Wildwood Daze – Summer of 1979 – Moving the Family to North Wildwood

My father was fed up with living in Philadelphia and wanted to get out of the city and out of the Provident National Bank in center city. My family was focused on getting my sister Janice into Franklin Marshall because she was a good student.

I remember it was Janice that drove my mother and other two sisters to the shore that summer. With Janice out of high school and in college, Dad decided to move the whole family to the shore house. I liked living in Philly. I was in a band called Renegade then. (See: Renegade – My First Band) All my friends were there. I liked that I was going to be a senior at Frankford High next semester.

But all of that was ending for me. I would vanish from Frankford and end up taking my Senior year at Wildwood High School. I knew no one. Wildwood is a resort/retirement community. The place rocks hard from Memorial Day through Labor Day, but then it becomes a ghost town. At the time I knew what anxiety was. I had it since I was a small child. But I would really get to know what severe depression was very soon.

They didn’t give a shit about my life because I was always a poor student in school and was a nobody. So After 11th grade we moved to Wildwood NJ for good. I had to leave my band Renegade behind and all of my friends, and move to the shore.

My father had no coping skills so ripping his son from his peronal and social life meant nothing to him. Everybody had to be hunky dory and happy with his move. His dad died, (My grandfather) and left him enough cash to build up on the shore house and it was beautiful. (Biggest house on the block)

But after the summer at the shore, Janice went off to college. My dad was all teary eyed losing his love and I was left to take my senior year not knowing anyone in a town that was dead during the winter. It’s a resort town. There is NOTHING going on there in the winter. They turn the traffic lights off and roll up the fucking sidewalks. This is a perfect dark depressing environment to be dropped off in. Yea, that will work out great. But as long as Dad is out of Philly and has his family all set up down there, he’s all set.

I remember falling into a depression after the summer and my father ripping me a new one because I wasn’t on board with where I had been sent. God forbid anybody would put a chink into daddy’s plan. He always hailed himself as a planner. It was just his mad OCD and anxiety that made him so insecure that he had to control everything because he was never the favorite beloved son like his brother Jack. He was forced to man up his whole life. He worshiped his father like he was Superman and his dad never gave two shits about him. Brother Jackie was the smart one and Dad was just the elder that had to handle all of the shit his mother was to cowardice to do. He was the one that had to go to his father and tell him that they weren’t coming back from the shore because they were getting divorced. I have this guy completely mapped out. My sister Janice loves and worships him, but I know the real deal.

Fuck. I didn’t think I was going to go there.

(Update: This opinion of my dad as a diety has changed for Janice.)

 

 

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Sun Stories: Seasonal Affective Disorder and Tanning Salons

“The problem is primarily caused by the lack of sunlight. It has been scientifically proven that sunlight favors increase in serotonin levels and favors vitamin D accumulation. Besides having anti-osteoporotic, immunomodulatory, anticarcinogenic, antipsoriatic, antioxidant properties, vitamin D is also a mood-modulator.”

UV rays exposure favors vitamin D synthesis in the skin. That’s why people who go to tanning salons have noticed mood improvement and keep the habit in order to maintain the state of well-being.

Now that we’re heading into winter, we’ve had a few people come into the salon saying they want to hop in a sunbed to help combat SAD. People suffering from seasonal affective disorder report feeling better after a visit at the tanning salon for a tanning bed session.

With the arrival of the cold season, besides cold-driven nuisance, some people experience drawbacks regarding the general state, lack of energy and depression of unknown origin. It was scientifically ascertained that the lack of light favors the production of melatonin by the pineal gland, a hormone inducing sleep. That’s why, during the cold seasons when days are shorter and the sunlight is scarce, we often feel sleepy or drowsy. Also, even during spring and summer, if the tendency is to keep most of the time indoors at home or at the office, the effect may be similar, though not as severe.

