Mary, Mia, Daphne, Alexa, & Carly. We Call It Wednesday

The reason the stock photo for this entry has several women in it is because I encountered so many lovely ladies today.

Wednesday I decide to eat lunch at Misconduct at 18th and JFK. I love the chicken tenders and my friend Mary works there. (See: Mary – 2016 to Present – Unexpected Table For Two) I take a small table by the door. It’s right against the wall across from the hostess stand so I can chat with Mary.

We catch up on what’s been happening in our lives and the tenders are delicious as always. The lunch rush is over around 2:30 and I’ve got my eye on the table in the corner. There are two guys there and they’re finishing up. Hot Mia is still going to be my server. She’s a cute little Latina girl who’s new.

The guys leave and I move over there. Now my back is to the wall in the corner and I can see the whole restaurant and bar. I can also plug in my laptop and phone and charge up for a bit while I work on some accounts.

3pm rolls around and Mia asks if I want anything else. I ask her for a Manhattan straight up with a side of ice. She delivers and it’s beautiful. I sip it and type away. I like restaurants at this time of day. It’s that lull between lunch and happy hour and I can chill in the quiet.

One of the servers that I’ve known since the Maria days, (See: Maria – 2016 to Present – Amor En Vano) Brianna comes over and gives me a hug. She’s a delicious baby with raven curls that tumble to her shoulders. A slender legged caramel skinned delight. (See: Daphne – 2015 to Present – Lovely Hostess – Part 2) 

It’s getting close to 4:30 and I have to meet up with my friend, Carla. (Another friend I’ve never written a post about, but she did appear in the Epilogue of the Annabelle series)

I’ve chosen for us to meet at Tir Na Nog, the Irish pub over at 16th and Arch. My friend Johnny R. likes going there, because they get all of the international soccer games on their TVs.  (See: Johnny R. – 2011 to Present -Needle in the Groove) I’m not a huge fan of the place because it gets noisy, it’s busy, and it’s usually a sausagefest. I’m not a sports fan either so it’s a no for me.

But… hot Alexa works there as a bartender tonight! (See: Alexa – 2016 to Present – The New Hookup) She’s the girl that comes into the salon and told me to come in when she’s working and she would give me free drinks and I would just tip her. I need more hookups around the city. I have four now. So let’s see if she follows through.

I get my bill at Misconduct and the Manhattans were only $7 a piece. That’s cheap.

I get to Tir Na Nog and the bar is packed and noisy. I hate this place. I find a seat at the end of the bar next to the wall. Alexa sees me.

“Hey there! you came in! What can I get you?”

“Manhattan, please.”

“What kind of whiskey do you want?”

“I don’t care.”

“I’ll give you Bulliet.”

“Nice! Thanks!”

She brings it and it has a cherry and a rind of lemon in it. I can’t say anything because I didn’t tell her how I like it, I just hope it’s free. Carla arrives and I’m happy to see her. It’s probably been a year. She orders a beer and I introduce her to Alexa.

We catch up and I give her all the news. She’s the marketing director for a major restaurant chain here in the city. It’s a big job and keeps her plenty busy. If I hadn’t reached out to her I probably wouldn’t have heard from her again. Maybe?

I notice she is very chatty. Almost too much. I like Carly and she is one of the normal women I know. That’s why I kept her around. I’ve cut out all of the crazies from my life. I tell her everything that’s going on with me and she says I seem more calm than I’ve ever been. She’s right.

I tell Alexa we are moving to Dan Dan (A Suezuan and Taiwanese place down the street) My friend Norm works there as a bartender and he says it’s always happy hour prices when I go there. I love the hook ups! I’ve had two Manhattans and Carla has had two beers. I ask Alexa how we proceed. Normally the bill should be $36 plus tip, so you’re looking at $44 all told.

“You’re all set.”

I throw down a twenty-dollar bill and Alexa smiles and grabs it.

“That’s it. We’re good. Thank you.”

And that was it. $40 worth of drinks for $20 and Alexa gets a $20 tip instead of a $7 tip. Hookups work as long as she doesn’t get caught. I think I like Tir na Nog again.

We’re both happy to be off and out of that place. We walk south on 16th and rush hour is in full force in the city. We get to Dan dan and Norm is there. He’s been away in Italy for 10 days and we’re happy he’s back. I think that’s a trend in the service industry. They work and make a chunk of money and then go travel somewhere to break from the stressful life of that industry. I think it’s pretty cool.

Carla and I order up some delicious noodles and pot stickers with some wine. It’s the perfect ending to a fun day surrounded by good people.

 

Oh… here’s a little bonus dating advice video I like. Enjoy!

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day at 8am & 12pm EST.

