1967 Pontiac GTO – Today

“Paint job’s ok, but there’s rust, and the chrome is nowhere near what it once was. No way. Pieces fall away every year, now more than ever. But the car still runs, and when I drop the clutch and go, the car sings a symphony better than any new hybrid I’ve ever met in the last 10 years.”

“Write drunk and edit sober.”Ernest Hemingway

I feel like I’m midnight blue ’67 Pontiac GTO All original parts, some missing.

The car looks decent despite it’s age.

The engine and spirit of the car are great and it can still get up and roar against any new car off the lot, but its an old machine.

It’s falling apart but “the Goat” is still very valuable and has a lot of great history and memories in it. The upholstery is fraying. There’s a bit of rust. The struts are going’ the transmissions fucked.

The oil sometimes leaks.

The car is old.

The car is slowly falling apart.

I feel it.

But as a machine it’s still a badass ’67 GTO.

People love it. Girls love it, but if they looked under the hood they’d see that the beast is starting to fail.

It looks like a worn car form 40 years ago but it still runs great on the track based on its current performance, but inside it’s going.

It’s just time and gravity.

The power plant can somehow burn it up like when it was born but in the day-to-day, if you spend any time with the car you’ll learn that it’s seen a lot of miles and is now missing some parts. There has been no restoration. It still runs but with fewer parts than when it arrived off the assembly line.

The car was driven hard and saw some glory days and won a lot of races, but it lost a lot too, and suffers the scars of going through the guard rail and flipping over.

There’s been a little restoration on the mind of the car and that’s what held it together all these years but its had some really shitty owners and drivers that took this lovely car and ran it into the ground.

But it still runs.

The engine still has a lot of get up and go because that’s what it was built for. But it will probably get harder (or softer) every year because the car isn’t getting any younger.

Paint job’s ok, but there’s rust, and the chrome is nowhere near what it once was. No way. Pieces fall away every year, now more than ever. But the car still runs, and when I drop the clutch and go, the car sings a symphony better than any new hybrid I’ve ever met in the last 10 years.

So the old horse still has it. Because that was a well-built car in the 60’s, by people who knew how to make a good product, not by their design, just the vehicle that came through them from their ancestors. I like them better. The assembly line technicians that raised me sort of hated working with each other but they put out some good cars. I have three sisters to prove it. We have a solid line.

But this old classic is losing some of its shine, and I can fix that, if I can just get the things going now that I want to now. If new business takes off, the GTO will sing like it did in the sixties, but in today’s world. Better than ever. An old muscle car that can outrun the fastest production car you have coming off the line straight out of college.

Maybe like every guy my age I’m clinging to my youth, but I know I’m not. I like being the age I am. I don’t want to be the fool I once was. There is a whole world ahead of me and for us all, gentlemen. It doesn’t have to be us drowning in our past and drinking the poison hoping all of the people who broke our hearts die. That’s bullshit. you can’t evolve through that. You have to forgive and evolve beyond that. My father once said, “every man dies, not every man lives.” I live by that shit, man.

Forgive everyone. Don’t drink the poison, let go of the bars of your prison and walk the fuck out, gentleman. Doesn’t matter what direction… just take a step.

We’re a bunch of old cars trying to navigate the traffic of today’s world and love again. There are a lot of crazy old cars out there and even more wacky new models, but I believe there are some classics out there still on the road, that would love to pull up along side you and maybe meet up at the drive through for a movie and a milkshake.

Keep driving. She’s out there looking for your too.

 

 

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Annabelle – NYC – Chapter 11

I heard this loud bang under the car like she had hit a pothole that was covered in snow.

The holidays were upon us, and we decided the limit to spend on each other was $200. I would have no problem blowing $200 on my girlfriend.

I went out and got her all kinds of clothes and underwear and a robe, and other goodies I know girls like. She got me a ring. (Which shocked her mother and sister because a ring represents so much in our culture. I love that ring, and still wear it to this day. It’s just a steel worry ring with black accents. It feels like rock and roll so I wear it on my left middle finger everyday. I should probably take it off but it’s my thing now.

She also wrote a nice card and inside it were 2 tickets to see a Shakespearean play in New York City! I was excited to see it. I can’t remember which one it was, but it was the real deal. British actors performing the play just like they had 400 years ago.

So the day arrives. (It was around New Years 2014) I go to her apartment, and she rents a zip car. I heard that we were supposed to maybe get some snow later, but for now the weather is fine.

