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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Michelle – 2007 to Present – Chapter 15 – Everyone’s Waiting

“You can’t take a picture because it’s already gone.”

I have always struggled with this series. I really have. Beyond trying to remember all of the crazy things we did, I’ve always been wondering what it meant to both if us.  What if we stayed together? You have to be careful with that. What do you do with it? What do you put in the story? What do you leave out? My family loves her. Have I made a mistake?

I remember saying to  co-worker, ” “If I ever got Michelle as a girlfriend, I  would knock her up and marry her tomorrow.  That’s nuts. That’s how crazy I used to be back then.

I have been writing this for six months. I started this series last year, Halloween 2016. Where do I go with a story this epic?

I have left out all of the fights and anguish and drama in our journey.

Maybe it’ll be in the book, but that shit is boring. Michelle rocks and I want to tell this story in her honor. (Sue me later Michelle!)

I know there are all of the times that belong only to us that are personal and human. To anyone that doesn’t know us… it would be embarrassing. So they will never be included in anything about us!

We were always beyond social media.

Our life together was elegant and beautiful. I was amazed that I was with Michelle and we got away with all of the things we did.

But not really.

You can’t take a picture if its already gone…

We had a power together that the rich and powerful longed for but could never attain with their money and wealth. We could glide among them with ease. They accepted us as their own but we never belonged to them.

We always belonged to each other exclusively.

We enjoyed playing in their park. and walking among them but never wanted to join them.

We decided on each other and we were in love.

That was always enough.

It had been a few years since Michelle and I were a together. We met in 2007, became a couple, and moved in together in 2008. She moved out in 2010, and we remained friends after that.

Now it was 2013.

We just hung out every other weekend, and may have unintentionally cock blocked each other from getting involved with other people because of that very fact. I know Michelle had gone on some dates, but they never materialized into anything. She never really talked about them anyway.

Me either.

One day we were out somewhere. Maybe, we were sitting outside at Fado. Looking at Nicholas Cage funny videos, But I could be wrong.

Well, we were having a drink somewhere.

Michelle tells me she has reconnected with Delaware Dave. (See: Michelle – Chapter 2 – Getting to Know You)

At first I was absolutely shocked. But I did think back to the days when Michelle would be drunk and angry at me and she’d go back to the bedroom in our apartment and call him.

Hmm…

She dumped me, but kept me around and kept in touch in with Dave as well. The whole, “I want to get married and have kids” thing wasn’t happening in our fair city, so she decided to roll the dice on something else. Something familiar. Something safe. I am assuming he wanted the same but it never happened for him either.

But Delaware Dave didn’t live in Delaware anymore. He had moved to San Francisco a few years ago. He was in management at a major home improvement company out there. (Should I start calling him, San Francisco Dave?)

I told her that sort of thing never works, not even on TV, but truth is stranger than fiction, and love is the most powerful thing in the universe.

She said, “He has grown into the man I always wanted him to be.”

I suppose the guy went out there, got a real job, quit smoking dope and grew up. I admire that.

But….

Love him for who he is, not for what you think he can become.

Just sayin’…

So she decides she’s going to quit her job at the non-profit, get rid of all of her furniture, get rid of her apartment, and move out to San Francisco and move in with him.

Yea, I know. Crazy right?

But I’m rooting for those crazy kids.

Before she moved out there, I think they would speak on the phone quite often. I don’t know if it was every night, because I didn’t see her everyday. One night we were hanging out having drinks, and she had to go home and make her routine call to Dave. I walked her to her stoop and said goodnight. She asked if I was going right home, and I told her I was going to stop at the liquor store and pick up a bottle of vodka. (So what else is new?)

She asked if I’d pick up a bottle of wine for her.

By the time I returned from the store she was done with her call. I texted her that I was outside and she came down to pick up her wine. I handed the bag to her.

“Wanna come up?”

When you drink alcohol, the first thing that leaves you is your sense of time. The second is your ability to make sound decisions. I guess I was at that point.

I went upstairs to her apartment and spent the night with her. They weren’t engaged yet, so technically she wasn’t cheating on Dave with me, but she kinda was.

The next morning she felt really guilty about what she had done. She got herself together. I was just going to go my office, but she insisted I ride with her in the cab up to her work. So we hopped in a taxi and took the long ride up to her job. I got out when we arrived and told her not to worry.

Just pretend it didn’t happen.