Instagram: @phicklephilly                 Facebook: phicklephilly

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Innocence Lost

Early Grade School

I grew up on a street called Magee Street. It was a picturesque neighborhood of classic 50’s and 60’s lifestyle. All the dads kissed their wives goodbye in the morning and went off to work. All the wives stayed home and got the kids ready for school and then settled into housework and running errands. Most of the kids went to Lawndale school which was a public school and all of the Catholic kids went off to Presentation in nearby Lawncrest.

I remember being in the car with my dad one day and a kid named Mark Simpson was being pulled around in a wagon by his sister Linda. Only thing was, he had a cast on his leg.

“I always see that kid running out in the street all the time.”

“Well he’s not running now.”

“He got hit by a car. That’s why his leg is broken. He better watch out or he’ll get killed one day.”

I listened to my father’s words and watched in silence as Linda pulled her little brother down the street until they vanished from sight.

We lived in a time of basic rules. Say Thank you. Respect your elders. Stay off of other people’s property. Look both ways before you cross the street.

We also lived in a time of no bicycle helmets. No one wore seat belts. (Some cars didn’t even have them.) No sunscreen. No organized sports for everybody. Children ran free to go anywhere unsupervised. Just be home in time for dinner. I played by the railroad tracks. We’d ride our bikes miles from our homes. We had no cell phones. We developed keen senses of direction and distance. Everyday we thought of new ways to have fun by putting ourselves in some sort of isolated danger.

But we were fine. Young people live by the “I” words. They don’t know it, but they do. Immune. Indestructible. Impotent. When you’re young you think you’ll live forever.

Grade School

I think I was in 4th Grade when I became a Safety.  You wear a little white belt like the kid in the picture above. You also get a nice shiny silver badge to pin on it. (My sharpest memory of being a Safety was when I was doing poorly in school and my father said he should rip that belt off me and beat me with it. Fucking piece of shit thing to say to a child. But he was a rage machine back then.

Your job is to stand on your designated corner and put your arms out and block the little kids from crossing the street until it’s safe. I don’t even know how I became a Safety. Maybe someone just elects you. Maybe they didn’t have enough kids who wanted the job. But each morning and afternoon, you’d go to your assigned corner and protect the little kids.

I remember one time I was holding a soft pretzel in my hand and I put my hands out to stop the little kids. As I was waiting for the traffic to clear one little kid on my right took a bite out of the pretzel in my hand in front of his face. Too cute!

Mark Simpson and I worked the same corners. We weren’t really friends, but he lived up the street from me. I think my sister Janice maybe sometimes hung out with Linda, but I’m not sure. I think Mark may have been a grade behind me. On cold mornings his mother would whip up a few thermoses of hot chocolate for the Safetys. We’d finish up getting all of the kids to school and then all head into an office in the school and sip hot cocoa together. A little warm repose and reward for keeping the little ones safe on their way to and from school.

Fels Junior High

I was in 8th grade. I remember walking down the hallway early one morning. The school was oddly quiet. My friend Jimmy Hunsinger comes around the corner and says the following words:

“Did you hear? Mark Simpson was coming home from chess club, and ran out in the street around a bus and got hit by a car.”

“Oh my God. Is he okay?”

“He’s dead.”

‘What?”

I just stood there frozen. My face, a grimace of mute protest.

You cannot process that kind of information when you’re a 12-year-old boy. Your friends can’t die. Kids don’t die. There must be some kind of mistake. What kind of horrible lie is this?

But it was true. He ran out in the street around a stopped bus, and a car coming by the bus on the left side took him out. Apparently the trauma to his head was so forceful that he was hemorrhaging from his brain and he died on the way to the hospital.

Word quickly spread throughout the school and the neighborhood.

I remember my friend Michael and I went to his funeral service. (Closed casket) Everyone was dressed up in suits and ties and girls were in their Sunday best. This kid named Paul Berger was standing to my left in the pew, and he was playing with the zipper on his jacket because he was obviously bored. I told him to knock it off and be still out of respect to our fallen comrade.

After the service the family came to us and thanked us for coming. I just remember Mark’s sister’s face was almost unrecognizable to me because of how scrunched up it was from crying nonstop. Her face soaked with tears as she hugged us both. We here alive and had been through a few scrapes of our own but nothing compared to this nightmare.

Later we went to the Simpson’s home to pay our respects. This is some grown up shit here. Death puts everything into perspective. Especially when a child dies.

What Michael and I found odd was that nobody really looked broken or sad there. It was like a forced family reunion over grim circumstances. Everybody was eating and drinking. Mrs. Simpson asked us if we wanted to go up to Mark’s room. I had never been in Mark’s room let alone this house before. Like I said, we didn’t really hang out together.

He had a typical young boy’s room. It was neat and clean with all sort of boy memorabilia about the room. It felt weird to be looking at his stuff and touch his things. I picked up a little model car he had made. I thought they should give all of this stuff away to other kids because Mark will never come home again.

But of course I didn’t say anything about it.

