didn’t say anything, but I think she mouthed “wow” again.

She got in and I shut the door behind her. I smiled to myself.

I got in,  “So, know what you want to do?”

“Yes. I want to do something fun, but I want to go somewhere we can talk.”

In a moment of inspiration I asked, “Do you like pool?”

“Yes.”

“Then I know just the place.”

We took off down Chestnut street. We talked a bit in the cab, but the conversation kept faltering because we were both nervous.

“What’s this?” she asked me as we pulled in the parking lot of Zelner’s Putt & Play.

“It’s an indoor miniature golf course,” I explained, “And it has pool tables.”

“But it’s closed.”

“I friend works here. I have a key.”

I unlocked the doors and secured them behind us. She looked a little nervous about the locked doors.

“Do you want to do something else?” I asked, concerned.

“No, sorry, this is fine.”

We went to the pool table and I put in two quarters. Neither of us played very well. The game ended when I sunk the eight ball (yes, I know I should have let her win, but I’m a little too competitive).

I reached in my pocket for more quarters when she asked, “Can we just sit and talk?”

“Of course.”

We walked over to the stairs. We sat down and talked. For two hours. Somewhere in the middle of the conversation she looked down and twisted her feet. She cocked her head and bit her lip.

“What?” I asked.

“Can I ask you something?”

“Sure.” I must have been smitten because I normally would have said, “You just did.”

“Why did you ask me out?”

“Seriously? I thought you were beautiful the moment I saw you. When I got to know you a little bit, I found out how nice you are. I would’ve asked you out sooner if you hadn’t been in a relationship.”

Her face darkened for the slightest moment, but then her mouth spread in a grin and she laughed. I never heard such laughter before and the music of it filled the empty room.

“You think I’m beautiful?” She looked at me a moment and then scrunched her eyebrows. “What is it? Are you laughing at me?” She misinterpreted my grin.

“Well, it’s just that I realized I want to do whatever it takes to see you smile and laugh again.”

“Why?”

“Because you’re even more beautiful when you smile.”

She looked down at the floor, but kept on smiling.

“I’m beautiful,” she repeated.

We talked a while longer until she had to get home.

“I don’t want to go,” she said.

“I don’t want you to.”

I took her home and we stood on the stoop in front of her house. The night was quite cold by then, but I felt warm. We stood and talked far longer than we should.

She caught me off guard when she said, “Did you know your eyes are beautiful?”

“It’s because they’re looking at you.” (Yes, I quoted Jermaine Jackson. Sue me.)

She looked down again, which she had done all night, but this time it wasn’t for as long. She leaned up a little and said, “I really want to kiss you.”

“So kiss me.” I leaned in our lips brushed lightly. It wasn’t an overly passionate kiss. Instead, it was a tender, eager one. All too soon, it was over.

“I really need to go inside,” she said.

“I know.” She turned to open her door and I continued,  “I think this is the best date I’ve ever been on.” It was certainly the least expensive. (You all know I love that)

“I know it’s the best one I’ve ever had.”

It was my turn to say, “Wow.”

“Goodnight.” she said as she gave me a quick peck on the lips.

“Yes, it was.”

“Call me tomorrow.”

“I will.”

I stood for a moment after she went inside. I smiled in the moonlight as I walked to my awaiting UBER. As I rode home, I put my fingers against my lips and smiled more. It was a great date. It was perfect.

I couldn’t wait to talk to her in the morning. I couldn’t wait to ask her out again. I couldn’t wait until our next date. I’m glad I didn’t know that night, that perfect night, would be the last date we ever went on. I’m glad I had that moment to sigh and remember one perfect date without knowing there would not be another one with her.

We can all talk about this later, but soon you’ll find out why.

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish Monday through Friday at 8am EST.

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Annabelle – 7/5/13 to 4/17/14 – Epilogue

“’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” – Alfred Lord Tennyson

It was about 6 months later until I saw her again. I was working for a local publication, and my boss asked if I’d check on their booth at an event in University City. It was on a Saturday in the spring of 2015. They would normally have a booth set up at some sponsored events, and they’d have a couple of interns man it.

Since I was new no one would recognize me there, so I could see that the magazines were displayed and the swag was out, and that the interns were doing their jobs.

I met with my friend Carla for a few drinks that evening at The Continental bar in midtown. Now that I think about it, I had spent the day with Kylie, (See: Kylie – Broken Wing) and had to ditch her to go meet up with my good friend Carla.

We had a couple of drinks and wound up chatting with a couple of gals we would meet up with later. After about an hour we hopped in an UBER and headed out to University City. We got there and when you live in Rittenhouse in center city, going out to University City is like going to a different planet.

I was expecting a straight up festival, with beer and food, but all that was out there was a bunch of families, a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cart and a big stage set up. Oh, and our little booth off to the side.

Carla and I were clearly disappointed. We thought we’d be chugging free drinks and stuffing our heads with chow. We go over to the booth and check it out. I chat with the interns and everything seems to be in order.