We slipped, and nothing happened. Obviously something had happened, but I just told her to keep telling herself that nothing happened. I knew it would be a rough day for her. She went into her building and I decided to make the long walk back to center city. It was a nice day and the exercise and sunshine would help to clear my head. (Walk of shame)

On my way home, I passed a Starbucks in Old City and I saw my friend Dina (See: Dina – 2011 to Present – Lil’ Jap) sipping coffee inside and working on her lap top. I went inside to say hello. She hits me with this chipper greeting:

“You look like shit.”

God I love her. Dina always has a nice way of being frank with me. She is my most beloved Jewish friend and confidant. Read on, and you’ll find out how she comes my financial advisor.  I told her what had happened. She giggled and seemed to enjoy the drama.

“So you’re on a ‘three-mile walk of shame’ back to the city?”

“Yea, pretty much.”

“Good luck with that.”

I fucking love, Dina.

I checked in with Michelle later and she was struggling, but I knew she’d be okay. It’s hard to leave your whole life, and move to another city to commit to someone for the rest of your life. You hope you’ve made the right decision.

We continued to hang out when all possible. But time was ticking away and the fateful day was soon to arrive. I remember we were supposed to have one final lunch before she left, but one of our investors had called a meeting and I couldn’t get out of it.

So that was it.

She was gone.

She got rid of all of her furniture, moved out of her apartment, and quit her job. She then got on a plane with what I’m guessing was her jewelry and wardrobe. It was a bold move, I’ll give her that.

Delaware Dave had finally won back his girl in the final reel.

Even if I end up as a footnote in Michelle’s life, I know I have helped and maybe even saved, or at least helped repair one person in this world. I want no credit for any of that. But if you can be something special to someone in this world and really help them to grow, then you have done something good while you are here on this speck of dust we call Earth.

I see you every day in the city, Michelle.  

But the longer I’m here you haunt me less and become a friendly spectre of what was once a magical time.

I’m just passing a tall beautiful blonde girl who isn’t you that I somehow wish was still you.

I am honored to have been chosen out all of the men in the world to love and sleep next to you Michelle, even if our time was fleeting.

The world is a better place with you in it.

And so am I, because of you.

Thank you for giving me life, romance, love and everything wonderful in my life, Michelle.

You gave me a beautiful life here in Philadelphia, Michelle. I came here from New York broken, and I was fixed by you. I know you think it’s the other way around but you saved me too, dear.

Better than I could ever imagined.

 

I continue on here in this city without you.

I miss you.

The city is not the same without you.

 

But I’ll never be without you, Michelle. I have my memories, and this tome now.

 

But I embrace my time with you.

 

And so life unfolds….

 

And off we go, my then greatest love.

 

Goodbye.

 

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

 

” You can’t take a picture because it’s already gone. “

 

 

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Tales of Rock – Rick James Holds a Woman Hostage and Burns Her with a Crack Pipe

Charlie Murphy terms James “a habitual line stepper.”

Musicians’ drug problems are often rich sources of satire for comedians, but no one has ever been sent up as thoroughly and hysterically as Rick James. A 2004 episode of Chappelle’s Show saw Eddie Murphy’s older brother Charlie describing James’ antics during their long friendship as Dave Chappelle reenacted all this dressed as James. He’s depicted cavorting with loose women, licking their faces and rejecting their breasts; fucking up a couch; and punching and slapping Murphy in the face and in turn getting beat up repeatedly. Murphy terms James “a habitual line stepper,” and all the while the real Rick James appears intermittently to offer little more explanation for his behavior than “cocaine’s a hell of a drug.”

Of course in reality, James’ drug tales were much darker. In 1992, James and his girlfriend were accused of holding a woman hostage for a week, binding her, forcing her to perform sex acts and burning her with a crack pipe. In 1993, while out on bail for all this, the two did the same thing to a female music executive and were arrested again. James was found guilty of both offenses and sentenced to two years in prison; released in 1996. He later lost $2 million in a civil suit related to the case.

The same year the Chappelle’s Show episode dedicated to him aired, James died of heart failure. An autopsy found nine different drugs in his bloodstream when he died; a mixture of prescription and illegal drugs. Cocaine was one of them.

Super Freak.

 

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Michelle – 2007 to Present – Chapter 13 – Domestic Bliss and a Happy New Year

Is that a picture of my ass on that wall?

2008 was an amazing year. Barak Obama was elected President, The Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series, and Michelle was my girlfriend. That’s a hat trick if there ever was one.

