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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Maria – Chapter 2 – Amor en Vano – Part II

Another tale of one man’s journey through the dating scene in Philadelphia. Searching for true love.

In our last episode, our hero was meeting with Maria at a coffee shop to find out why she had been let go from her job. But does he have ulterior motives?

Maria stated that it was one incident on a Saturday night where she did one shot with a table of people. But she said some of the other servers said she was drinking all night long, and that simply wasn’t true. (I believe her) I was just happy that she was talking to me and meeting with me over coffee. I asked her what was she going to do now and she said she had already gotten another job at a nicer restaurant. I was surprised it happened so fast but in that industry there is always turnover, and they always need experienced help. (And because she’s smart and understands the hospitality industry) Maria lamented that she’d have to learn a new menu but other than that it was a decent gig. I had been to the new place when it opened and I thought it was a great spot in a good area. The food was good, so she’d probably do well there.

And that’s when I said the following. “Maria, I have something else I need to share with you.” She crossed her arms. I’m really good at reading people’s body language so I tried to put her at ease. I told her that I had real feelings for her. You have to be willing to take risks like this if you want the better rewards in life. But I will tell you, sometimes you roll the dice and your number doesn’t come up. Maybe on a later roll, but sometimes you leave the casino alone and broke.  She said she didn’t want to be misconstrued on how she was when she would serve us at the restaurant.

I understand if a server is sweet and a little flirty it helps garner bigger tips. It’s just human psychology. I told her she was just being friendly and that it was her personality that shone through. I told her all of those times we came into the restaurant all I wanted to see was her. The weekends I would spend at my office working on ad copy. I would text her and say “I’m burning so many calories banging my head against the wall trying to come up with an idea for this ad campaign it’s making me hungry. Should I come see you and have some delicious sliders?” That was the sort of thing I would do but it was all about wanting to see her.

She responded, “Do you think we’d be compatible?” And I said, “We went to the flower show, that was great and you don’t know if you’re compatible until you spend time with someone.” I simply told her how I felt about her. I think she was surprised, but at least I know it’s out there now and I’ve said it. I know she’s sporty and I’m more of the arts guy but who knows? Stranger things have happened. (Please continue reading this blog each week and you’ll know!) She was on her way to the new job when she met me, so I bid her farewell and told her I’d stay in touch. We hugged and she was gone. At least now she knew what I felt for her.

I told Maria that me and my colleague were going to boycott the old place for firing her by never going there again, but that clearly wasn’t happening. The food is delicious there and we still love the lunch hostess, Mary (See: Mary – Unexpected Table for Two) and a couple of the other servers there!

Tune in tomorrow for the conclusion!

 

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Maria – Chapter 1 – Amor en Vano – Part I

Another tale of one man’s journey, as he navigates through the dating scene in Philadelphia, searching for true love.

I work in advertising. A colleague and I normally go out to lunch at some of the local eateries here in center city. We have a list of spots we like and there is one in particular that we really like. There’s this one server that I started to like. We both thought she was great. After awhile we would ask to be seated in her section every time we went there.

Maria was always on point with the service and friendly. She’s a beautiful hispanic girl. Dark brown hair that tumbled to her shoulders like ribbons of bittersweet chocolate. She has light caramel skin and is very fit. She runs most days so she’s in great shape.

When her section would slow down, she would always spend a little extra time with us to chat. We loved the attention from such a sweet girl.

I have many contacts and clients throughout the city. One of which is a tanning salon. Maria said she’d like to check it out and I got her a free pass to go tanning. She gave me her contact info so that I could set it up.

I sometimes get tickets to events through my job. Maria had expressed an interest in going to the Philadelphia Flower Show. So when my co-worker got tickets because they were advertising with us he gave me a pair. I called Maria and asked her if she’d like to go. She accepted!

We met at the convention center and she was on time, which I like. We went in and checked her backpack. We grabbed a couple of glasses of wine and walked around the event. It was really nice to spend time with this girl that I only ever spoke to at her job. Here she was with me and we were getting to know each other. I was happy. During the event I remember she mentioned to me that she had lost her “M” necklace. Not at the event, but somewhere else. I thought about how great it would be to replace that for her. But I was getting ahead of myself.

We looked at some beautiful small orchids that she showed a fondness for. I made mental notes for future romantic gift ideas in case that wonderful idea ever occurred. I also signed up for some sort of green energy thing and they gave me a single little rose in a vial and I gave it to her. (First flower!)

A few weeks went by and I would see her at the restaurant when we would go there. I asked her to another event that I got tickets to through work. Due to scheduling conflicts she was unable to attend.

Some more time went by, and one day we went to the restaurant and one of the other servers told us Maria had been fired. We were shocked because we thought she had been one of their best and long-term employees. We asked why and she said, “For drinking on the job.”

Now I know a lot of bartenders and restaurant employees in this city and the policy in regard to drinking on the job vary. I spoke with one bartender who works at bar up by Temple University and she said, where she works she can do the occasional shot with the clients if they insist. She said she comes out from behind the bar and does it with them. If by chance the booze is clear in color and she is pouring the shots she will make sure hers is water if possible.  I spoke with another bartender who works at a nice hotel bar here in center city the same question. He said, “Look, if it’s you guys, (I have known him for several years and the guy I was with is a local liquor rep) I can do the occasional shot to taste something new with you.” But other than that it’s prohibited.

So I decided to get to the bottom of this new development in Maria’s life. I texted her and asked “Are you no longer at the restaurant anymore?”  She got back to me rather quickly saying “Yea about that. It’s a joke. I’ll have to tell you the full story then.”

I was interested to find out, but more so to see her outside of the restaurant, one on one! But I also decided to do something else during our meeting. Because fortune favors the bold.

We agreed to meetup the next day at a Starbucks. I got there first and she arrived shortly after. I don’t really drink coffee. I like the smell and taste of it and have drank it in the past, but I just don’t NEED it like most people. If someone said to me,”you can never have coffee again.” I’d be like, “no big deal.” But if the said, “no more wine again ever.” Dude. We’ve got a problem.

Anyway, she arrives and she has this cute tan summer dress on and she looks incredibly hot. So we get our coffees and sit down. She begins to tell me her side of the story. And like any story, there’s her side, the restaurant’s side, and the truth. She said that everybody does it. And they decided to make an example out of her to drive home the message that drinking with the patrons was strictly forbidden. If they would fire a long-term senior employee for the infraction, then anyone could be let go at anytime. Pretty effective message.

Tune in on Wednesday for Part II of this story. What is our hero planning on doing at the coffee shop?

 

 

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