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…

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly

 

Michelle – Chapter 7 – New York City – Saturday

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

After the magic of the Wishing Stone, things seemed to move forward in my direction. The right direction! Michelle’s 28th birthday was rapidly approaching at the end of May. People were all asking the perfunctory: “What are you doing for your birthday?” Where it’s like, great… Now I have to come up with something. But she was telling people that she’d like to maybe go to New York City for the long weekend. She knew I had lived and worked in Manhattan for the last couple of years before I came back to Philly. We were chatting about it. I asked her what she was planning. She wasn’t sure but was definitely thinking of getting out-of-town, and NYC seemed like a good spot.

Based on how volatile things had been leading up to this moment, I had my reservations about us going away together. There had been so much back and forth with us, and as much as I would love actually spending time with Michelle on a weekend day, it just seemed like for some reason it just wouldn’t happen.

It was a Friday, and her birthday was on Sunday. I had picked up a little gift bag of goodies for her and hid it under her desk while she was away from it. She was very surprised when she found it. It wasn’t anything really valuable. Just stuff she liked. I probably had a couple of packs of Parliaments in there, her favorite Orbit gum, maybe some granola bars. Just little stuff. It was sitting on her desk, and we were chatting, and that little weasel that I told you about in Michelle’s first chapter comes over. He’s like: “Oh gum, can I have some?” Michelle is like, sure. But the best part for me was knowing the following:

  1. This guy is so far in the friendzone that he might as well be a blood relative of hers.
  2. He doesn’t know the gift bag with the gum is a present from me, or that it’s even her birthday.
  3. I enjoyed watching him really struggle with the cellophane to open the gum.
  4. She’s going to NYC with me and no one at our company knows we’re an item.

Weasel realizes it’s her birthday, asks her what her plans are for the weekend. She tells him she’s going to NYC. He asks with whom? She says, “A friend,” and smiles.

The afternoon went by and I don’t remember if I walked her home, but I probably did. Either way, on Saturday I was back in Jersey awaiting her call. She wanted to get some rest and leave for New York later in the afternoon. But based on the past events I prepared myself for her to bail. I was out that day with my friend Vicky. We stopped at Marshall’s or Ross because I wanted to pick up some new shirts. I was telling her the whole tale of what I had been through with Michelle. We were in the car ready to leave the parking lot when my flip phone rang. I answered it. It was Michelle. I was expecting the worst. She said if I could come by her place around 3:30pm she’s be ready to go to NYC.

For some reason I was astounded. I told her I’d be there, and went home to pack. Vicky was very happy for me. I put some things in a bag and fired up my ’94 Taurus wagon.

I got to her building and text her. She came down with her bags. I couldn’t believe this was really happening. It was like a dream come true. Here I was seeing Michelle for the first time on a weekend. We were going to New York!  She gets in the car and asks if we can stop at the Starbucks down the street so she can get a coffee or a tea. I pull around and she goes in and gets it. I was a little annoyed because we were already getting such a late start. I wanted to get on the road, and now we were making a stop already. But it was probably just my anxiety about the whole trip in general. Since I had just come back from NYC a year ago, it was an easy drive.

It’s super expensive to stay in NYC. I knew of a nice motel where we could stay across the river in Jersey City. It’s a really quaint, clean little place. We get there and go into the lobby to inquire about a room.

They say they are booked all weekend.

“Is there another hotel in the area?” I ask. “Sure. Go north on this road a ways and it’s up on the right. It’s called the Skyline Motel.”

“Great, thanks!” We drive over and come upon something we didn’t expect. The Skyline Motel is an old place on Tonnelle Avenue. We pull into the parking lot and walk up to the lobby. But you can’t go in because it’s just an Indian guy behind a bullet proof glass like a teller window at a bank in a bad neighborhood.

“Long or short stay?” He says. Okay. When a proprietor of any motel or hotel asks that question it only means one thing. I’ll translate that for you. “Do you want the room for an hour to bang the person you’re with, or will you be staying the night with us?” We paid and he gave us the keys to the room. We went upstairs. I swear, we walked past this skinny hooker at the payphone putting her shoes on. This place was one of “those places” The whole vibe of the place was sketchy. But it was the only hotel in the area, and we would just go with it. Michelle didn’t seem to care.

Actually, the room was really clean. The bed was clean. The bathroom was all new and looked great as well. Good hotel in a shitty area. Oh, there was a mirror on the ceiling over the bed. We drop our gear and secure the room. A few minutes later we’re in a taxi to the Path train. Once there we we walk through Journal Square. When I lived up there, I used to call it Mos Eisley. Because at night, Journal Square was a den of scum and villainy.

