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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Sarika -The Return of the Stone Fox

I reached out to Sarika, not because I like her, but I wanted to find out what she was up to with her life. I was just going to meet up with her for a drink, but my buddy Rocco hooked me up with two VIP tickets to Taste of Philly. So I decided to take her to that.

Taste of Philly is a big event that two large publications put on each year at the Crystal Tea Room. The Crystal Tea Room is a big event spaced owned by Finlay Catering. It’s actually on the 9th floor of the building Macy’s is in on Market Street. They gather a large group of food and beverage companies together in a few big rooms. They sell tickets for $35 a piece and hundreds of people come and stuff their heads, and drink their faces off all night. It’s a fun event and I always run into people I know. It’s nice to see and be seen. VIP is invited to arrive at 6pm and then at 7pm they let the rest of the animals in. Normally we hang for two hours and then bolt. Where else can you drink and eat that much food and booze for $35 in Philadelphia?  But we did it for free and VIP thanks to my man, Rocco. (See: Rocco – 2015 to Present – Amanda Peet)

I go to Square 1682 and wait for her. She arrives shortly thereafter. She looks absolutely beautiful as always. Her skin actually looks a little darker. I comment about it and she says she’s been traveling. She says when she’s not working she takes little trips. So she has obviously been going to places that have lots of sunshine. But even with darker skin she actually looks more exotic and even hotter. Just a stone fox.

She has a really good job as an engineer for a scientific research company. She has been there for over a year now. She had a romantic affair with one of her co-workers at her last place of employment and it didn’t end well. So she ended up leaving and having to switch jobs. Super hot, but can’t keep a man.

She tells me she moved from her crappy apartment on 19th street. She now lives in a really posh high-rise in Rittenhouse. Initially when I asked her to meet for a drink she invited me over to her place. Now I know why. She wanted to show me her awesome new apartment. She showed me some pics of her views, and they are spectacular. It’s a one bedroom and she’s only paying $1500. Which is a great deal for the location and the amenities of living in that building. I bring her up to speed on my life and she tells me what she’s been doing.

It sounds like she has a bit of a lonely life. Works all the time, and has to travel extensively for that job. Traveling for work is exhausting. I’ve lived that life. She makes great money, but instead of coming home and resting, she’s taking these little vacations all of the time. It’s almost as if she is running away from her life. Always trying to escape something. Maybe she’s trying to forget something. All of her past brief relationships have all ended in heartbreak.

She always comes off very blunt and honest. She’s extremely bright but she’s also cunning and a bit mean.But that wasn’t the case tonight. She is perfectly well-behaved. I asked her what ever happened to that guy she was seeing. (The one she wanted to bring as a date to the $80 a plate New Years event I invited her to last year.) She dismisses me, saying, “I don’t want to talk about it.” She always says that when her relationships end badly. So he probably dumped her or cheated on her and then dumped her. It happened to Halle Berry and Jennifer Anniston. It always just amazes me that a young woman who is beautiful can’t keep a man. (Sarika is definitely one of the most gorgeous women I know) I am sure they are captivated by her beauty initially, but once her best representative falls away, she reveals her true self. A vacuous, mean-spirited girl who cares for no one but herself.

Rocco arrives with the VIP tickets. It’s great to see him because it’s been awhile. I am sipping my signature chardonnay with ice. Sarika is sticking with water because she says she’s trying to lose weight. She’s smoking hot and doesn’t need to lose any weight. But it always seems like she is on a diet. What woman isn’t? It’s kind of sad.

Rocco pounds two martinis into himself. Which surprised me, but then I thought to myself, he still works for one of the companies that puts on tonight’s event. They have recently been bought out by their distributor, and I hear the new management are a bunch of assholes. So maybe Rocco needs a little medication before he faces all of those clowns that will be there tonight.

We head over to the event. We get there around 6:20pm. But there is a huge line outside waiting to check in and get up the elevators. Apparently they are not ready upstairs and they missed the 6pm VIP opening. That is not good. But being the arrogant punks we are, we just blaze by everyone and go to the front of the line. We didn’t even get out little paper bracelets to say we were VIP. We tell the angry mob that we are VIP and work for the company that puts on the event, so technically we weren’t lying. Sarika is delighted by our attitudes.