The show starts and it’s some sort of musical number.

“Carla. I need to get out of here now.”

“This thing sucks. I agree. But it seems like something’s bothering you.”

“See that girl right there? The one on the left in the show.”

“Yea.”

“That’s Annabelle. My ex-girlfriend.”

“Oh the girl who was standing over there before, staring at you since the minute you got here?”

“She was?”

“I didn’t even see her. How did you…?

“Women can sense these things.”

“Let’s go.”

The next time was  a month or so later when I went to a beer garden that was my account at the publication. They invited me down to their place of business for some free drinks. I can’t pass that up.

So I get there and have a few drinks at the bar, and who the hell comes out to entertain everybody?

Yep. Same musical troupe, and there’s Annabelle. I watched the show a little bit, but it was so awful, I had to get out of there. Their stuff is so silly it’s absurd. I think the only reason the troupe exists is so the lead guy can run around in public in a fucking dress.

It was killing me to see her and I needed closure. I texted her and said I wanted to meet up and chat. We set it up and I met her at a bar in Northern Liberties. (Which I hate)

I had one before she arrived. She gets there and we go to a table and sit down. She orders a drink and said her stomach has been bothering her. She says it’s from all of the junk food she’s been eating down at the beer garden where her troupe has been performing all month. I think she’s full of shit. She always pulls health issues or headaches to get out of stuff.

I begin to recount all of the stuff she did after she broke up with me, and how much it hurt me, and how adults don’t do that to each other. I told her how much that hurt me for months, having her rip open the sutures that were trying to heal in my wounded heart.

She said she was sorry she hurt me, but really didn’t show any real emotion. I believe simply because she isn’t capable of it. When you don’t know who you are, where you’re going, or what you want in life, how can you possibly know what anyone else around you is feeling? Annabelle only sees what she wants. She hasn’t a clue that her selfish actions can really hurt a person that is close with her.

She told me that she had moved, and was going to buy some shitty house but her parents told her they didn’t want her living in that neighborhood, so they bought her a nice house in a better part of town. I suppose since they’re rich and she’s the only one of their kids that’s a financial failure, they felt they had to step in. So she lives on the first floor, she has taken in a roommate who lives on the 2nd floor and uses the basement for her photography stuff.

She has the roommate because she obviously can’t afford the mortgage. Who has roommates in their thirties?

“I don’t really have to work that hard anymore or make a lot of money. Because I don’t have the bills I used to have.”

(Yea, because your parents bought you a fucking house.)

She left after the one drink and I walked her outside and she got on her bike.

“You’ll have to see my house.” she said as she rode off.

No thanks, I thought to myself.

Well, so much for closure.

Her apology was hollow.

About a year later this woman I know who works in the arts hit me up at the publication I worked for at the time. Trixie wanted some love from our magazine to promote a little art performance she had written. I asked her if there was any budget to advertise and of course she said no. These “artists” never have two shillings to rub together.

So I talk to my editor and since we support the arts, she said she’d be happy to write a little piece about it and put it in our events calendar.

I called Trixie and told her that the piece would run for the two weeks before the event. So it would be in our magazine twice. She was very happy and thanked me for the free support/advertising.

So on opening night of the show I decided to check out what I had promoted for the last two weeks. I like Trixie and I decided to take my good friend, Carly (See: Carly – 2013 to Present – The Mad Baker)

Carly always comes through for me in the clutch. She’s one of my favorite people in Philadelphia.

We plowed some vodka before the show in case it sucked. We hop in an UBER and head down to the show. We get there. It’s some little installation in South Philly. We go in and there are only maybe between and 20 or 30 people there. We grab a pair of wines (Box wine!) and head into the show.

It starts with some woman doing some sort of weird slow dance on the floor. I don’t get it. Then they have us all head upstairs for the 2nd part of the “performance.”

I have the sudden realization that it is a two woman show starring Trixie and of all the fucking people on the Earth… Annabelle.

I’m an artist. I’ve been an artist my whole life. Started drawing as a child. Art major in school. Won art shows, and drew comics. I have sold my art work and even had it stolen. So my shit must have been good. I taught myself how to play guitar. I started out as a singer in the choir and then a lead singer in my first band. Then guitarist in my 2nd and 3rd bands. Philly, Jersey and LA. I’m a writer and a huge film guy. I love all kinds of music from Sinatra to Slayer and everything in between. I love the ballet, the orchestra, the arts in general. So I have a pretty good idea what is good art and what is absolute shit.

What I witnessed that evening may as well have fallen out of a dog’s ass and hit the pavement in a steaming pile of awfulness.

It didn’t make sense. It was poorly written. Horribly acted. Trixie has a great ass though. That’s all I can say. She looked hot. Annabelle was like a scientist in the beginning and then changed into a bird of some kind. It made no sense at all. Annabelle literally wrapped in saran wrap with feathers covering her sort of non nipples and hippie bush. It was a revolting mess.