Michelle was one of several people who got laid off while the company we were working for was once again trying to figure out what it wanted to be. (Print going bankrupt again!) I remember the day it happened she went out and bought me an Ipod for my birthday. I was very grateful and it was a wonderful and thoughtful gift. I love music and I couldn’t believe how technology could put a thousand songs into something the size of a pack of gum. It’s pound for pound the best gift anyone has ever given me, and I don’t like presents. I’d always rather give that receive.

Michelle started working as a hostess at a local restaurant. She hated it because now she had to stand there and watch people do the very thing that she and I enjoyed doing. She also took a job at a local retail store here in center city. Looking back on that now, that had to be tough on her. She went from making good money at a dot.com to being on her feet all day and night and doing something she wasn’t even interested in. She did finally get a good gig with a great company. Better than when she worked with me at the publication. It was a non-profit that was at the forefront of organ donation. This job would serve her well and help catapult her into a great career in the future!

She was fed up with her bitch faced, passive aggressive roommate, and I think that chick was leaving when the lease was up anyway. I wanted to move to Philly and get out of living in Pennsauken, NJ. So with us being in love, we decided to get a place together. That normally had been the kiss of death for me, because I like my alone time. But we really got along and I figured we’d be alright.

We got a third floor two bedroom apartment in Graduate Hospital, which is the neighborhood just south of Rittenhouse. Penn Medicine now runs the hospital complex down there now, but people still call the neighborhood by its former name. It was a beautiful apartment. Everything was brand new. The instructions were still in the oven. It had all of the amenities. Michelle picked a two bedroom because my daughter Lorelei stayed with me every other weekend. She did a wonderful job of finding a home for us in Philly and I love her for that. We have so many great memories in that place.

I remember the night she showed me the apartment. The realtor was late. (He is a very powerful real estate mogul in the city today) We ended up going to Ten Stone, (A neighborhood bar at 20th and South) Michelle put it to me… “Are we doing this?”

We split the rent and the bills but eventually I think I paid the utilities and half the rent because I earned more. One thing I never took into account was that the reason we had to pay $1650 a month was for the second bedroom that was for my kid that visited twice a month. In hindsight I should have paid more of the rent back then and all of the utilities. Sadly, back then I was paying $600 a month in child support to the Gorgon sister I call my ex-wife. But Michelle was always on point with pulling her share. But I know I should have always paid more.

We moved all of our stuff from both apartments in one day. It was brutal. My whole body hurt for a week after that massive move. We did it all with a single U-haul van I rented for $100. Her building charged her $100 to use the elevator for the day to move. Fuckin’ exit fees.

We didn’t care. We got plowed at Continental midtown the night before, but we made it work. We got all of our shit moved in and it was in piles of boxes all over the living room. I think we went for pizza at Lorenzo’s that night to celebrate our new life together.

It was fun living together for the most part. The holidays were coming and my daughter Lorelei and I went out and got a tree and set it up in the living room. It was so funny. It was like a Norman Rockwell moment. Michelle was working and we wanted to surprise her. My daughter and I walked from 18th and Kater to 4th and South, (Which is a hike) to pick out a tree. We found a great bushy one and proceeded to carry it by hand all the way home. I only had one pair of gloves so I gave one to baby and I wore the other one. Lorelei carried the top, (Which was lighter) and I carried the trunk. We took breaks because it was heavy, and switched gloves. It smelled so good! Pine Christmas sap! I love that smell! People were coming out of their homes and taking pictures of me and my daughter carrying our christmas tree across the city. They were going mad about our Rockwell moment. I don’t know how Lorelei felt about it but as always, she was a trooper.

We all decorated it and it looked beautiful. Michelle had lots of great ornaments that either she or her mother used to stress about. I don’t remember why. Maybe because there was some holiday history in those ornaments. I remember later she really stressed about those ornaments. I know Michelle didn’t really give a shit because she’s like me, (no pageantry) but her mom did.

One of our favorite things to do was to sit on the loveseat in our living room and watch movies and different TV series on Netflix. Michelle’s mother had bought her a 50″ flat screen for Christmas and it was glorious. We would binge watch on the weekends. Just eat, drink wine and smoke cigarettes. Sometimes Michelle would bring out the inflatable mattress and stretch out on that on the floor. She loved that thing just to rest her beautiful body after a week of work.

Another thing we enjoyed was sitting at the kitchen counter, (resembled a bar) and we would listen to music and just chat and drink. Sometimes we’d bust out Scattergories and play that. Michelle being a former National Champion swimmer, was very competitive and didn’t like to lose. Things could get intense during those board game sessions. I actually remember her getting mad at me if I got a little far ahead. I always liked that about her. She had that champion spirit. I’d be sweet to her, but still liked whipping her ass in the game. But I never wanted girlfriend to be mad at me because I loved her so much.