The event was good and the food and drinks were delicious. We just kept going back to the VIP bar and getting refills. Sarika was drinking and stuffing her head with delicious treats. So there goes that supposed diet. But we’re all having a great time. I run into many people I know and we are all getting a solid buzz on. Then something extraordinary happened.

I’m walking along with Sarika by my side and I see someone I haven’t laid eyes on since 1979.

If you didn’t see someone for 35 years you may not recognize them. The same would go for you. 35 years is a long time. But with the advent of social media, I recognized him. If I hadn’t been connected to him on Facebook, we would have walked right by each other like strangers.

I say his name and he recognizes me as well. I hug him and I am so happy to see him. He was the bass player in my first rock band. I remember him as a skinny, awkward teen with long blonde hair, who wore glasses and had a shaggy little beard.

Now he’s a big fat guy with a full grey beard and short grey hair. At least he didn’t go bald. He introduces me to his average looking wife who is in her 50’s as well. I’m making a big fuss over him, and start singing lyrics to a song that he wrote. I have that kind of memory. He’s smiling and laughing. His wife asks who I am. He tells her I was the singer in the group Renegade back in the seventies. She’s amazed. He says I look the same, just a little older. He then says that he now looks like Santa Claus. (He sort of does resemble that jolly old elf) I tell him he looks great. He glances over at Sarika, and I introduce her. He looks back at me and says, “I see you haven’t changed.”

That sly compliment is better than money to me.

We go on our way and keep munching and drinking our way through the event. Michelle would have loved an event like this. We run into a few more people we know and it’s a fun night. Sarika is very well-behaved and I’m having  good time with her.

After awhile we’re getting tired, and decide we have seen everything that we wanted to and we head out. We thank Rocco for the tickets and say goodnight. I walk Sarika back to her place but don’t go up.

Sarika has redeemed herself… for now.

 

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Michelle – Chapter 6 – The Wishing Stone

I had been growing frustrated with what was going on between me, Michelle and Delaware Dave. Something had to give. She was with me Monday through Friday, every day. Weekends she was trying to put her relationship back on track with him. That, and of course the annoying, disruptive phone calls from him to her when we were out at night. No matter what we were doing, everything would just come to a screeching halt, and she’d have to take his call whenever the whim struck him. Just youthful nonsense and insecurity.

I consider myself a man of science. I’m sure life itself is a miracle and there are some metaphysical things out there, but most things can be explained by science and mathematics. But when you’re in love, you sometimes can do some crazy shit. Your brain is firing some mad chemicals through your body. I had been reaching a breaking point with her, but didn’t know what to do. So one day I was at my wit’s end and I decided to turn to some darker forces. I know this is going to sound nuts, but I really did this.

It was a Friday in the Spring of 2008. Early May. Weather was a warm and it was a sunny day. I was out making sales calls. I had made my way down to South Street. I came upon Harry’s Occult Shop. I went in and started looking around. I have a friend who is Wiccan and she believes a lot of this stuff. I also know a few younger women that are into all of the magic stones and crystals stuff. Like I said, I’m a student of science. I can’t imagine what all of this stuff does. A very nice lady came up to me and asked if she could help me. I literally told her my dilemma with Michelle. Some how I have been pulled into this store. She was very sweet and took what was happening to me very seriously. Apparently this is quite common, and they are good at this sort of thing.

The first thing we looked at were different crystals. I picked up this sort of translucent pinkish colored stone. The lady says: “Great. It chose you.” Very smooth. I started rubbing the stone with my thumb and index finger. “Okay, what’s next?” I say.  She gives me this nice smelling oil in a little orange bottle. She says to wear it like a cologne and also rub it on the stone in my pocket. I should rub the stone and say Michelle’s name. I should also rub the stone when I’m talking to Michelle or when I am near her.  That’s great. Reach in your pocket and rub a hard object when you’re talking to Michelle. That won’t look weird at all.

Then she gave me this plastic bottle of a special body wash. I’m supposed to use this every day until it’s gone. Thing is, the liquid inside appears to be black or grey. It didn’t really appear to look like something you should be washing your whole body with, but who am I to question these occult wizards?