The car is a compact, and maybe 10 years old. She sets the GPS and we’re on our way. About half way to NY, the GPS, craps out. It just dies and stops working all together.

“Oh no! How are we ever going to find our way to New York City now?” Annabelle exclaims.

“Don’t worry sweetie. I used to live in New York. We’ll just follow the signs like we used to in the olden times.”

She laughs but I can tell she sort of half believes me. Young people today have never used a map or have had to navigate anything. They have all of that in their phones now. You could put me in a car pointed in any direction on the east coast and I could find my way all the way to California without even using a map. But these kids today, without their phones are lost. But that’s a small price to pay for youth and beauty by my side.

I get us into the city and we park the car in a garage for the day. This really is a great present.  The show is not untill 8pm tonight so we’ve got the whole day.  We stop at a cool spot for lunch and beer.

Then we head downtown to the Museum of Sex. You heard me right. There is a museum for that shit in NYC. Annabelle is all about exploring new things, and it was my idea so we went. It actually wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. But they have a lot of interesting exhibits. The works of William Kent, the sex lives of animals, sexy toys and sculptures, a whole exhibit about Linda Lovelace. Some erotic video.

I remember this huge video screen in one room where it’s just a woman deep throating a guy’s cock. It just loops over and over. It’s pretty amazing to see that incredible feat on a 12 foot TV screen. But like I said, the place is not that great. I wrote both our names in a little heart and tagged it in the bathroom. I don’t normally ever do anything like that, but it just seemed appropriate to have our names immortalized together forever in the bathroom of the Museum of Sex.

Later we stopped at a cool cocktail bar and chatted with the locals. Then on to an art gallery. I always enjoy my time with Annabelle when it’s just the two of us. Whether we’re at a museum, or the zoo, or just eating a meal I cooked for her at home. It’s always good. Once you bring in her chaotic work life or insane theater stuff, it just ruins everything. If we could just see each other occasionally and focus on each other it would be great. I get bored hanging around her apartment with nothing to do when she’s editing pictures or whatever else. (Or sometimes not even home!) I’d rather be home sipping some wine and watching netflix.

We walk to the theater. We’ve got some time so we go in and find our seats. The theater is beautiful.

The play begins and the acting is first-rate. They are performing this version just as they did four centuries ago. The only illumination on stage is candlelight. There are literally wooden chandeliers with big white candles all around them. Some times they melt and even fall onto the stage!

During the intermission, Annabelle wants to get us some water and use the restroom. During the first half of the play there was a guy a few rows ahead of me that somehow looked familiar to me. But when the lights came up I take another look at him. His people have gotten up and left and he’s just standing around stretching like I am. I realize he’s actor Timothy Oliphant from Justified and Deadwood! He looks at me and I look at him. He’s much better looking in real life than he is on TV.

“Timothy?”

“Yea.”

I go over and shake his hand. “I love you on Justified! I’m watching season 3 right now!”

“What’s your name?”

I apologize and tell him my name. I was delighted Timothy Oliphant wanted to know my name! We chit-chat a little bit, and because we’re in New York City and at a Shakespearean performance it just didn’t feel cool asking to do a selfie with him. It was just a private moment between two strangers who happened to be in the same place at the same time. Except one of them is a famous actor.

Later when Anabelle returned I quietly told her what had just happened. She had no idea who he was because she doesn’t ever watch TV and isn’t in touch with current media at all. So it was lost on her. But I was excited. No big deal.

The show was wonderful and I am so grateful for this unique Christmas gift. It’s been a perfect Winter’s day with the woman I love.

After the show we headed back to the garage to get the car. It’s probably a bit after 11pm.

It had already started to snow.

Heavily.

We head out of the city. The snow was really coming down. I remember getting on interstate 95 South. We had gone some distance but were still way up in North Jersey.

I heard this loud bang under the car like she had hit a pothole that was covered in snow. The right front tire blew out. I looked at the mile markers. We were 10 miles away from the next rest area. I told Annabelle to put on the hazard lights and slowly move into the right lane. I knew the tire would soon shred, but at least it would be cushioned by the snow-covered ground, so it may not shred as quickly and we’d be driving on the bare rim.

This was a harrowing experience. Total white out of a snowstorm, 90 miles from home, 10 miles from a rest stop, and tractor trailers roaring by our tiny battered car. I was trying to hold my shit together, imagining either the car becoming disabled and we’re stranded on the highway during a snowstorm in the middle of the night, or a giant truck simply smashing into us and killing us both.