As darkness fell over the neighborhood in those days, the clouds soon clear and people go on with their lives. Kids playing and going to school and just normal everyday events happen. Life goes on. The world continues to turn and some of us are not in it anymore. Some day that day will come for me and everyone I know. But we all hope it comes in old age and asleep in our beds when death comes to scatter our days. Not as a child.

I suppose the biggest ironies of this story are: My dad’s black prophecy about Mark getting hit and killed by a car. Him being a Safety and protecting other little kids from getting hit my cars, and then darting out into the street and taken by that very thing.

 

 

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

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Church – Dedication and Inspiration

You’ve been through so much, but you’ve always been there for me.”

 ded·i·ca·tion
ˌdedəˈkāSH(ə)n/
noun
 
  1. the quality of being dedicated or committed to a task or purpose.
    “his dedication to his duties”
  2. commitmentapplicationdiligenceindustryresolveenthusiasmzeal, consciencentiousness, perseverancepersistencetenacitydrivestaying power;

I’ve been writing phicklephilly for over a year and a half now. I’m happy to be writing and creating again after 10 years of silence.

I thank the lovely lady that inspired it despite the extenuating circumstances. (See: My ABOUT page.)

Its been an amazing and cathartic journey, and I’ve really discovered for the first time in my life that if you write it down, you can come to terms with it. No matter what it is.

Well, it works for me.

I was hanging out with my buddy Church last Monday. That’s sort of our move each week. He drives into the city, finds parking, (Because he is the KING of finding parking) stops by the salon, then we head out for food and some social time.

I look forward to it every week.

We cover everything.

His work.

Mine.

Our lives.

Frustration.

Women.

Our goals, and whatever else we need to discuss.

Our #1 bartender in the city, Roman is at the helm making sure we’re happy at his bar. (See: Roman – Rock and Roll Bartender)

Church and I are chatting and swiping on online dating sites and laughing about the challenges of modern dating.

I’m pounding expensive Chardonnay for free and Church is sipping his beverage and devouring delicious calamari.

We’re talking about an encounter he had earlier, where he had the opportunity to spend some time with an attractive young lady for a bit.

Of course I’m full of praise and happy that he’s had a nice afternoon with a member of the opposite sex. (I saw her pics and she’s lovely)

I think this comes at a critical moment because when you read Monday’s post, you’ll see that after a year and a half of going on so many dates I’ve at last reached critical mass with a lovely lady that I’ve been dating for a while. (See: Cherie – Love at First Swipe)

Church and I are talking, exchanging ideas, and having our usual Monday night meeting when it suddenly hits me…

Phicklephilly needs to be more than just a collection of past and present relationship stories, Tales of Rock, and crazy dating encounters.

(Don’t worry fans and followers, I’m glad you continue to read and comment on my little adventures. All of that crazy shit will continue to happen. Don’t worry. There are so many more tales to tell!)

Buy things are getting real.

I’ve always thrown out the occasional Wednesday dating advice column, but I never took it seriously.  I looked at it as something else I could offer to help people, but it was never a serious part of this blog.

To be honest, my goal from the beginning was to write for myself and get everything out of my head. But trying to come up with quality, entertaining content on a consistent basis became job 1 for me as I moved forward on my journey as a writer.

This thunder-clap arrived last Monday night when I was on my third Chard with Church. 

It’s my duty as a writer not just to dedicate my time to telling MY story and documenting MY journey in life, but to offer some help and advice to my readers about dating and relationships in general based on my rich experience.

What to do?

The phicklephilly calendar is packed with content. How will I do it? How can I bring quality dating and relationship advice to my audience on a consistent basis?

I thought on this long and hard, until I reached a solution.

I’ve been showcasing my friend JAD’s blog every Saturday for the past year on phicklephilly. I love JAD’s work and she writes brilliant, heartfelt stories from her life. If I can meet her one day I would be truly honored.

But I’m out of space and I have to do this.

Here she is:

The date with no name!!

Read her stuff. It’s really wonderful. Follow her work.

But starting this Saturday, I will offer dating advice on a consistent basis.

EVERY DAY at NOON. (For the next 90 days, then we’ll settle into advice on Saturdays only)

You read that right. I’m going to bring fresh dating and relationship advice every day on phicklephilly.

I loved promoting JAD’s blog on my platform and I hope it’s garnered her more followers. (It’s certainly kept my weekend traffic up. (Thank you JAD! xoxo)

But since my Monday night with Church I’ve been brainstorming and creating every kind of dating advice my brain can muster.

My friend Church has once again been an inspiration to me. 

I wanted to keep JAD’s stories on here running every Saturday through 2020, but I need the space. I hope she understands and we’ll still be friends, but I have to do this.

I will continue to bring you all stories of my journey through dating, romance and love in Philadelphia.

Please join me on my journey into my musical career in the coming months.