Well, if drowsiness were the only impact generated by season changes, things would be easier to solve (with a little coffee maybe!). The problem is that melatonin secretion is synchronized with the production of a neurotransmitter, serotonin, which is involved in several physiological processes such as temperature, blood-pressure regulation and in neuropsychological functions such as appetite, memory and mood. The two do not work together at the same time. When melatonin is secreted, serotonin production is inhibited. Lack of serotonin causes disorders such as chronic fatigue syndrome and reflects its effects on mood also, triggering depression in some persons.

Melatonin is active at night and serotonin is active in the daytime. Also, there is the age factor that contributes to the balance of the two chemicals: the secretion of melatonin decreases with age. There has been established that the link between serotonin and melatonin along with their dependence on the body clock may explain the depression experienced by the people suffering from the disorder called Seasonal Affective Disorder – SAD. Depression, sleep problems, weight gain, anxiety, joint pain, irritability, stress, headaches are some of the symptoms that may appear when we suffer from SAD.

The problem is primarily caused by the lack of sunlight. It has been scientifically proven that sunlight favors increase in serotonin levels and favors vitamin D accumulation. Besides having anti-osteoporotic, immunomodulatory, anticarcinogenic, antipsoriatic, antioxidant properties, vitamin D is also a mood-modulator.

UV rays exposure favors vitamin D synthesis in the skin. That’s why people who go to tanning salons have noticed mood improvement and keep the habit in order to maintain the state of well-being.

Light therapy represents a way to treat SAD. Light operates on the body in two ways: through skin impact or by entering your eyes. Only UV light has effects on the skin, while the light that has effects by entering your eyes needs not be UV, it just has to be bright. Its energizing effect comes from the fact that it stimulates the production of serotonin. The simplest way to get enough bright light is to spend an hour a day or more outdoors, where the light levels range from 1,000 to 50,000 lux or more, compared to room lighting, which is about 50-200 lux.

If your schedule or the weather does not permit it, an alternative is to purchase a light therapy device. For optimum effects, the light source either has to be very bright – 5,000 lux or more – or it has to be in a particular spectrum – around 460 nanometers, which is in the blue range. According to new research, blue range light will provide benefits even if at a dimmer level. Most companies producing light bulbs make full spectrum lights that may successfully replace sunlight.

Yet, there are side effects that bright artificial light may induce, namely it may interfere with sleep (especially when exposure is made in the evening hours) or even trigger in some people a mania – condition called bipolar disorder (known as manic depression).

The safest remains the natural outdoor light, on condition that UV protection is used.

 

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Annabelle – Chapter 14 – I Can’t Quit You Baby

Adults speak to one another and close the relationship. It’s wrong to put a person on a shelf like they are some sort of toy, and then think you can take them down and play with them whenever you’re confused or lonely. It’s just shitty behavior. The person you’re doing that to is a human being with feelings. You’re a rotten person if you think that sort of behavior is okay.

This is the most painful chapter I have ever written on phicklphilly. The pain and sadness Annabelle has caused me is immeasurable. But the saddest thing is she doesn’t even know it because she is so lost as a person. Just a fool running errands for others that are making fools art.

Annabelle had officially dumped me on Thursday, April 17th, 2014. She texted me a day after that, and we made arrangements for me to get what little stuff I had at her apartment. She was nice enough to tell me that she’d bring it down to me. It was just shirts and stuff so I was fine with it. I was happy I didn’t have to drag myself out to Northern Liberties to go get my shit because I hated going out there.

It was a sunny Saturday morning when she showed up and handed me a bag.  I thanked her and asked her how she was doing. She said a little sad and depressed. I told her I was too. (A bold-faced lie)

She asked me if I was hungry. I told her I was. She asked if I wanted to get something to eat. I told her I did.