I’m grateful that I had the lovely opportunity of plying myself with alcohol before the “show.” (more like, abortion)

After that massacre, Annabelle came right up to us and I told her it was really good. It was either that or just simply throw up on her in disgust.

I introduced her to Carly and I’m sure she thought Carly was my main squeeze. Oh, by the way, Carly looked amazing. Black Versace cocktail dress, black sheer hose and black pumps. She looked smoking hot.

Annabelle told us she was going to have to get out of the polyurethane feather nightmare that she was wearing and would chat some more. We told her great job and we’d be downstairs sipping free boxed wine.

We went downstairs and grabbed more wine and went outside to smoke.

“What do we do?”

It was starting to rain.

“We get the fuck out of here. Trixie ambushed you and got free advertising for her shitty show that no one went to see. We’re going.”

I hit the UBER app and we were back in Rittenhouse in 15 minutes.

This is an entirely different epilogue that Michelle’s (See: Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day) This is all I have to wrap up the tattered mess that was my short nine month relationship with Annabelle.

In hindsight, should I have ever gotten involved with Annabelle? No. She was too young, and too naive about herself or even the world. It was an absolute mismatch. I once made a list when it was over of all of the thing I liked and didn’t like about Annabelle.

On the GOOD list there were only 3 things. Youth, sex, and nice to be with when we were together just doing things. (ie: dates, museums, dinners, etc.)

Just think. Two of the 3 things she almost had no control over.

The BAD list had over 15 things that I didn’t like about her on it. That my friend, is a strong indicator that it was an absolute mismatch and maybe she was just with me due to her distant daddy issues and I was a novelty to her. A new toy. The latest shiny thing that had attracted her attention like a squirrel.

I remember she told me she once slept walked and went into the bathroom and cut her bangs off. When I met her that second time at that shitty bar where she worked I thought her hair looked a little weird. She had to go to a hairdresser to try to fix that mess. I think it may have something to do with stress.

One time she slept walked and got scissors and cut up a dress that she was supposed to wear to some event for her sister. This chick has real issues or maybe even a real mental disorder. When I look at my relationship with her now, I can’t even believe I stuck around as long as I did. I should have cut her loose way earlier than when it ended. I should have seen the crazy. But you know, I did. I just put up with it because I loved her.

I didn’t love her. That just sounds nice. That’s why people put up with shit. No. People put up with shit because their minds are clouded with society’s norms. If you can take a step back, (Most men can’t. Actually most people can’t) you’d see that you’re in a relationship with someone who is absolutely not right for you. I know some idiots that are doing this right now!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bitter. But you can think about your mistakes with people. You can talk to your friends and family about your mistakes, but when you take the time to actually WRITE them down, you see the truth. The truth “that your own rod licks you the hardest.”

My mother used to say that, and it’s so true. Think of all the fucked up shit that has happened to you in your life. The bad stuff. You did that. You were probably the architect of that madness. You made that. You at least helped. You brought that nightmare into your life.

It’s okay. I’m not here to hurt anybody. I just want you to think. “Doing the same thing over and over and thinking you’re going to get a different result is madness.”

I’ve done that. We all have. I have to evolve up and out from this relationship. I will. I will never get mixed up aith a girl like Annabelle ever again. I’d rather die alone than go through something like that with such a mixed up emotionally bankrupt, lost soul like Annabelle.

You gotta cut your losses and go.

Everybody’s different and we all go through our own shit in our own way. You can tell your friend that he should leave his cheating wife who hasn’t fucked him in two years but he has to exit that burning building in his own way. All the while wasting years of living he should be enjoying and not going to fucking meetings and therapists.

Drop the clutch and GO!

It’s like telling someone they should get in better shape.

You try to change your own mind and body.

That shit’s hard. How are you going to change another person?

You can’t. They have to do it their own way in their own time.

Anyway. No more artists or failed actresses. I just can’t.

Annabelle was texting after the show and thanking me profusely for my support. Sadly, she seemed so scared and unsure of herself. I guess now that I was standing outside the gates of Annabelle Asylum, I had a different perspective. I could see clearly she was just another lost soul of the arts community here in our fair city

I had some great dinners and some decent sex with her so there’s that. But I would erase it all if I could have the opportunity to never have met Annabelle. But I’m wrong in my thinking. I had to meet her. I had to experience this so I could learn more about myself. I’m still on the journey to find real and genuine love in this city.

But now based on these experiences I’ve had I now have a clearer idea of what that should look like. I have learned much.

And for that I am grateful and I continue to evolve and grow as a man.

That show was the last time I ever saw Annabelle.

But last year on my birthday, she messaged me on Facebook.

“Happy Birthday, Charles, I hope your life is going well.”

I waited a day and thanked her and wished her a happy birthday too. (Hers is July and mine is August 9, both Leos)

 

That was the last I ever spoke to her. I’ve never seen or heard from her again. (Thank goodness!)