My first band in Philly, then Wildwood, New Jersey and then Los Angeles. (Shit’s gonna get crazy. Crimes will be committed, others will be blamed)

There will always be Sun Stories about the salon and there are some coming up that will blow your mind!

I’ll always pepper my content with crazy dating stories from my past just to keep the content hot.

Phicklephilly has been such an incredible catharsis for me spiritually, emotionally and mentally. (Writing down your feelings really works, right?)

 

Thank you all again, and most of all to my dear friend Church. (read his stories on here. They’re SO good!)

Thank you for being in my life. I love you, man.

You’ve been through so much, but you’ve always been there for me.

I’ll always be there for you. (Just a text away!)

So from now on when you see me post at noon… That’s dedicated to you, Church. I always want to be helping.

I’ve been scrambling all week with phicklephilly. You think you have everything all laid out and scheduled, and then inspiration hits.

All of my cushy Saturday content has been covered for the last year is now gone. I am now faced with creating new Dating and Relationship content for every day going forward.

I did it, not knowing that it would tear a huge hole in the hull of my weekly posts.

What was once a full month of stories I could cruise and edit and work on new stories, has now become a nightmare. I’ve been writing new material and retooling phicklephilly for the past week since Monday. (I’ve always been an over achiever due to my low self-esteem, so let’s hope I can meet this workload with out the wheels coming off phicklephilly.)

I’ll tell you what… Realistically, I’ll attempt to do this every day for the next three months. If I see that it’s working, I’ll soldier forth, but if not I’ll relinquish dating and relationship advice to every Saturday. 

Fair enough?

This has all happened during our busy season at the salon and me with help of my staff are slaying it like bosses!

 

Monday will always be love and relationships. Sweet Cherie owns that for now. (As long as she stays in my life!) (See: Cherie- Love at first Swipe)

Tuesday through Thursday will be the usual content of crazy dates, Sun Stories, and my usual whimsy and obsessions)

Friday in 2018 will be owned by some very revealing, personal experiences, and my musical history. These stories have been an absolute joy for me to tell, and I hope you enjoy them with me.

Friday in 2019 will be the road map from my first band and how that shaped me, to the odyssey  to California to play rock in Hollywood in the early eighties.

Saturday will be dating advice at 8am starting in July.

I’ll keep it consistent in regard to the dating and relationship foundation of this blog, (That’s the phicklephilly brand) but I’m expanding as a writer. (Sadly, you’ll have to hear about my family. Kidding, Janice!)

There’s going to be stories that may seem unsettling at times, but they must be told.

I’m not going to hold anything back. 

That’s why I came here.

Finally.

And so did all of you.

Thank you.

Stay tuned!

Church…

Please embrace these three videos because they fucking rock.

Better days are coming!

See you Monday night, my friend!

 

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day at 8am & 12pm EST.

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Carly – Club Quarters in the Clutch

I was hanging with my dear friend and top of the food chain alpha babe, Carly, the other night at Square 1682. She was telling me one of her stories. As marketing director for a major restaurant chain here in the city, she wields great power and influence over free stuff for clients. She was getting someone some sort of a hookup at the Club Quarters around the corner.

Faced with my current dilemma of where I can take Cherie and relieve her of the burden of her burning desire for me, I asked if I could get the same.

She said she would see what she could do. “If the hotel is 95% rented, I can get you a full suite for $122 a night.”

I thank her profusely for anything she can do. She simply says, “You’re a good friend, and you never ask for anything.”

Carly is the coolest chick I know in the city.

That is dirt cheap for center city. Cherie could park her car at 2 Liberty and get a ticket. It’s right across the street. She gives the ticket to the folks at Club Quarters and they give her a huge discount. I simply pack a bag, and walk there on Saturday to check in at 3pm. We don’t have to be out by noon on Sunday, but as long as I’m out by 10:30am at the latest, I can walk over to the tanning salon and open it at 11am. This could work!

Carly finishes her vodka and tells me she has to bolt. She says she’ll let me know by tomorrow.

I don’t reach out the next day, because I know she’s super busy this time of year. So I wait. I’m talking to Cherie about it and she’s hopeful. I even spoke to my sister about vacancy of the shore house. She says it’s all clear if I wanted to go down to be “alone” and “get away from the city” and “work on my book.”

So if Carly can’t come through, we’re going to the shore this weekend. I’m fine with either, we’d just have to get up and out of there at 8am to be back in Philly for me to open the salon. Destiny will unfold.

The next day, I text Carly, “Hi. Hope you’re having a good day. Have you heard anything back about the room?” Normally she’s so busy it’s hard to get a quick response from her. But she does get back to me in a reasonable amount of time. “Hey, the room is booked for Saturday night. You’re all set. Just give them a credit card when you get there, and give me your email. I’ll send you a confirmation.”