It was an odd moment. She had broken up with me a few days ago and now here she was wanting to hang out with me. I didn’t mind. I eventually had a friendship with my ex before her and remain friends to this day. (See: Michelle – 2007 – Present – A Brand New Day)

It was a nice day in Spring so we walked up to DiBruno Brothers on 18th and Chestnut Streets. It’s a really nice food market and eatery. We both got some sort of salads and went upstairs to the dining room. There weren’t many people up there. Maybe just two other couples. I don’t remember what we talked about, but it was probably whatever shoot she was going on or what play she was working on.

When we were finished eating, she moved to the chair closest to me at the table. She started to kiss up on me. It was really nice. Normally we never did public displays of affection. But it was sexy and hot. It’s weird. Something’s not right about that.

But it felt good, and a day later we were eating at an Indian restaurant near my hospital and then went back to my apartment and made love. The sex was good like always and I actually said to her: “If this is what you breaking up with me feels like, you should break up with me every week!”

Be careful what you wish for. We’ve all heard that old adage. But I liked the new Annabelle. It was all the stuff I liked about her. Food, sex and spending a little time with a pretty young woman. But at that time back in the Spring of 2014, I didn’t know that I didn’t love Annabelle. I didn’t even like her. I just was in love with the idea of being in love with her. I had no idea what was happening to me at the time. Now I had the drug almost on my terms. I wouldn’t have to “put my time in at her shitty apartment”, or put up with the grinding frustration and disappointment of being in a relationship with her. All the responsibility was gone.

But if you go into a new love, (It had been 2 years since Michelle) you must go into that new relationship for the right reason. That’s why I always warn people not to “have sex on the 3rd date” and ask themselves, do they really have much in common with their partner. Like the same things, activities, shared some of the same friends, work and religious values can also come into play.

But your old pal Phicklephilly, plowed right into this relationship with this woman  25 years his junior, not thinking any of this through. All I wanted was to be romantic with a young woman and feel the rush of new love. I didn’t realize it but I had gotten hooked on a drug I had nothing in common with. The only thing Annabelle and I had was a common attraction to each other. She’d never been in love before and didn’t know how to love or what to do with her feelings. Me, I meet a friendly, tall, young blond bartender and I’m ready to go head over heels.

What a fool I was.

A week or so later, I met her at a bus station near 30th Street just to give her moral support for trip to New York to buy some lenses for camera she owned. I just wanted to make her feel calm before her trip, and it worked. You might think why wouldn’t you go with her, and spend the day?

Here’s the thing, if we could have just hooked up sexually and I didn’t have to do any grinding boring stuff I had zero interest in, the relationship could have worked. So there’s no way I wanted to go anywhere with her.

On another occasion, I met her at 30th Street Station for a quick-lunch, and I put her on a train to somewhere for a shoot. I remember her saying, “Let’s have sex tonight!”

I was fine with that at the time. We had dinner that night. It was like being back at the beginning when things were good. Then back to my apartment for passionate fun.

Here’s the problem with that. I was getting exactly what I wanted from her. I was getting the thing I liked about our relationship so for me it was perfect. I didn’t have to see her all the time and I was still being delivered the euphoric dopamine that I so craved. I had no idea how damaging this is to one’s psyche.

Then it started to become less and less. That’s when the withdrawal kicks in. I went from someone who was relieved when she ended it, and now I was really missing her. I was losing her for real now. But it wasn’t her I was losing, I just wasn’t getting my “fix” anymore. Normally I’m not like that, and I vow to never let that happen again. But I never realized the relationship was sick from the start and doomed from day one.

A month went by, and I was on that tour boat on the Delaware river with my colleague when she texted me that she wanted to meet up for dinner. I really wanted to see her, but had to do that, “don’t get right back to her” move. But when I did she got right back to me and we set it up. She wanted to go to dinner and then stop and Chris’ Jazz club after. I was down for that. Of course I wanted to see her.

We planned to meet over at Pennsylvania 6, which was a French and Southern fusion type place. I knew she’d like it.