We hop on the train into the city. It only takes about 20 minutes to get there. We get off at 32nd and Sixth on the edge of Korea town. We walk a few blocks. Manhattan is enormous. It truly is an amazing city. I love Philly more, but New York is one of the greatest cities in the world. We step into a pub and have a few drinks and some food. We’re happy and having a fun day so far. We walk up to Rockefeller Center. It’s Memorial Day weekend, so the weather is warm, and the city is a little quieter because people go away for the holiday.

We’re having a drink outside. We start chatting with this older couple that are pretty much doing what we’re doing. Just hanging, and enjoying the evening in the city. We’re just having a great time, and at some point they leave. A short time later, we look down and we see that they have forgotten a bag with some things in it. We look inside and there are some tourist looking stuff, but there is also some medicines. It’s something the man probably needs. Michelle and I in true fashion, spring into action. We may be two crazy kids on the loose in NYC, but now we’re on a mission. It’s actually a good thing that it was 2008. That’s 9 years ago. Because there is actually a AAA hotel guide in there. I flip through it and the Waldorf Astoria is circled in pen. Can you beat that?

We head over to the hotel. I’ve never set foot in there. It’s beautiful. I see all of these bottles of Dom Perignon around the lobby as if there were some sort of event there that night. I think if there is a way I can clip one of those bottles out of here I will. Michelle and I used to sometimes steal stuff back then. Nothing big, like cars or anything, but stuff like glassware from bars. I don’t even know why. We walk up to the front desk and tell them what happened, and ask if the people we met are staying there. We tell them we’re not trying anything funny, just trying to help. They take the bag and call upstairs. The people are staying there! The guy is surprised and relieved. I don’t even think he realizes that he had lost his stuff. He tells us he’s coming down. A few moments pass and he appears. We hand over the bag and he looks inside. “Well I can’t go without that! Thank you so much. Let me buy you both a drink.”

All we heard were the words: “buy” and “drink.”

He bought us both a glass of chardonnay. I think we had two rounds.  He paid for the first round and then we paid for the second. We bid him farewell, and he went back up to the room. Philly is expensive, but New York is super expensive. I think it was $14 a glass. Maybe more. Regardless, we were relieved that he bought the first round or we would have had a $56 bill plus tip. You’re looking at $60 for 2 drinks each. Nightmare!

On our way out, Michelle is admiring the bottles of Dom around the lobby. I tell her I had thoughts of trying to steal one, but I didn’t. “Do you know why I didn’t steal one?” I ask. “Because it would be wrong, and bad karma after our good deed tonight?” She says. “That’s a great answer, Michelle. It really is. But it’s wrong.” How so?” she asks. “I didn’t steal a bottle because it would have been wrong. I looked closely at those bottles on the way in. I didn’t clip one because they are all empty.”

We laugh on the way out and are feeling energized from helping someone, while being a couple in NY. I have no idea what time it is because I am so caught up in the moment. We stop at another bar. I know there are plenty of bars in NY that stay open until 4am. We’re having drinks and a great time. An hour or so later, we stumble out of the bar and back to the PATH train. We hop the train back to Jersey City. As the train rises out of the tunnel and climbs the bridge across the river, the car is filled with golden sunlight.

“We stayed out all night!” Michelle exclaims. “Great night though.” I say.

We hop in a taxi in Journal Square (Mos Eisley) and have him drive us back to the Skyline Motel. Maybe it’s too early for the hookers and junkies to be out yet. We get there quickly. Michelle suggests we pay for tomorrow night right now, because she wants to sleep through 11am checkout today. We pay the man behind the bulletproof glass and head up to our room. The great thing is, the curtains are really thick. I pull them closed, and it is once again night in the room. We get out of our clothes, but I don’t think in front of each other. She changes in the bathroom. We’re exhausted.

Sometimes we do good things. Sometimes we do bad things. Today was good. I’m just happy to be with Michelle. I can’t believe my good fortune in meeting her.

We crawl under the sheets and fall asleep.

Michelle always said: “I have so much fun with you that when the day is over, I wish we could do it ll over again.”

Tune in two weeks from now for the thrilling conclusion to Michelle – NYC – Sunday

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly

 

 

Michelle – Chapter 1 – A Brand New Day

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

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

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

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

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

Or so I thought.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But that was all was about to change.

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

Enjoy!

 

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

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