 

Will I ever find a girl who is a good match for me in this city that will stick around?

 

My heart is always open, and we’ll have to see what happens. Thanks to you all of my readers. We’ll get there together!

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish Monday through Friday at 8am EST.

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Annabelle – 2013 to 2014 – Chapter 9 -Matyson

“I’m like twenty-six, and you’re fifty-one.”

I noticed something strange when I looked at Annabelle’s Facebook. It suddenly said that she was in a relationship with some guy. I looked at the guy’s Facebook and the only photo was just a pair of weird hands holding a cat. I remember not being upset about it, because the dude seemed like some kind of weirdo. But I did need to find out what was going on before I invested anymore time into this girl.

There was a restaurant that I used to love at 20th and Chestnut called Matyson. I went there years ago with my ex, Michelle. (See Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day) Normally I don’t want to go to a restaurant that doesn’t serve drinks, but Matyson has exceptional food, and that’s where the focus lies. When I brought Michelle there I just brought a bottle of wine.

After my wonderful experience at Matyson with Michelle, I always associated the place with love. So having recently fallen for Annabelle, I figured I had to take her there for dinner. She’s a pescatarian, and they have some amazing seafood dishes. She loves to eat and I knew she would love it.

I made the reservation, and asked for a quiet table. I cruised by the place and they weren’t open yet. I headed to the liquor store to pick up some wine. I got a white and a red, just in case she wanted either. I return to the restaurant and Annabelle is already there. I tell her it’s a BYOB and that’s why I have the wine. We go in and the hostess seats us in the back. I had asked for a quiet table on my reservation and that’s what I got. It’s early and the place will probably fill up and get noisy, but until then, we’re good.

We’re chatting and they open the wine as we’re looking at the menu. I don’t remember what she ordered but I know I got the swordfish and it was terrific. Every time I’ve eaten at Matyson the food was always amazing. You could always find something exotic on the menu as well. Sweet breads, escargot, etc.

So the dinner goes well, and we’re done. I can’t remember if we had dessert, but we probably did, because Annabelle likes treats. I suggest we do a picture for posterity. When really all I want it for is to document us together and put it on Facebook. Back then I loved to show off all the places I went and all of the people I was hanging out with. I realize now that most people’s social media is just the greatest hits of their lives. I think if you could see the day in and day out it would be pretty boring. But back then I was just happy that I was going on dates with this younger woman and wanted the world to know. It all seems so silly to me now.

So she comes from around her side of the table and sits next to me.

“Ooh… This is where I want to be!” she exclaims.

I’m actually surprised. For some reason I just couldn’t get a good read on this one. With my last girlfriend Michelle, I knew she liked me because we were always getting drunk and attacking each other. With Annabelle it’s been a long slow promise. I mean, I know these younger girls aren’t very sure of themselves, but it’s taking a bit of time. They take the picture and I’m happy with the result.

“This is really great Annabelle.”

“Yea, it is. (sighs) You’re a tough one.”

“Tough? I’m not tough.”

“I REALLY like you.”

“I really like you too, Annabelle.”

“I’m like twenty-six, and you’re like fifty-one.”

“You’re twenty-seven now, and age is but a number my dear.” (I didn’t say that, but something like that.)

“I’m kinda seeing someone.”

That’s when I literally felt this searing pain spread from my heart outward. It was actually like a fire that suddenly flashed across my chest. “Oh….” I think she could sense my pain. Maybe she was afraid to hurt me, but didn’t know what she wanted.

We left the restaurant and were walking towards Rittenhouse square. She started to say she didn’t really like this guy and feels that it will end soon. I had to seize the moment and show my alpha dominance.

“Well normally, when I have a presence in a woman’s life, those sort of problems just work themselves out.”

“Yea, you’re probably right. I don’t really like him”

I don’t know who this clown is, and frankly I don’t care. But I want this girl, and I will win. I’ve won before. (Even if it was only temporary!)

But in hindsight as I write this, I should bear in mind a word of caution. Is this what Annabelle does? Does she like most girl in their twenties, simply leap from guy to guy? By doing that, you never fully experience the loss of a lover. You simply discard him when you’re tired of him or have discovered a new place in which to land. It’s a wicked cycle. I could someday be on the receiving end of what’s about to happen this other guy.

We’re walking down 18th street and I ask her if she’d like to see the batcave. She agrees. It’s only around the corner. I take her in and the first thing she sees is the mini lights I have strung around the french doors that lead to my veranda. I have them on a timer and it looks really cool and illuminates the living room just enough. We sit on the couch and I ask her if she wants some wine. I pour her a glass and fix myself a vodka and tonic. I put on some chill music and we just hang out.

“Is that a working fireplace?”

“Absolutely, and it’s awesome on cold winter nights here.”

There’s some smooching and light making out. I think I’m all good here. I don’t have to worry about a thing. She really likes me, and hasn’t felt this way before and is a little confused. It’ll be fine.