I was actually sipping a Ketel One vodka martini straight up with a twist as I waited for her at the bar. My hands were shaking I was so nervous. Yes, this was happening to the experienced old lion. She came in and noticed it. I don’t know what I said to cover.

We had a lovely dinner and were very sweet to one another. When the meal was over, I asked her if she was still down for Chris’ Jazz. She stated that she was tired from the wine and could we just go back to my place and relax on the couch and chill in the AC. I was fine with that because I didn’t feel like hanging out at the Chris’ Jazz anyway.

We went straight to my bedroom and had sex, and she spent the night.

The dopamine drops again. We took a selfie in bed together the next morning. We went to breakfast and then I put her in a cab and off she went. She asked that I send her the selfies from earlier and I did. (It was just our two faces on the pillow. Nothing racy)

A few weeks went by.

Her Uncle came to visit one week and they were at Chris’ Jazz and I was at some food and booze festival half in the bag and she texted that she was missing me. I jumped in an UBER and hung out with them for a bit, then he left and I went back to her place. The usual acts ensued. I was so drunk that night, if she had asked me to come rob a bank with her I would have gone.

This sort of nonsense went on through the summer. But the in between times were the worst. Because she stopped planning things with me that led to sex, it was just random, drunken hook ups. The relationship was slowly being picked apart. It was like I’d get a little better hang with another chick, and then Annabelle could just swoop in whenever the mood struck her and she’d rip open the sutures of my healing love junkie heart.

All of my friends were telling me it was wrong and that I should cut her off. But I just couldn’t get off the smack.

One time I ended up drunk with her in Northern Liberties and we ended up taking a selfie of just our shadows on the ground. Ironic now how that was really all that was left of us. We both just fell into her bed and went to sleep.

The next morning I wanted to get frisky with her and when I tried to she said, “I can’t. I’ve been with someone, and I found out they were having sex with someone else. So if I have something I don’t want to give it to you.”

Well that was nice of her, but I still wish I could have had sex with her that morning as hungover as I was. I love morning sex. It just makes the rest of your day better. But you can see how reckless her life decisions are.

So I was a safe rebound after whoever she had been seeing cheated on her. I left and did the long walk of shame back to Rittenhouse.

We did meet for a really nice seafood dinner out at Doc MacGrogan’s in University City that September. I took a bus down to Old City, and then called an UBER and went to her apartment in Northern Libs. Picked her up and then had the UBER take us to the restaurant. She was once again exposed to what it’s like to be treated like a lady by a gentleman.

The dinner was nice and they were my client at the time, so I got the hookup. During dinner we talked about us. She said she missed me. I asked her if she wanted to try again. She said that she did but wanted to go slowly. I would have been okay with that with how turned around in my head I was at the time. But after I wrote it all down in these 15 chapters did I realize how wrong all of this behavior was. Adults don’t do that to each other.

I thought after dinner it would be back to the batcave for some frolicking and frivolity. I didn’t even get to ask if she wanted to come over. She feigned a headache and I got dropped off at my apartment and she went on home. She always pulled the “fake headache” move whenever she decided she didn’t want to do something. Lame, juvenile behavior.

After that she simply “ghosted” me. For those of you reading this that don’t know what that means, it’s when someone in your life simply vanishes. They don’t call or text. It all suddenly stops. Nothing. Just gone. This went on for months. I wasn’t going to contact her. She did this. I needed to heal. Adults speak to one another and close the relationship. It’s wrong to put a person on a shelf like they are just some sort of toy, and then think you can take them down and play with them whenever you’re confused or lonely. It’s just shitty behavior. The person you’re doing that to is a human being with feelings.  You’re a rotten person if you think that sort of behavior is okay.

It was a lonely, vacuous, depressing time for me, heading into winter. The darkness of depression closed around me like a black cloak.

Months passed, and I was at a toy drive to help kids in the hospital during the holidays. Me and my buddy Church do it every year for Children’s Hospital.

I get a text from Annabelle out of the blue. It sent a shock wave of anxiety searing throughout my mind and body.