Carly is amazing. I’m going to have to do something to really thank her for getting it done for me. She’s really into rescue dogs. Maybe I could get her something for the two dogs she has currently. I gotta at least buy that lady a drink.

I’m all set!

I can’t wait to tell Cherie. She’ll be delighted. I guess this is really happening. I really like Cherie, and I think it could be quite the celebration when we’re together. She says she’s sexual animal, and I’m willing to go a few rounds with her.

 

But I don’t think Cherie realizes what she may be getting in the water with…

Image result for baby seal eaten by a great white

 

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

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Sarika – 2014 to Present – Curing Arachnophobia

After working so many days, I’ve finally gotten some free time. What better way to spend that time than in the company of the most beautiful woman you know. It’s been awhile since I saw Sarika, and she’s as gorgeous ever.

I had texted her last week but she was traveling for her job. Sarika is Lead Project Manager of a Direct Factory Shipping global re-engineering project to optimize supply chain efficiency and improve customer experience. Kaizen facilitator trained. Utilized lean six sigma principles daily for rapid planning events, Kaizen events, and long term projects. Heavy emphasis on data mining and analysis, process mapping and project management.

Sarika presented at the American Society of Cell Biology’s 49th Annual Meeting, December 5-9, 2009 in San Diego, CA. She’s pretty great.

I know in the past I’ve had some issues with Sarika but when I think back on it now, it’s all a bunch of bullshit. She’s never done anything to hurt me. I think I was just being a foolish, bitter bitch. Because Sarika is a delight to be around. She’s smart, she’s sexy, and she’s got a sharp wit. You don’t get a B.S. in Biomedical Science by being and idiot.

I entitled this piece “Curing Arachnophobia” because I need to cut the shit about Sarika being the black widow and all that nonsense. I’m evolving as I move forward on this journey. I’ve talked some smack on some people and I will in the future if I have to, but I’m done labeling people as good guys and bad guys.

Sarika lives her own life and lives very well. I should be honored she still wants to meet up with me for drinks when she’s in town. She’s more of a genuine person than half the people I know.

I recently discovered some new things about Sarika. She’s done skydiving. She’s never talked about that.

A close friend of hers in college was murdered during a botched robbery in 2013. That was about a year before I met her. That must have been horrible. The dude was a medical student that was going to be a doctor, and some piece of garbage shot the guy in the prime of his life. Sarika was even interviewed on TV about it. That’s awful. She was good friends with the guy for seven years before his life was cut short.

Other than that, she’s had the normal ups and downs of a bright girl navigating her way through her twenties. I’ve learned much writing this blog. You’ve gotta cut the static and just focus on who’s good in your life. If not for my ex friend Keila, (See: Keila – 2012 to 2017 – The Gaza Stripper) I would have never met Sarika. But Sarika has survived and I cut Keila off months ago when she betrayed my dear friend, Alice. (See: Alice – 2012 to Present – The Cute Recruiter)

I’m sitting at the bar and chatting with Roman the bartender. (See: Roman – 2012 to Present – Rock n’ Roll Bartender)

Sarika enters Square 1682 and sits next to me at the bar. She looks lovely as always, her raven hair, pulled to the side in a single braid, her creamy caramel skin glows, and she ignites the bar when she smiles.

The perfect name for this blog is phicklephilly, because I’m so fickle. Sarika’s one of the only ones left that came through Keila. I love Sarika.

She’s great.

I also find out that she has a guy she’s seeing that she likes very much. He lives in Florida I think. I checked him out on her Facebook and he looks like a good guy. He’s a little younger that Sarika, but she’s young at heart. I’m sure he loves her. He works as a plumber she said. I like that he has a trade, unlike so many people today that can’t do anything mechanical. I wish them both a lot of love and luck in their relationship.

She has the money and means to fly anywhere and meet with him. In this day and age you can pull off a long distance relationship if both parties can handle it. I certainly could. I’d probably prefer it at this point. It would be great if I could just see someone a couple of times a month and I’d be fine. I’ve just gotten to the point where I don’t need that much attention and enjoy my alone time.

After a few drinks at Square, we decide to go to Mix Pizza for a slice. I like that we did drinks and now we’re getting food together. I don’t know if we’ve ever done that before. I love Mix Pizza. She gets some sort of healthy type slice and I just go with straight up plain. It was so good I went for a 2nd slice.

After that I walked her home to Rittenhouse Square. It was a lovely evening with an even lovelier girl. I’m glad I’m still friends with the prettiest girl I know.

I’m glad she’s doing well and I hope to get to see Sarika again soon. I had a fun night with her.