Eventually, she actually falls asleep in my arms. I just remain still and sip my drink listening to the music.

I’m happy. Annabelle is with me at my house. Things are moving forward. I’m falling in love with her if I haven’t already.

She wakes up about twenty minutes later.

“Was I asleep?”

“Yes, dear.”

“Wow. That’s never happened before.”

“Sure, you’ve fallen asleep plenty of times!”

“No I mean, I’ve never been on a date with a guy and I’m so comfortable early on that I can just fall asleep next to him.”

“Get used to it.”

She smiles, “I should probably get going, I have an early shoot tomorrow. Can I use your restroom?”

“Absolutely. Through there and then make a right. I’ll call a car for you.”

“You’re funny.”

We walk outside and she says that she’ll see if she can get cab. I tell her to wait. She looks puzzled. A black Lincoln pulls up and stops. I tell her to get in and they’ll take her home. This is when UBER was really new in the Philadelphia market. Back in 2013 it was still an exclusive service. They were one of my accounts and I had a $600 credit with them!

The car pulls away and I go back in the house. I’m in my chair sipping a drink and smoking a cig. My phone pings.

“Thank you for a lovely evening, and this limo ride home! I feel SO special!”

“That’s because you ARE special, Annabelle.”

 

 

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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Annabelle – 2013 to 2014 – Chapter 7 – Happy Birthday

“Make a wish, Annabelle.”

So in our last chapter, I took the lovely Asian girl Mia Ling to Helium, because of Annabelle’s indecision or scheduling conflict. All of this during her birthday week. I posted the photos of Mia and I on Facebook. Nobody ever said anything so I’m assuming she never saw it, but if she did see it, and it got her thinking, maybe it would help move whatever this is forward.

It was Sunday, and I remember it being a rainy day. I had been hanging out with my ex-girlfriend, Michelle most of the afternoon. (See Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day) Even though Michelle and I had broken up over two years ago, we were still pals and hung out every other weekend I didn’t have my daughter Lorelei. (See Lorelei – 1997 – Present – The Apple of My Eye) Lorelei hadn’t come to live with me yet. She wouldn’t arrive until February of 2015.

There was a bar called Urban Enoteca at the corner of 17th and Walnut at the Latham Hotel. The only good thing about that place was that not many people went there, and it was a good spot for us to get out of the rain and chill out and have a couple of Chardonnays.  I suppose it stayed that way, because it closed down about a year or so ago. Something else is there now.

I was carrying a bag with me that had a copy of a screenplay I had written in it. Annabelle had shown an interest in reading it.

I was a little nervous about seeing her, and expressed this to Michelle. I think when she asked how come, I just told her that I really liked this girl. This wasn’t a walk around a museum, or lunch. This was her birthday dinner. I was wondering later if Michelle didn’t like the idea about me liking another girl so much that I was feeling nervous about our date. Probably not, because by this time she had already decided to get back together with Dave after being broken up for over five years.

Now that I think about it, I may or may not be the love of Michelle’s life, but Dave is her fail safe. They were a couple in their teens. Hell, he may have been the one that punched her V card. They broke up when she moved to Philly back in the early 2000’s, and then after a few years tried to get back together around the time I appeared in 2008, and then she was with me for a couple of years, and then again drifted back to him. This time for good. So maybe Dave is the love of Michelle’s life, and I was simply a distraction. He’s always been in her life, and firmly remains there today.

But I digress. I say goodbye to Michelle after our drinks and head over to Devon, the seafood spot in Rittenhouse Park. I made a reservation that morning for 6pm. I also did something else.

But I’ll get to that later.

When I get to the restaurant I find that they have already seated her. It’s a nice quiet table in the back. We get some wine and look at the menus. I’m really happy to see her. I love her! It’s only really our third date, and it feels like an ordeal to get here, but we’re having her birthday dinner, and I’m there!

I don’t remember what we ate, but the conversation was lively and it looked like she was really enjoying herself. I told her I had brought along a copy of my screenplay to give her to read. She came back with, “No. You hold on to it. I want you to read it to me.”

“Right now?”

“No, silly. Next time we’re together you can read it to me.”

“Okay…okay.” I say, a little awestruck. I can’t believe this is happening. I think she just set up our next date.

So it’s going really well. It’s so new and exciting at this point. So when we’re finished dinner, the server comes over and says to me, “Aren’t you the guy that does the advertising for Alcohol Monthly?” I tell her that’s affirmative.

“Thought so.” I’ll be right back.

When she returns she is carrying a lovely creme brulee with a single candle burning in it. She is flanked by two other attractive servers and they all break into Happy Birthday. Of course I smile and sing along.  Annabelle is absolutely surprised and delighted.