After months of silence, I get this text:

“Hey! I’m in New Orleans and I’ve been thinking about you everyday. I even had a dream about you!”

Searing pain and fear. I’m trying to move on with my life.

“I’m working a Toy Drive for the holidays. Can I call you when I get home?”

“Sure!”

I proceeded to try to numb the pain of this reopening of the wound by plowing Cutty Sark Prohibition based cocktails down my gullet. Church calls it “The Babymaker” because it’s 100 proof and makes you do crazy shit.

Maybe it was just the fuel I needed that cold winter’s eve.

Later when I got home, I called her I chatted as nicely as I could and then told her that I couldn’t keep doing this. I couldn’t live like this.

“So we’re not dating anymore?”

“No, Annabelle. We’re done. We’re done. I can’t keep talking about this. It’s all too painful to go on.”

I wrapped up the conversation quietly, and hung up. Then I proceeded to unfriend and block her on my Facebook, Instagram and finally block this selfish person in my phone.

That was the end of it.

 

You too, Michelle….

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish Monday through Friday at 8am EST.

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Alice – 2012 to Present – The Cute Recruiter – What Now?

I got a text from Alice the other day. “Did you hear what happened?” That doesn’t sound good. “Keila resigned. Please don’t say anything.”

 

I got a text from Alice the other day. “Did you hear what happened?” That doesn’t sound good. “Keila resigned. Please don’t say anything.”

I call her. She’s clearly upset. She says that Keila calmly walked into the office and said she was giving her two-week notice. Alice was stunned, but probably not entirely surprised. They have been working together for about two years now running this start-up. I never felt that Keila was the right candidate for the job. I like her and think she has a lovely heart, but it just never felt like a match for her skill set. But Alice felt strongly about bringing her on board and making a go of it.

They did well considering it was just the two of them, and the occasional intern. Alice always seemed under a great deal of pressure from the investors. She’s incredibly driven to have this business succeed. But I think she saw this coming. Keila wanted a raise, equity and then took a vacation during a financial crisis. That’s not what your partner does after you’ve given her the greatest job she’s ever had.  Maybe Keila thinks that the company is going to fail and wants to get out now before Alice has to let her go.

I don’t personally believe that. Alice will fight tooth and nail to keep her company afloat. I suppose the only upside to all of this is the biggest expense many companies face is staffing. With Keila gone, Alice will save a ton in payroll. This is such a shame, but Alice will prevail.

She actually took the high road and is having a farewell party for Keila. I’ll be attending that event with Church this week, so we’ll see how it plays out. (See: Church – 2012 to Present – Brand Ambassador)

On a lighter note, Alice called me the other day and asked if I’d be a reference for her to get a cat. “You need a reference to get a cat now?” was my response. Apparently you do. I told her I’d be happy to give her a good reference. Great thing is, Alice is so nice I won’t have to lie.

The lady from the shelter called me today, and I gave her the lowdown on the ruthless CEO I know from the IT recruitment firm. I told her about how long I’ve know Alice, and what she has done for me personally and professionally. I described her as a well-mannered, church going, grandpa loving, nephew adoring, all around super lady. There was no way that I could fake any of that, because it’s all true. Alice is truly one of the best people I know. She is a hard-working dedicated businesswoman, but she always makes time in her life for family and friends.

Keila gave her a glowing review as well. Now if Alice’s new landlord just gives the green light, she’ll have her cat. I hear he’s a big fat orange guy. May even have a little Maine Coon in him. If she gets this cat (and I believe she will) he’ll be in the hands of a loving companion.

I spoke with her today and she says she texted her new landlord and he replied “I said I’d let you know when they contacted me.” What an asshole. I’m sure it’ll work out for the best. She also said she was moving into her new apartment here in the city and her parents were helping her move. She also complained that she had terrible cramps and that 2016 was definitely not her year. (Love her mettle!)