I ask if there is anything else, or is that it, and she says she has one more thing for me. She reaches up on a high shelf and hands me a tall glass candle. She says this is some sort of love spell candle. the glass is red and the candle is white. On the glass that holds the candle there are two white hearts they are connected. She tells me that when I get home tonight, I have to write Michelle’s name and my name in the little hearts. Then I’m supposed to light the candle and burn it continuously for as long as possible. I ask if I can blow it out when I leave the house so I don’t create a fire hazard at my apartment, and she says that’s okay.

So I buy all of this stuff. It came to around $40 or so. She bags it up and I head back to the office. I dab a few drops of the oil onto the stone and on my neck and forearms. I reach the building and go up the elevator to our floor. I have to get my bag of goodies in quickly and stash it under my desk so I don’t become the laughing stock of my department. I see Michelle and chat briefly managing to get a few rubs of my stone in without being noticed.

When I got home that night, I set up my candle in the corner of the room. I took out a sharpie marker and wrote my name and hers on the hearts. Apparently this is supposed to bring our energy together, and drive a wedge of bad energy between Michelle and Dave.

Over the weekend, and all the way up to Monday morning I burned the candle and wore the oil and kept my little stone oiled up as well. Each morning I bathed using the black body wash. It wasn’t awful. It didn’t smell bad. It just looked dirty because all of this black stuff would be circling the drain. But it didn’t seem to discolor my skin at all.

I went into work on Monday and it was business as usual. I had burned the love spell candle all weekend long. I had my stone with me, and had freshly showered in the body wash from the river Styx. So I was ready. By the time 5 pm came, I decided to do something different. Instead of leaving with her, like I always did. (I was fed up waiting for her to figure out what she wanted.) I simply got up from my chair and walked down the hall to the elevators.

Michelle nearly ran up behind me. She hadn’t even change out of her heels into her flats. I was a bit surprised at her behavior. “Aren’t you even going to wait for me?” she exclaimed. I sort of acted like I hadn’t thought of it, but I had. So we left together and did our usual “walk her home every night” routine. We were chatting about some general things. We were at the corner in front of the GSK World Headquarters. Right where the Freedom sculpture is.

You can see it here: http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/sculpture-breaks-free

I love this sculpture, because I love the idea of breaking free of ones bounds whether it be physical or mental. That’s never easy to do, but this work really captures the spirit of changing your life and not being chained to your past. Of all places for the next thing to occur…

She turns to me and says: “Can I ask you a question?” I’m like; “Sure.” She asks me if I were in a relationship with someone, and they had dated or had a relationship with a black person in the past, would I have a problem of that? I told her that answer was an easy one. I had a black girlfriend when I lived in Los Angeles in the early 80’s, and also another black girlfriend when I lived in New York before I moved back to Philly. You can’t be anymore non-racist than that. I told her I love all women. I have all they’re albums. All shapes, sizes and colors. That’s what makes life beautiful. The differences in people. (As you will see in this blog my deeds speak the truth more than my words)  I asked her if Delaware Dave had a problem with her having been intimate with that black guy Tyrell in the past. She said he did. Maybe he called her a nigger lover or something. (Which I find abhorrent) But whatever had happened over the weekend it wasn’t good.

We discussed it further for a bit, but I knew. That had been the deal breaker. Maybe not a life long deal breaker. People can change. They can have different views about things. They mature and sometimes learn to forgive. They can even simply settle. But it looked like for now the whole reconciliation with Dave was off the table.

I called my friend Vicky who is the Wiccan and told her the crazy ritual I had performed, and what the outcome had been. Her response as a white witch was appropriate and hilarious. “Do not ever do that again! You don’t know what dark forces you’re fucking with! Why didn’t you consult me first!?”

Did it work? I’m not going to question any of it. If it got Michelle to be with me, it was the best $40 I had ever spent. So technically some thing worked. Maybe it was all simply in the timing. Like Shakespeare’s Hamlet says to Horatio: “There are more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

Oh, and that little magic pink stone that I rubbed for luck 9 years ago?

I was just looking at it this morning in the little wooden box on my desk.

 

 

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