I live in Rittenhouse, so earlier that day I physically went to Devon to make the reservation. I gave them very specific instructions about what I wanted. It was her birthday. Here is her name. Here is what I want you to do with the dessert. The server is to ask me who I am, and when I agree, she’ll know it’s a go with the creme brulee and singing. A good, romantic gesture that worked and went a long way to making a solid impression.

They leave, and I take her hands in mine across the table.

“Make a wish, Annabelle.”

She closed her eyes and squeezed my hands. I did too and wished right along with her.

Annabelle released me, opened her eyes, and blew out the candle.

The dessert was beautiful and so was the birthday girl.

 

 

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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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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Sarika – 2014 to Present – Back In The Widow’s Web

Surprise, surprise!

I left the salon after a meeting with Achilles about the fitness center. I wanted to hit Dan Dan, the Asian fusion restaurant and bar where my buddy, Chet works as bartender. I just wanted to unwind after a long day of work, and toss back a few chardonnays.

I was completely out of cigs, so I headed over to the nearest newsstand at 16th and Locust Street. I stood in line while a few people ahead of me were buying their lottery tickets. (Or as I call it, 401K for the poor) I realized I didn’t have enough cash so I got out of line and headed to the little store down on Spruce.

I get my smokes and I head back up 16th street. I get to the intersection at Locust street again, and who do I see crossing the street from me but Sarika! She’s smiling and waving.

I’m wondering how this is possible and it almost seems surreal. I know she looked up at me two weeks ago at Parc and then looked away. I just assumed she had read the blogs about her and she now hated me.

But here she is smiling and looking gorgeous as always. She apologizes for being all sweaty but she says she just came from a spin class at Flywheel across the street.

She still looks sexy as hell. Sweat beading on her forehead, her raven tresses askew and curling about her shoulders. I can see her nipples poking through her wet sports bra. I think this is how she would look after a session with me.

But I digress…

She’s lively and a bit out of breath. We catch up on what’s been happening in our lives. I talk about the fitness center and she goes on about how much she has had to travel lately for her job. She says she recently got a raise. She’s obviously killing it as an engineer/scientist. Brains and beauty.

I ask her if she’d like to join me at Dan Dan for a drink, but she said she’s too sweaty and gross to go anywhere. She just wants to go home.

She says she met a guy she likes. I think she said they met in Atlanta, but he lives in Florida. All of these long distance relationships. But when you think about it, in this day and age it’s not that bad. Sarika travels so much it’s nothing for her to hop on a plane and jet down to Florida for a few days. She can afford it and she’s accustomed to traveling.

I’m happy to hear that she’s doing well and not mad at me. I guess when she said she was reading my blog a few months ago she missed the stuff about her. Bullet dodged!

She says she has to go to Boston this weekend, but will be back next week. She’d like to meet up for a drink.

So I’m happy about this little twist. I’ll let sleeping dogs lie, and we’ll move forward from here.

Sarika is back!

 

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Michelle – 2007 to Present – Epilogue

“Every man dies. Not every man lives.” – HCW

Michelle and I have kept in touch since she moved to San Francisco to live with Dave. She found a good job and has even been promoted. She’s doing really well in her career. It seems pretty fast paced so she’s a busy lady. I met Michelle when she was 27. She is now 37 years old. We’ve known each other for over a decade now, but somehow it seems a lot longer. I suppose having a rich history together helps.

Michelle and Dave have lived out in San Fran for over three years now. They finally got married in 2016. He still works at the same job, and like I said she’s killing it in her job. We keep in touch through texting and sometimes use face time on our phones. Our friendship has transcended time and space.

They have no children yet, and I don’t know what their plan is in that department. We all know that the deal breaker between Michelle and I was that I didn’t want marriage and kids so she was out. I’m sure like every white couple in their thirties that have known each other for 20 years, they’re “trying.”

I never understand that about people. If you really want kids, throw the switch and make it happen. It’ll all work out. It’s easy. You can’t build a computer in an elevator but you can make a kid! Just get on with it! That’s what you wanted. The American Dream.

I did it and it worked out and I didn’t even want it. I love my Lorelei. She is a shaft of golden light through the darkness of my marriage and my life.

The housing market in San Francisco is some of the most expensive property in the country. Although Michelle and Dave are doing well, they are slowly being priced out of the market due to rising real estate prices and gentrification. So they may have to return to the east coast in the next year or so.

So there’s that little twist to the story. (Stop it. Not going to anything.)

Since she moved out West, Michelle has had to hide her friendship with me from Dave. He wouldn’t approve. I get it. Would I want my wife talking to her ex-boyfriend? Probably not. I’m pretty secure in myself though. It’s not like I’m talking to her to get her back. That’s simply not the case. Michelle and I have been friends longer than we were ever lovers. Our romantic relationship only lasted about two and a half years, but our friendship has lasted ten years! So in reality, she’s just keeping in touch with her friend back in Philly. She does that with all of her other friends back here so I’m just one of them. But I’m sure Dave wouldn’t see it like that, so she keeps me a secret. Dave thinks I’m ancient history for over five years now. (I still love that my pimp hand is strong nationwide. Kidding!)