 

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

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Dina – 2011 to Present – Aggressive Diversity

I have been working a ton of hours lately. Work at the day gig, at night at the salon because we burned through some employees lately. I knew Summer was coming back soon but didn’t realize that her return was almost two months away. (See: Summer – 2017 to Present – Night Shift Girl and Outlaw) So rather than try to find someone, hire them, get them trained, figure out if the schedule works for them, I figured I’d just take all the night and weekend shifts and Achilles would hold down the fort during the day. Subsequently, I had no life for the last two months. I mean, I squeezed in a couple of lunches with friends and maybe two nights out with my buddy Church.

Just non stop work. But I like to work and be busy. It keeps me out of trouble, and once I do get a day off I’ll truly appreciate it.

Well that day has arrived and it is glorious. I go to the bank and get a check to give to my  friend and broker, Dina. (See: Dina – 2011 to Present – Lil’ JAP)  I then head over to one of my favorite lunch spots, Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse. My favorite bartender doesn’t work on the day I go in anymore. I miss her. (See: Ann Marie – 2016 to Present – Rose Among Thorns) But the girl who took her place is really good. She’s a little blonde named Kelli.

I get there and go to the table where I always sit in the back. Normally it’s quiet in there when I go and gets even quieter as the afternoon rolls on. But right now there’s a ten top sitting right near me and apparently these people work for the Yelling and Loud Laughing Corporation. It’s a little annoying, but I’m sure they’ll quiet down when their chow comes out.

I order my usual from Kelli. Cheesesteak, American, no onions, fries, no pickle, a diet coke when my food comes out. Just water for now. That’s my move!

This is my first day off in 53 days! So happy. I get my food and it’s perfect. Kelli doesn’t forget my diet coke as the sandwich arrives. On point. Ann Marie never did that. She always just came to my table with the soda and the water at the beginning. I like it this way better.

The big table leaves after a while and the bar is nice and quiet again. Bliss. I have my laptop and crack off a few new blog posts from my past. I’m having a lovely day so far. Kelli checks on me a few times. I like the attention I’m getting. Not as flirty as Ann Marie but better service.

I tell Kelli that when Ann Marie was here, around 3pm she’d make me some spirit forward cocktail. I don’t know what it was, but she cobbled together some sort of Old Fashioned. Kelli asks me what was in it and I tell her. She says it sounds more like a Manhattan. I tell her when she gets a chance sometime after 3pm I’d like to have that with a side of ice.

I continue typing away. Some time goes by and I glance at the clock on my laptop. 3:01. Kelli appears. “Are you ready for that drink now?”

Right on time. Within a few minutes she delivers what appears to be a perfect Manhattan, neat, in a martini glass, maraschino cherry, and a side of ice. Looks good to me.

I’m typing away and it takes me the full hour to drink it. I go out for a cigarette and when I come back, Kelli returns and asks me if I want anything else. I tell her that the drink was great and I would love another. The creative juices are flowing and the keyboard is smoking.

The second drink arrives and I know this one won’t last as long as the first one. It never does. More typing, more sipping and this guy is done in 45 minutes. God, it feels so good to finally have a day off. I’m not meeting Dina until 7pm. I’ll hang here until 5:30 and then head over to Square 1682 to see my favorite bartender, Roman. (See: Roman – 2012 to Present – Rock n’ Roll Bartender)

Feels like two months ago before all of these crazy hours happened. I tell Kelli I’m going to close out. I look at my bill. She gave me industry discount on both cocktails! Those drinks were made with Bulliet Bourbon. That’s a great brand! Kelli only charged me $5 per drink! They were first-rate, and Ann Marie never did that for me.

I tip her up to what all of this would have really cost and pay cash. Cash is king in this industry. She’s pleased and I’m overjoyed. Kelli’s my new #1 day off “It” girl! Sorry Ann Marie!

I head over to Square and set up my laptop and phone at the bar. They have receptacles to plug-in so I can power up my devices and still type and text while waiting for Dina to arrive.

Roman already has a glass of chardonnay with a side of ice at the ready before I even sit down. Come for the booze, stay for the hospitality. Roman is happy that the vacation season is over and the patrons are back at his bar. I’m chatting with him because I haven’t seen him in almost two months. Just our usual small talk, life, work, family, etc.

A while passes and I’m feeling happy. Dina arrives and we decide to get away from the bar and take a little table to chat. Little Dina looks adorable, or as she would say, “Adorbs.” Even though she’s only 4’11” she has the metabolism of a bee. So of course she’s starving. We order another round of wine, and she gets a bowl of mac n’ cheese. I will say this, the food at Square 1682 is good. But Misconduct makes better mac n’ cheese, as does Jones down at 5th and Chestnut. But Dina stuffs it in her little maw like it’s her last meal.

After about an hour of laughs and crazy stories I hand her the envelope from my bank. But before I do I say these words: “Aggressive Diversity.” She gets it and stuffs it in her purse. The bill comes and she grabs it and pays with her corporate card. This really has been a wonderful day, but it’s not over yet.