I’ve been hearing that term more and more lately. “This is going to be your year.” I think that gives people a false sense of hope for success. I have found that there are high and low points in every life. Having suffered from anxiety and depression most of my life I know that it’s best to fly in the middle. We all have good years and bad years. A bad year would be one of grinding poverty and not being able to keep a roof over your head. A good year would be, “Netflix had decided to pick up Phicklephilly as a TV series with a three-year option.” (Not happening yet)  Every year has its ups and downs. I’ve learned to just enjoy the day you’re in right now. There will be ups and downs, but it all shakes out in the end.

 

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Caroline – 11/2016 – Tinder Mismatch – This Is Why You’re Alone

She should have just swiped left!

I have struggled with this one for months. I thought, change the pic, Tell the story a different way. Even my friend and neighbor Trish told me not to publish the photo, and told me to take it easy on my words. (See: Trish – 2012 to Present – She Wolf) But the more I though about it, it really came down to “You should have simply Swiped Left” so, fuck you.

If you’ve been following this blog, you know I’m a gentleman.

That’s her in the middle.She

Here is what it says on MY Tinder profile:

My Name – 54

If you’d like a quality man with a real career and a gentleman, seeking a long-term relationship, then you’ve come to the right place. Advertising Exec, former artist, writer and musician. I hope you like a charming good listener, going out to dinner and laughing a lot because that’s what you’re going to get. Oh, and I’m a great cook as well. If we meet and you don’t look like your profile pics, then you’re going to buy me drinks until you do.

It’s to the point, truthful and fun. At the end I poke fun at online dating. Everybody gets the joke and every woman who has read it and matched with me has found it funny. Many times people don’t look like their profile pics. They are older or fatter or whatever, but it’s a joke and we all get it.

Except this person.

Here is what her Tinder profile says:

Caroline – 56

High energy, good energy loving and sweet. I’m into cooking, reading, hiking, biking, and yoga. Currently into cross fit training.  Love to check out modern art in nyc. Rad liberal politics… Republicans need not apply. Friends like me because Im funny… That and i bail them out of jail. Open to dating and possible relationship if thats where the vibe takes us.

Ok, I’m not going to mention all of the spelling and grammar errors. I’m going to share the dialogue shared with this moron.

So she read my profile and decided instead of swiping left because she simply didn’t like my profile, she swiped right.

Then she messaged me on the site.

Caroline: What if you don’t look like your profile pics?

Me: Then I guess you’re drinking for free, Caroline!

Two days later… (Again, please forgive all of her spelling and grammatical errors)

Caroline: Hi charles, Ive seen the line on other profiles. Its not exactly original. But thats not the problem with it. The problem is that Your first contact with someone assumes something negative about them. I know this line is meant to be funny but to me it comes off as arrogant and demanding. People already feel vulnerable enough on dating sites without someone admonishing them (before they’ve even met!) about how the look. Maybe you’re not so hot either. As for me, I’m in my 50’s. My pictures are current but i am aging. I don’t want to meet anyone who is going to pounce on that and scrutinize my appearance. I want to meet someone who is looking for my inner beauty. Im not sure whether to wish you true pics or free drinks but have fun out there.

 

No wonder why this woman is alone. I’m sure her former husband thanks the sweet Lord everyday that he no longer has to look at and listen to this idiot. What an asshole. It’s a joke. Everybody gets it. If you’re too much of a moron to get it, then swipe left you stupid woman. Can you imagine what this woman is really like in real life? She took the time to read my profile, took offense to what I wrote, swiped right just so she could write the above diatribe to a man she doesn’t even know.

(In the first draft of this post I didn’t use words like idiot, moron and stupid in the above paragraph. I used way worse words to describe her.)

I was going to rip her a new one when I responded to her idiotic statement, but I decided against it. Like my mother always said, “Consider the source.”

So I was very nice.