Michelle lives a pretty clean and healthy life out there in the land of fruits and nuts. But whenever Dave has to go out-of-town she is usually drinking wine, smoking cigarettes and face timing with me. It’s like the kids in catholic school when I was growing up. They are held down so strictly, and when they’d got loose, they’d go crazy. Sometimes I think it’s that way for Michelle. But in the long run, living a healthier life will extend her life and she’ll feel better, and think more clearly. But not being able to be who you really are can create some long-term problems. But people are very adaptable. People evolve and change. A healthy clean life for Michelle may be her simply growing up.

I really believe that.

I’ve gotten the advice from some of my friends that what we’re doing is wrong. But based on what I know about those friends lives, I’d never listen to what they think I should do. They’ve made plenty of bad choices, and I’ll do what I want. It ends when Michelle says so, and not before. She’s the boss of that. No one knows what my life is, or was with Michelle and neither do you.

That belongs to us, and only us.

Michelle makes the final call on us and nobody else.

She’s been back to Philly a few times since she moved out west. Normally she swings by the city around the holidays. In 2014 she was around one evening. It was a lovely but bittersweet encounter. She was overcome with emotion. She had been spending the afternoon with several of her old friends, and I was the last stop. (Deal with it) We went to 1 Tippling Place for a drink before stopping at Crow and the Pitcher for another. She was supposed to go to her friend Gloria’s house and sleep over and then they were to have breakfast, but it didn’t quite play out that way.

She ended up sleeping on my sofa. Nothing happened, but she was pretty hung over the next morning. She got up and took an UBER down to Gloria’s the next morning for breakfast. Gloria was a little miffed, but Michelle’s time was limited. I later met up with her at 30th Street Station. She was going to take the train down to Delaware to see what I’m assuming was her family. She was a nervous wreck. So we sat at the Bridgewater Cafe and threw back a few chardonnays to take the edge off.

I put her on the train and off she went.

In 2015 she visited again around the holidays. She was unsure what time she’d be in the city. I was at McGlinchey’s drinking with Johnny R. She rolled in at one point and we all sat at a table by the door. It was nice. Johnny and I took turns playing songs on the jukebox, and we were all drinking and smoking cigarettes. It was just like old times. I played “Fly Me To The Moon,” and Michelle and I got up and danced in the aisle next to the bar. (Which was a sweet moment I get to wrap myself up in like a warm blanket.) Here we are in the shittiest bar in Philly and we bring the elegance and power just like always.

That was a glorious moment with my love.

Later, Johnny left and I walked down Chestnut Street towards 17th with Michelle. I think she told her people she was staying at her friend Susan’s house. But in reality she had booked a room at the Club Quarters. We took her bags up to the room. She was supposed to meet Susan for dinner, and said if I was around later we could meet up for a drink.

I went to Wawa and got a sandwich. I was starving, because eating anything from McGlinchey’s is always a health risk. I went back to my office at One Penn Center on JFK Boulevard and ate my sandwich and drank some box wine I kept there. (Cheap ass, but Mad Men style!)

She texted me about and hour and a half later. I met her at Club Quarters. She wanted to get a cocktail somewhere. We stopped in AKitchen on 18th Street. We chatted and enjoyed our drinks, just like we always did. Stories were told, memories refreshed, and cigarettes smoked. She said she should probably go back to her room. I walked her to the entrance of the hotel.

“Wanna come up?”

God Damn it.

So I ended up sleeping over that night. There was some playful moments, but I don’t think Michelle knew what she wanted that night. I probably should have gone home. We had planned on meeting for breakfast the next morning. But when the new day dawned she just wanted to go back to her family. She was feeling guilty about spending too much time with me again. So I guess I was dining alone that day.

I walked her to the parking garage and we went to her car. She pulled out of the lot and I got out. We said our goodbyes and I told her not to worry, and that nothing had happened. Just like I always do.

But nothing really happened.

Once again, my former queen disappeared into the morning light.

I ended up dining alone at Rachael’s alone. (Breakfast is always cheap and glorious despite your circumstances)

I have seen Michelle again since then, but for now, I will stop here. I have already written a chapter about that encounter. It’s connected to another series that will come out at a later date. (2018!) Don’t worry, it’s solid, and I have some more ideas for some future bonus Michelle posts.

Should I have married her? Maybe. My sisters love her, and so does my brother-in-law for all of the wrong reasons. (lol) But we wanted different things back then. I certainly don’t want any more children, and marriage hasn’t worked for me.  My only marriage resulted in a bitter divorce that cost me over $100,000 in child support.

Lorelei is plenty. I love her so.

Michelle and I came together like two taxis on Broad street in a glorious crash. Nobody was killed and everybody fell in love.

I loved her, but I couldn’t do any more children. If I ever get married again and I fuck the next one up, my social security checks go to the next ex-wife. I can’t risk that financial ruin again in this lifetime.