That 10 mile drive was one of the longest of my life. We couldn’t go very fast because of the tire and the snow. I was feeling a lot of fear. I have to say, Annabelle kept the car on course and kept her cool during the harrowing drive.

After what seemed like an hour we finally limped into the rest area where there was a garage and some mechanics on duty. I was never so happy to see those guys!

They were all amazed we made it in there in one piece. I was so relieved just to be in the warm garage, off the highway and out of that car.

Annabelle called Zipcar, and told them what happened. They asked that she pay for a new tire on her credit card and they would reimburse her.

So we took some pictures of the damaged wheel and posted them on Facebook. While writing this I remembered I may still have those pics in Annabelle’s pic file on my Facebook. I don’t really go on Facebook anymore because I no longer care to share with the world what I’m up to and have no interest in what you had for lunch today.

I found the pics! Here they are. Shredded!

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It was around 2am by now, but we were both wide with adrenaline from our crazy trip.

The guys got the new wheel on and we were on our way. But the snow was getting worse as we pushed on back to Philly.

After what seemed like the rest of the night, we finally rolled into the city around 4am. Annabelle dropped me off at my house and I kissed her goodnight. I trudged through the snow up to my building and went inside.

Annabelle later texted me that she had dropped off the car and had gotten back to her apartment safely. I was so thankful it all worked out and proud of how Annabelle had handled the whole situation.

What a night!

 

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Crazy Dating Stories: Cyra – Revenge Reeks For Mr. Not-So-Hidden Agenda

He drove me to a different bar and insisted I sit down and “drink the taste out of my mouth”.

I met Cyra on wordpress. That’s the platform you’re reading phicklephilly on. She’s also a writer and has her own blog about adolescent behavioral science. Yea. A little heavier subject that my dating blog! We were chatting the other day and she asked if she could give me one of her dating stories for my blog. I’m always looking for good content and love a crazy dating story, so I jumped at the chance.

Take it away, Cyra.

 

I did a summer internship at a museum years ago when I was in college.

After the term ended and I went back to school, I got a call from one of the researchers I worked with over the summer. He wanted to meet and have dinner because he was going to be in the city.

I was really happy about it because I considered this guy a colleague and thought it was really nice of him to want to keep in touch with me. He was about 15 years older than me, but that didn’t matter because this was a dinner between friends. So I thought.

So the day came and he picked me up. He was driving a rented sports car, a little flashy for a guy on a conference trip but ok. He was dressed like a man going for a night at the clubs as well. And I had dressed pretty conservatively.

He suggested we see a movie and I was a little surprised but agreed. He took me to an “alternative” theater downtown and I sat through 90 minutes of borderline softcore. I could barely look at him when we finally left.

He didn’t seem to notice or care that I was embarrassed and uncomfortable. He just said “Let’s get something to eat.” and led me to the car. I thought dinner would be us chatting about our work and what’s new in our lives.

He insisted we have drinks before dinner and kept getting the waiter to top up my wine during the meal. He didn’t want to talk about work, he kept trying to talk about the people we worked with. As in who was doing who. I tried to be polite and listened to him talk. He kept trying to toast things to get me to drink more. It was really awful.

The alcohol and the food didn’t mix well. I finally told him I really wasn’t feeling well and had to leave. As we were leaving the restaurant I felt the need to vomit! I had no control. Thankfully I was able to sort of hide behind the restaurant and spew my guts. I was there for about half an hour.

By the end of it I was feeling better but still really weak and woozy.

I assumed that the “date” was over. Now he’d drive me home and leave, disgusted by what had happened. I didn’t care. I was just looking forward to going home.

Instead he drove me to a different bar and insisted I sit down and “drink the taste out of my mouth”.

I knew it was time to leave. I told him I was going to go into the bar and call a cab if he didn’t drive me home immediately. He asked me to come to his hotel room with him instead.

I started to leave but he finally relented and drove me home. Unfortunately, when we got there he tried again to persuade me to go to his hotel room. I was still feeling ill and he delayed me a little too long. I puked all over the floor of the rental car. It smelled like stale alcohol and sour milk.

He started shouting obscenities at me and I finished heaving on the front step of my building. He tore out of the parking lot and almost hit a parked car.

I was really angry and upset when I got home. So I called the police and reported his car as a drunk driver. He was picked up and charged because he was drunk and his car was full of alcohol-soaked puke.
I heard he lost his job over it too. So it was worth it.

 

Wow. Don’t mess with Cyra!

 

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Nadereh – Persian Beauty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Me:”Iranian.”

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

Me: “I hope so.”

 

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

 

 

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