On any given night you could catch us slow dancing in the living room to the sounds of Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra, or Roy Orbison. It was a lovely time.

We were making so much noise one night our crazy neighbors downstairs were throwing pretzel bites over our balcony to get us turn it down! The bites were hitting the sliding glass doors, but I think secretly they wanted us to play more Johnny Mathis!

We didn’t go out and terrorize the city anymore. We watched the entire run of The Sopranos and all of Six Feet Under. I remember us both sobbing at the end of the final episode of Six Feet Under. We were both equally blown away by the show.

We even cried uncontrollably at Marley and Me. I don’t know why but we loved that movie together. (Watch it. Maybe you can explain it to me. We’re not pet owners)

It was New Years Eve, and we were just coming back from brunch, or something, and Michelle wanted to stop in a women’s apparel store called Couer. It’s on 17th around Sansom. We go in, and She’s looking at lingerie and what not and I’m just checking the place out. I get to the counter and they have this huge black and white photo. It’s a huge picture of a woman’s posterior in a thong, holding a fuzzy kitten backwards. So you see this cute cat’s face and her ass. I’m looking at it, and the photo seems familiar. It’s gorgeous and tasteful. Great ass and cute kitty.

Suddenly, I hear Michelle’s voice from behind me. “Is that MY ass?”

“Don’t we have an 8×10 of that photo from your modeling days somewhere in the apartment?”

“Oh my God! That’s me!!!”

“Wait…what?”

We tell the person working there, and we all get a good laugh. We can’t believe that giant photo is there. It’s Michelle’s delicious bum from her days as a Reinhart model. The shoot was discussed, as was the kitten and the photographer.

“He’s still here.”

“Who the photographer?” I say, puzzled.

“No. This guy.” And another lady comes walking out from the back with a big old grumpy Persian cat in her arms.

“Holy crap! That’s the little kitten in the picture?”

“Yep. He’s like ten years old now.”

We were blown away and left laughing and saying how this New Years Eve was already getting crazy. It really seemed that everything we did or touched made something happen. (That’s what happens when two people are in love and the world is open to them)

So we were invited to join a former co-worker of ours to see the fireworks and grab food down at Penn’s Landing for New Years Eve. It was a bitter cold night. (We’re talking teens) It was impossible to get a taxi, and UBER and Lyft did not yet exist in Philadelphia. But I had an idea. We walked out to the corner and were trying to get a taxi, when the idea struck me. We were right near this place we always ordered pizza from. I saw one of the delivery guys and said hello. I told him I’d give him $20 if he’d drive us to Old City.

His response was, “Get in.”

We hop in the back of his pizza delivery car and off we go. He stops at a house nearby and delivers a pizza. It was surreal. Then we’re off again. He gets us to our destination. We thank him and out we go.

I think we were at the Mexican Post in Old City. We had probably been drinking before and we drank more when we got to the restaurant. It was nice to see my friend and his wife, but at that time I didn’t know any of the other people at the party. They were a bunch of IT and tech nerd types.

Just picture the creepy shy girl who looks like she could kill you in your sleep if you ate the last of her Ben & Jerry’s. Or the nerdy guy that has no table manners and chews with his mouth open. That’s just the result of some sort of parental neglect of some kind.

We finish up and head down to Penn’s Landing. It is really cold now on the Delaware River. The fireworks are great but all I can remember is the penetrating bone chilling cold. (And I’m sure Michelle feels the same)

Somehow we got a taxi back to midtown and actually went to the Midtown Diner on 18th Street. It was packed and I think I ate a cheese steak and fries. Michelle told me when she went to use the bathroom there was vomit everywhere so she used the Men’s room instead.

That’s what I hate about New Years and for that matter any other holiday where every swinging dick in the city is out drinking like they’re Duff McKagen in the 80’s. St.Patrick’s Day lasts like three weeks in this city. It makes me just want to leave the city for those  weeks.

So there isn’t much to write here about this time. We were done with going out and getting loaded every night. No more crashed parties, no more crazy events. Even though we could sit down at anytime and reminisce about all of our deviltry, it would be for nostalgia’s sake. I think our domestic time together were some of our best times. We enjoyed each others company and some of our best memories have come from that calm tranquil period in our relationship.

I think Michelle would agree.

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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Church – 2013 to Present -Seizure Salad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I know, right? Me and my big mouth.”

Indeed…

 

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