Johnny R – 2009 to Present – Dive Bar Blues

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

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

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

Perfect.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You look a little tired. Want some?”

“I’m good, Johnny, but thanks.”

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

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

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

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

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

Write everyday if you can.

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

Maybe we’re both just getting older.

 

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Church – 2013 to Present -Seizure Salad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I know, right? Me and my big mouth.”

Indeed…

 

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Michelle – Chapter 1 – A Brand New Day

I think this is why I started this blog. I have been wanting to write this story for a very long time, but just have not had the will or energy to write anything. But since I’ve made some changes in my life, the art has returned to me and it’s flourishing. I have two friends that I socialize with. One of them is a brilliant artist who smokes too much weed and drinks too much coffee just to function all of the time. Her name is Trish. She’s not doing anything with her talent. Soon she’ll be 30 and will have smoked her youth away. The other one is always saying he needs to start writing a blog again. My friend Johnny R. His would be brilliant. I even went so far as to tell him that I would pay him $20 in beers if he would just publish four blog posts. But what’s his problem? Complacency and vice. He has been with the same girlfriend for the last 8 years. She’s older than he is, she owns the house they live in, and her family owns the shore house they stay in during the summer. He loves adderal, Budweiser, tobacco, cocaine, gambling and hookers. That’s a lot of vice. The secret to moving forward in life? Forgive everyone. Including yourself. If you have resentment for anything in your life, you have to constantly maintain those thoughts in your head. You only have to forgive ONCE. Let go of the bars that are keeping you in your rusted cage and take a step forward. Just one step. In any direction. Just one step. But these people have it all in their heads and they just never do it. Don’t get me wrong, I like both of these people very much, but it’s just sad they can’t grow as people.

I am determined to move forward and tell these stories. My stories.

I had just returned from New York. I was working at a consulting firm and they laid off a bunch of us because business was slow. I was kind of tired of Manhattan anyway. I took a job selling advertising for a news agency in Philadelphia. It was the Fall of 2007.

It was a big company, but out of all of the women that worked there, only two were absolutely beautiful. One was blonde and one was a brunette. I met the brunette in my department and loved her immediately and would always try to talk to her. She had some loser boyfriend who would play video games every night and ignore her while she sat on the couch and knit. Pretty pathetic, right? I once told her if I she were at my house sitting on the sofa, I’d throw the X Box out the window. Because that chick had to be way more fun than any video game.

But the other beauty was the blonde. Michelle.  This chick had hit the genetic lottery. 27 years old. 5’11”.  Model pretty. Slamming body, and great legs. As a matter of fact she was a former print and runway model and a National Champion swimmer. Swam with Olympian Amanda Beard. She was much younger than me and everybody wanted her and loved her. The thing about her was that she was very nice. She worked in billing and although I thought she was attractive, I really didn’t ever consider her as a romantic target. She was just too amazing and hot for me to bother.

Or so I thought.

She had moved to Philly a few years before from Delaware. Who wants to live in Delaware? She had broken up with her boyfriend that she had been with since she was 15. I know right? He was a house painter who smoked weed and seemed the type that couldn’t “work for the man.” She grew weary of his immaturity and they broke up.

Michelle was also friends with this little weasel that worked somewhere in our department. I never understood that relationship. He was in love with her like Dudley Moore was in love with Susan Anton. (google it youngsters) Like I said, she worked in billing and was growing tired of it. Michelle was making decent money but thought she could make more in ad sales. Advertising sounds sexy, but it is a grinding 9 to 5 job filled with rejection and despair. So her weasel friend warned her against it. But she went and spoke to my then boss, Herbert. Herbert was married and had a good degree. Married, a few kids, the usual drill. But he had eyes for Michelle as well. But like I said, she was light years out of these clown’s league.

Herbert wanted to bring her onto our little team. Our crew consisted of me, some young guy who seemed semi-retarded and mushy, a plain woman who had most of the accounts and hardly ever came in, and this Jersey Shore type guy who was greek, handsome, fit, tan, and had an I.Q around room temperature. He hardly came in either. He had been assigned some accounts and his stuff just rolled in. On any given day, the retard, the mom, and Jersey Shore would all be there. Retard would be making his calls, Mom would be working on her stuff and then leaving early and Jersey Shore would be playing online blackjack on his computer. You’ve seen his the type, in the club. Like a pack of four or five of them in their striped shirts and red bull cocktails, and pockets full of rohypnol. I’m half kidding. I got a kick out of Jersey Shore guy. I would make fun of him to his face and he liked it.

So Herbert wants to bring her aboard.  She’s never sold anything in her life but I know she could do well. Just show up and talk about the product and the guy will probably buy from her just so Michelle comes in his store again. Herbert wants her so he can see her everyday and be close to her. Michelle denies this to this day, but I know people. Hey, if I were Herbert in his domestic existence I would have done the same thing. But at that time I was no one in that company. Just the oldest dude on the team but with the most experience in sales. That was all that was needed.

One day I had an issue with the billing on the very first account I had brought in. It was Trump Casino in Atlantic City. I was so proud of that account. At the time I had no idea that Trump was slow pay. Sometimes, no pay. This may seem ironic at this moment in time, but it was known for years in Jersey that Trump was bad pay. He put hundreds of hard-working solid people out of work because he has a history of not paying his bills. Not kicking our current presidential candidate, but for this forum, the guy is a well-known deadbeat in Atlantic City, I’m shocked more people haven’t come forward in the last couple of months.

So I had to go down to billing and figure it out. But I was new and I didn’t know where it was. So I went to Michelle and asked her. She seemed annoyed that she had to deal with me. Maybe she was just tired. She starts giving me directions and I’m not getting it. The building was huge. Finally she simply gave up and said;  “I’ll show you.”

So here goes this gorgeous tall goddess walking down the hall. Her calves like upside down bowling pins, and her high heels clicking against the tile floor. Here’s me, scuttling along behind her in my cheap old suit and cheap shoes with rubber soles. The soles squeak with every step, so it’s like seeing Aphrodite being followed by Sponge Bob Squarepants.

Pathetic. We get to the department and she turns and goes back to her office. I felt like a loser.

But that was all was about to change.

The Michelle story is epic. I will publish a new chapter every other week over the next 7 months.

Enjoy!

 

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

I publish new Dating content every Monday at 9am EST. I publish Updates and bios and stories about related characters, such as male and female friends and acquaintances on Wednesdays at 9am EST.