We stop over the salon, because it’s Summer’s first night back closing up the place. Dina gets to meet her, and check out the new fitness center. We get the place locked down without incident. But there’s one more critical stop we have to make. We walk up to Chestnut street. She says she’s picking up dinner for she and her husband. I go into the restaurant with her. I don’t know what she’s ordering I’m just people watching and chilling. After a few minutes they hand her this giant bag filled with boxes. Yea, we’re at Popeye’s Chicken! It’s a decadent secret of lil’ Dina’s. Girl loves her some fried chicken!

Apparently they look like they ordered one of everything, plus fries, biscuits…the works! How are they going to eat all of this food!? They’re just two people. Dina calls and Uber and I get a ride home with her. What a great day.  I love my broker/friend!

 

 

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

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Cherie – Chapter 7 – Lion and the Scorpion – Part I

“Do you want more children, Cherie?”

After our epic 10 hour date last Saturday, we decided to go again this weekend. This would technically be our 4th date, but it felt like our 7th. I knew I couldn’t top last week, but I wanted to come up with some fun activities to do with my latest lady.

I looked online for any happenings. It was Halloween weekend, so I figured there must be something fun to do. The pumpkin event at Headhouse? No. Mini Golf in Northern Liberties?  Fuck Northern Liberties. The weather was supposed to be nice. Maybe we could get on the big red double-decker bus and tour the city. I know the city pretty intimately, but it would be fun to get the official tour and be out in the fresh air on one of the last warm days of Autumn.

I go online and buy a pair of tickets. $60. Not bad. Here’s how it works. You go to 5th and Market Streets. The buses run every half an hour. You give them you ticket, and get on the bus whenever you want. That ticket is now good for the next 24 hours. The bus tours around the city and stops at 15 different landmarks. There are even tour guides on every bus telling you what it is you’re looking at. One of the best parts of this tour is, you don’t have to stay on the bus the whole time. You can get off at any number of stops at any time. Why didn’t I ever think to do this with Michelle when we were together? (See: Michelle – A Brand New Day) You chill on the tour, hop off somewhere. Grab a bite. Have a few drinks and then get back on. You could literally eat and drink your way around the whole city for a day. All the while learning things about our fair city. It would be like having your own personal driver and tour guide, while you get hammered all over the city. Genius.

But it wouldn’t be like that with Cherie. She’s a different cat all together. I tell her to meet me at 5th and Market at 1:30pm. I’d like us to start the tour around 2pm. So I have we have this thing called “Cher-time.” I always allow her an extra half hour before we’re supposed to meet at a proposed time. She’s driving down from Pottstown. There could be construction, detours, weather, etc. I’m hardcore about the clock and being on time as you well know, but I’ll make an allowance here. Because it’s she who is driving all the way into the city to see me.

So, I ordered the tickets and printed them out on Friday night. Within an hour, I get a text from Cherie, that she is having babysitter issues, and she won’t be able to get down to Philly until 4pm. That throws a wrench in things. If it were summertime, it wouldn’t matter if we got on the tour at 4pm, because it stays light until after 8pm. But this time of year it’s starting to get dark at 6pm and it’s getting colder at night.

I call the Big Red Bus Company. I tell them my dilemma. The really cordial guy who answered the phone tells me those tickets can be used at anytime. They’re only activated when I actually present them and step on a bus. I was afraid they would expire or I somehow wasted $60, but no. I can use these tickets for another future date, with Cherie!

She doesn’t know any of this is happening, it’s all behind the scenes. I think she’s just a little sad she can’t get down here sooner. I tell her I have everything under control. She says that she loves a man in control.

I like her words.

She’s on her way down and texts me that there is a detour up around 307, because of some rowing event. I tell her not to worry, and just take her time and be safe. She later texts me from 23rd and Cherry. I tell her I’m waiting for her at 21st and Pine. Somehow she gets a little lost, but finally gets to me. I hop in the Saab and off we go. I tell her about the bus tour thing and initially I could tell she was sad that it was too late to do it. I’m looking at her sweet pout lip. I tell her not to worry because we can use them anytime. She’s happy about that. I tell her it’s another day of dating that’s already paid for. I told her if we’re up on the top-level of the bus it may get a little chilly but we can sit in the back of the bus and cuddle to stay warm. She says she’s down for that for sure. I ask her if she has a problem sitting in the back of the bus. She laughs and tells me she does not. It’s not racially insensitive if the person you are with is intelligent and you’re dating her.

I don’t really have a plan at this point. It’s 5pm now. She drives up to a parking lot back out at 23rd and Cherry streets, It’s pretty deserted. She pulls in. There is no attendant. There are some signs up that say weekend permits only. It almost appears we could just park here and nobody would even know the lot is so empty. But being the honest person Cherie is, she pulls up and leans out the window. She starts putting cash in the machine. I glance over at her. She’s half way out the window because she didn’t pull close enough to the machine. Her shirt rides up her back and I see a horizontal patch of lovely brown skin. Framed above her jeans is lacy turquoise underwear. Is she doing this on purpose?

