I have been working a ton of hours lately. Work at the day gig, at night at the salon because we burned through some employees lately. I knew Summer was coming back soon but didn’t realize that her return was almost two months away. (See: Summer – 2017 to Present – Night Shift Girl and Outlaw) So rather than try to find someone, hire them, get them trained, figure out if the schedule works for them, I figured I’d just take all the night and weekend shifts and Achilles would hold down the fort during the day. Subsequently, I had no life for the last two months. I mean, I squeezed in a couple of lunches with friends and maybe two nights out with my buddy Church.
Just non stop work. But I like to work and be busy. It keeps me out of trouble, and once I do get a day off I’ll truly appreciate it.
Well that day has arrived and it is glorious. I go to the bank and get a check to give to my friend and broker, Dina. (See: Dina – 2011 to Present – Lil’ JAP) I then head over to one of my favorite lunch spots, Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse. My favorite bartender doesn’t work on the day I go in anymore. I miss her. (See: Ann Marie – 2016 to Present – Rose Among Thorns) But the girl who took her place is really good. She’s a little blonde named Kelli.
I get there and go to the table where I always sit in the back. Normally it’s quiet in there when I go and gets even quieter as the afternoon rolls on. But right now there’s a ten top sitting right near me and apparently these people work for the Yelling and Loud Laughing Corporation. It’s a little annoying, but I’m sure they’ll quiet down when their chow comes out.
I order my usual from Kelli. Cheesesteak, American, no onions, fries, no pickle, a diet coke when my food comes out. Just water for now. That’s my move!
This is my first day off in 53 days! So happy. I get my food and it’s perfect. Kelli doesn’t forget my diet coke as the sandwich arrives. On point. Ann Marie never did that. She always just came to my table with the soda and the water at the beginning. I like it this way better.
The big table leaves after a while and the bar is nice and quiet again. Bliss. I have my laptop and crack off a few new blog posts from my past. I’m having a lovely day so far. Kelli checks on me a few times. I like the attention I’m getting. Not as flirty as Ann Marie but better service.
I tell Kelli that when Ann Marie was here, around 3pm she’d make me some spirit forward cocktail. I don’t know what it was, but she cobbled together some sort of Old Fashioned. Kelli asks me what was in it and I tell her. She says it sounds more like a Manhattan. I tell her when she gets a chance sometime after 3pm I’d like to have that with a side of ice.
I continue typing away. Some time goes by and I glance at the clock on my laptop. 3:01. Kelli appears. “Are you ready for that drink now?”
Right on time. Within a few minutes she delivers what appears to be a perfect Manhattan, neat, in a martini glass, maraschino cherry, and a side of ice. Looks good to me.
I’m typing away and it takes me the full hour to drink it. I go out for a cigarette and when I come back, Kelli returns and asks me if I want anything else. I tell her that the drink was great and I would love another. The creative juices are flowing and the keyboard is smoking.
The second drink arrives and I know this one won’t last as long as the first one. It never does. More typing, more sipping and this guy is done in 45 minutes. God, it feels so good to finally have a day off. I’m not meeting Dina until 7pm. I’ll hang here until 5:30 and then head over to Square 1682 to see my favorite bartender, Roman. (See: Roman – 2012 to Present – Rock n’ Roll Bartender)
Feels like two months ago before all of these crazy hours happened. I tell Kelli I’m going to close out. I look at my bill. She gave me industry discount on both cocktails! Those drinks were made with Bulliet Bourbon. That’s a great brand! Kelli only charged me $5 per drink! They were first-rate, and Ann Marie never did that for me.
I tip her up to what all of this would have really cost and pay cash. Cash is king in this industry. She’s pleased and I’m overjoyed. Kelli’s my new #1 day off “It” girl! Sorry Ann Marie!
I head over to Square and set up my laptop and phone at the bar. They have receptacles to plug-in so I can power up my devices and still type and text while waiting for Dina to arrive.
Roman already has a glass of chardonnay with a side of ice at the ready before I even sit down. Come for the booze, stay for the hospitality. Roman is happy that the vacation season is over and the patrons are back at his bar. I’m chatting with him because I haven’t seen him in almost two months. Just our usual small talk, life, work, family, etc.
A while passes and I’m feeling happy. Dina arrives and we decide to get away from the bar and take a little table to chat. Little Dina looks adorable, or as she would say, “Adorbs.” Even though she’s only 4’11” she has the metabolism of a bee. So of course she’s starving. We order another round of wine, and she gets a bowl of mac n’ cheese. I will say this, the food at Square 1682 is good. But Misconduct makes better mac n’ cheese, as does Jones down at 5th and Chestnut. But Dina stuffs it in her little maw like it’s her last meal.
After about an hour of laughs and crazy stories I hand her the envelope from my bank. But before I do I say these words: “Aggressive Diversity.” She gets it and stuffs it in her purse. The bill comes and she grabs it and pays with her corporate card. This really has been a wonderful day, but it’s not over yet.
We stop over the salon, because it’s Summer’s first night back closing up the place. Dina gets to meet her, and check out the new fitness center. We get the place locked down without incident. But there’s one more critical stop we have to make. We walk up to Chestnut street. She says she’s picking up dinner for she and her husband. I go into the restaurant with her. I don’t know what she’s ordering I’m just people watching and chilling. After a few minutes they hand her this giant bag filled with boxes. Yea, we’re at Popeye’s Chicken! It’s a decadent secret of lil’ Dina’s. Girl loves her some fried chicken!
Apparently they look like they ordered one of everything, plus fries, biscuits…the works! How are they going to eat all of this food!? They’re just two people. Dina calls and Uber and I get a ride home with her. What a great day. I love my broker/friend!
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