Me: Wow. I never meant any harm in what I said. It was meant as an ironic joke about online dating and the whole scene. I have met people that don’t look like their profiles and it’s no big deal. It’s inside a person that really counts. Most people get the gag and laugh at it. Of course I don’t mean it seriously. I’m 54! I’m no box of chocolates myself anymore. I’d like to meet someone who is nice that I can get to know. Please forgive my insensitivity. Incidentally… I think you are a very attractive, intelligent woman.

(All a bold faced lie!)

Did I spread the bullshit on to thick?

Caroline: I know you didn’t mean any harm. And you responded to my criticism very sweetly. So, I’m sorry for being too sensitive but I think some sensitivity is called for here. Friends?

Me: Absolutely. Thank you!

Mission accomplished. She feels like she put me in my place and helped make me a better person. Good for her. No hard feelings.

I mean…look at those daughters.

Maybe I’d like to meet Caroline and get to know her and her family.

That one on the right is especially nice.

 

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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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Sarika – Song of the Black Widow

God, she’s beautiful. I couldn’t find a stock picture on the internet to capture the delightful beauty of this girl. She is so pretty. Indian. Exotic. The type of beauty you’d almost pay for to be seen with at an event. She is probably one of the most beautiful women I know in Philly. But she recently reached out to me to come hang at a happy hour and a brand new place in Rittenhouse, called Scarpetta. Smith and Wolensky’s is gone and now that place is here. It’s in the Rittenhouse Hotel. She also mentioned that she wants me to come up to her apartment and check out her new place at the Dorchester. I am so glad I have reconnected with her. This vacuous she-devil is such a good character for this work. I am a huge fan of lovely Sarika.

I got to Scarpetta around 5:30. They’ve done a nice job with the place. It’s dark and intimate. The bar looks the same but they’ve opened up the place a bit. There’s only the one bar, but they have a lounge in the back and there is a dining room upstairs. I look around for Sarika but I don’t see her. I’m chatting with the manager and then I look out the window and see her walking towards the building.

Sarika looks amazing as always. We grab a couple of drinks at the bar and sit in this cool little area by ourselves near the window. Rittenhouse Square looks beautiful. It’s all decorated for the holidays.There are strings of bulbs in the trees and the whole park twinkle with light. She is having some sort of light pink beverage that I didn’t catch the name of, and I’m having the old-fashioned. Normally, cocktails are around fifteen dollars, but during happy hour they’re half price. So that’s something I can live with for now.

I ask her what she’s been up to and she says she’s been going on a lot of dates. Turns out that weasel she wanted to bring to my eighty dollar a plate New Years party last year has been gone for a while. I remember she was so into that guy. Apparently they were together off and on for two years. She says she wasted her best years on him and now she’s old. She’s 28! Come on Sarika, you are still but a child. She said he was a jerk to her and probably never loved her. I get her laughing, and start thinking that the black widow isn’t so bad after all. She may be smart as a whip, but she’s still a young woman navigating her way through love and life. I even joke that she probably has a blood-red hour-glass tattooed on her belly.

I do love pretty things, and she is no exception.

I tell her she looks great as always. She has been in some sunny destinations lately, so her skin is a darker brown than normal. I like it. It makes her look even more mysterious and exotic. I mention it and she immediately asks if I think it looks ugly. She always says things like that. She is so smart but so immature at the same time. She’s also a bit of a chatterbox. I think most men can’t handle that and don’t like a girl who talks too much. I don’t mind it. I like a girl who has things to say and experiences to share. I love to talk and entertain a woman, so it’s nice when I have a chatty girl so I don’t have to do all of the work. Women like a good listener and I grew up with three sisters. But what I can’t stand is what Carol used to do. Just babbling on nonstop like a tire spinning in the snow. (See: Carol 5/2014 to 8/2016 – There’s No Fun In Dysfunction)

I once read that women speak up to 20,000 words a day, compared to men, who speak only 12,000. So when we get home…We’re done!