What is marriage anyway? A dice roll. A legal binding contract between two people where if you split up you could lose half your shit?

We’re not that.

We were never that.

Our love goes far beyond the trappings of traditional marriage.

So I’ll leave it at that. An elegant moment in history.

 

I believe in having a good sense of humor. People tell me I’m funny, and I have even done stand up. If you ask a woman what she wants in a man, one of the things will always be, “good sense of humor.”

I know some hilarious guys who are alone. Most women don’t want that. That’s just something they read somewhere, or a lie they’ve been told. But I really believe in the power of laughter. So although this has been a long and sometimes difficult tome to write, I will leave you on a humorous note.

I’ve laughed and cried writing it, and I like laughing better. So I’ll do the funny bit, then close with something from the heart. I’m going to start with something I have never told anyone.

Not even Michelle.

Then I’m going to tell you something Michelle told me a couple of years ago.

 

My Truth

If you go back to the first chapter of Michelle, you’ll read how I describe her as this beautiful, tall goddess. I’m the loser scuttling along behind her down the hallway in my cheap ass squeaky shoes. Michelle is a former print and runway model and National Champion Swimmer. She stands at 5’11”. In heels she is 6’3″.

Yea… That is a Sexy Baby.

Our hero on the other hand, is only 5’9″. Which isn’t bad. Like my mother used to say, “We’re average.”

Do I mind my height? Absolutely not. Every guy would like to be tall. At least 6 foot. But I have been perfectly happy with my size in regard to every part of my anatomy. No one has ever complained.

“It’s not the music, it’s how you play it”.

But, when I started spending more time with Michelle, especially at work, in the field or at a bar, she would be in heels. Our height differential became glaringly apparent to me. So I went online. I think the company is overseas. It’s called Tall Man Shoes. I ordered two different styles of dress shoes from them. The shoes are constructed in such a way, that it looks like a normal men’s dress shoe, but inside is a lift.

If you look at them carefully, the heel is slightly higher. But not enough to notice and the back of the shoe is higher and longer vertically. So those shoes gave me another two inches in height. No one ever knew. I just appeared that height. I wore them all of the time and even got a pair of casual shoes. They were quality made shoes and lasted a long time. I nearly twisted my ankle half a dozen times in those damn things.

One time, I actually went off a curb sideways wearing those shoes and really hurt my left foot. I couldn’t walk on it for a day or two and had to call out of work. I called Michelle to get me booze because I was crippled by my shoes and she didn’t want to help me because she was too busy!

But I never told her!

I think I stopped wearing them after that.

Funny thing is, the next girl I started dating after Michelle was six feet tall! Yep, I was back wearing the fucking high heels! (Annabelle!)

 

Michelle’s Truth

She told me she faked ALL of her orgasms with me.

Yea…

Every one of them.

All fake.

You would think that would wound my manhood.

The flaccid, cold fact that I was unable to please my most beloved woman when I made love to her.

But it doesn’t.

You know why?

BECAUSE I NEVER FAKED ANY OF MY ORGASMS!

 

Now, as promised…a heartfelt note.

 

Dear Philadelphia,

Thank you for everything. I am proof that here in the City of Brotherly Love, your dreams can come true. Life is what you make it.  Michelle is proof of that. Today your life could be an elegant dream. Tomorrow a nightmare. Be thankful for what you have. We all make choices, that’s part of growing up. Happiness cannot exist without sadness.

I have been very lucky. Michelle has moved forward with her life without me. Here I am dating women and going nowhere with any of them.

But I know why I am where I am.

Even my daughter Lorelei will leave me to fly on new wings like Michelle. For different reasons, but it’s all just a matter of time.

She’ll be gone too.

I don’t know if Michelle was the love of my life, but it sure felt like it.

But my life isn’t over yet.

Love,

Phicklephilly

 

These fifteen chapters of our greatest hits has been a love letter to you. The series has run from Hallowen 2016 right up to your birthday this Memorial Day Weekend when we first went to NYC and consummated our love back in 2008, Michelle.

Happy Birthday!

Thank you for loving me and being in my life. You always said I was prosperous. I know you were a big part of that. 

 

 

Role Credits…..

Special thanks to everyone who supported the story and read it every week and followed me on this amazing journey. Thanks to the real Michelle for reading it and helping me remember all of our wonderful times together. Thank you friends, family and WordPress followers. I love you and all of your comments and support.

(Yea, My sisters read this blog and it’s horrible. Really?)

I write this with tears in my eyes.

My late father once said: “Every man dies, but not every man lives.”

I have truly lived and loved.

I am proud to have had the honor to dance with you Michelle in my livingroom and terrorize this town on a daily basis with you back in the day.

I’ll never forget it.

I will continue my journey through this life. I’m glad you’re all along for the ride.

Life is fleeting and fragile.

Enjoy yourself!

Fin

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 8am EST.

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