It is puzzling how a woman this strikingly beautiful can’t keep a man. But the more you’re around her the more it makes sense. She says she’s been finding men on an app called J Swipe. It’s like Tinder for Jews. I asked her why that app? She said Jewish men normally appreciate women more, have good jobs, and have money. Sounds like she’s hunting for a husband. I think one of the challenges Sarika is facing is that she may be viewed more as a conquest. A creature to be captured and checked off of some list, because she’s so beautifully exotic.

She said she went out with a guy on Monday and even had a date with a pilot after our happy hour. So I assume I won’t be getting a tour of that gorgeous apartment in her building tonight. Sarika has a very busy life. She travels a great deal for her job as a scientist. I know she was formerly an engineer, but now I guess she’s a scientist. She makes great money and spends her other free time hopping on planes and taking little trips. It sounds like a fun life with all of the dating, and jet setting vacations, but it almost seems like she doesn’t want to be alone in her apartment. She’s crazy dating now. It’s good that she’s getting out there and meeting people after two years wasted with weasel man. But again, I can see men wanting her because she’s so beautiful, but she’s kind of annoying to talk to for any length of time. So if they get the opportunity to sleep with her they may not stick around.

Sarika is very intelligent and a nerd. I have taken her to Science after Hours at the Franklin Institute in the past. She loved it like a child. We went to see Jurassic World last summer, and Guardians of the Galaxy is her favorite movie. If my friend Duncan finds that up he’ll probably move up here from North Carolina. You would think guys would find that hot. A pretty girl who likes guy stuff and sci-fi, but it hasn’t worked. Maybe one of these many men that she is meeting for dates, will be rich and just marry her as a trophy wife. But sadly, people are funny about race in this country. They may want to sleep with a hot girl, but they may not want to bring and Indian woman back home to meet the family. I personally I have nothing against it. If you have been reading this blog, you know I love all different kinds of women. As Hank Moody says in the show Californication, “I got all your albums. I love you all and you and you included, Sarika.”

My buddy Church shows up at Scarpetta. I’m happy to see him. Once Sarika  goes on her date at One Tippling Place up the street, he and I can go to Square 1682 and have a drink. Church knows everybody in the restaurant and bar business in this town, so when he orders a drink and the server brings it over, she says, “This one is on Nathan.” He’s the GM there so Church got the hook up. I get another drink, but Sarika is only having the one so she doesn’t show up drunk for her date at 7:00.

While I was waiting at the bar to get my drink, Church chatted with Sarika. I was a little glad that it took the bartender a little time to get to me and make my drink. Normally I don’t like that, but I thought it would give Church a chance to talk to Sarika.

I get back to our little area by the window. We all chat a bit more. Sarika has to go soon, so she heads back to the ladies room. Church tells me she wouldn’t stop talking and it was driving him crazy. He’s been on edge lately, and listening to Sarika go on about something was annoying him. He said something to the effect, “I wanted to put a gun in my mouth.” He said she is so vacuous and self-absorbed and all she talked about was herself.

He once said that about another attractive girl who talked a lot. He was in a car with her and she was talking non stop and he said, “I wanted to leap right out of the car while it was going 70 miles per hour down the highway.”

Sarika returns, and I put her coat on for her. I tell her I will pay for the one drink she had. She tells me she’ll get me next time. I give her a kiss on the cheek good-bye and she’s off. I get the bill for my two old-fashioneds and her dainty drink. It should come to over $22 plus tax. I look at it and it’s only $15. So I got the hookup because I was with Church.

Dude certainly has the power.

I think next we’ll do a happy hour with my friend Carly.  So the night went well and again without incident.

So maybe my pretty little arachnid is finally growing up.

I love Sarika. She is beautiful, and I enjoy her company, if nobody else does, and I can’t wait to see her again.

(Oh… and if you’ve somehow found this and other stories Sarika, I’ll understand if you cut me off. The truth always hurts more than fiction)

 

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