We pull in and she picks this isolated spot. It’s still light out but dusk is approaching. We’re chatting and catching up. But that slowly turns into dreamy kissing. This goes on for a while and becomes quite passionate.

It’s getting dark and Cherie seems to have no interest in going anywhere or seeing anything around the city. She’s content to stay here and be with me. So I start to feel like something is about to happen in the moment of passion. I feel like a teenager again. Making out with a pretty girl in a car in the dark. And then it happens.

The C-Block. The CB. Doesn’t a Police vehicle pull into the lot and circle around and park about 30 feet away at my 10 o’clock position? Just sits there. Motor running. Headlights shining outward. I can’t believe this is happening again. Cherie says the cops can’t see what her hands are doing below the dashboard. She also notes that the idea of law enforcement parked there while things are happening in here heightens the thrill.

It has become clear to me at this point that Cherie is very interested in me. I’m happy about this. I have been on this dating odyssey, and it’s as if I had to go on all of those dates for this woman to be delivered to me. I’ve learned much on this journey. But like she once said to me…” Be careful for what you wish for.” She’s intelligent, funny, easy-going, beautiful, fit, and on the right side of thirty. I think I just checked off every box on my list. Now it appears there is only one box left that needs checking.

But not in front of the cops.

I suppose some of you may be wondering why I don’t just take her back to my apartment and throttle her. I didn’t want to mention this before but I have a 19-year-old daughter. She lives with me. When she came to me during her senior year in high school, I was single. Technically I still am. I don’t want to start bringing strange women into the house just yet. I haven’t even discussed it with her. If she were sitting on the sofa and I just came rolling in with some young chick, and took her back to the bedroom, that just wouldn’t be cool. Maybe when I know the place is clean, and my daughter is away for the weekend for sure. I’m sure the situation is the same for Cherie. Her son is 6 years old. It’s just weird bringing a strange man into mommy’s bed. I have a lot of will power and am a very patient man. I’m not worried. We’ll figure it out.

Anyway, we’re getting antsy. Cherie suggests we take a walk. I agree. It’s a nice night. This way the police sitting there for the last hour doing nothing will see that we are clean upstanding citizens. Not some interracial couple that has to hide their forbidden romance in some vacant lot on the outskirts of town.

We walk a ways. So I figure maybe I’ll take her somewhere and get her something to eat. But she has other plans. We walk a few blocks and end up on this small street with very little on it. We get to the middle of the block and she stops. She just wants to hang out and make out. I can’t believe this is happening. When I think of all of the drinks and dinners I bought for these other women, and felt nothing, this little vixen just wants to play with me. This goes on for about 45 minutes. It’s a deserted street. We’re right in the middle of the block facing each other. So I can see if anybody is walking up the street or if a car is coming. She can do the same in the opposite direction. Again, I feel like I’m 17 years old and I’m out at night with my 14-year-old girlfriend, Anne. We’re just holding each other and chatting and kissing and gazing into each other’s eyes.

Feels like love to me.

From the very first meeting we just sort of clicked. I thought she was great chill girl. She liked that I was a white gentleman that made her laugh. Yes, I did gather more intel on this date. Her son’s father clipped her when she was 17 years old. He was in his 30’s. He was white. She said they waited until she was 18 to have sex. I agreed with that idea. (Avoid those pesky statutory rape laws.) Apparently he was married and has 4 other children! She says she was not the home wrecker. They bet in a bar but I didn’t push her for details. I asked her to describe him. I didn’t know what to expect. She simply said. 5’9″ okay looking. A douchebag. Also she seems a little sore that he doesn’t spend as much time as he should with his son with her. But he does pay child support. So kudos, buddy. But put some more time in with your boy, asshole. You only get one chance.

They’re only children ONCE.

But here’s the best part of all of that. She works in a pediatrician’s office as one of her two jobs. She says she loves children. She wants to be a doctor that practices pediatric neurosis when she finishes her education. That’s awesome. So I’m assuming, young woman, loves kids, already has one would probably want another one or two to round out the dinner table. Based on these stories you know that my last 3 relationships all ended for that reason. I already have been married. I have a child. I have paid over $125,000 in tax-free money to someone who is not a nice person and hurts those around her. My ex-wife has already burned through her second marriage and has another kid.

But I digress.

Oh sure, I could get married and have another kid and live happily ever after. Sure that could happen. But based on my track record, it’s a sucker’s bet. If I did that and somehow fucked it up again. My child support payments would be coming out of my Social Security checks. No. Just place the gun in my mouth and gently curl your finger so that everything I ever was ends up on the wall behind me.

So I pull the trigger. The lynch pin in this lovely, seemingly perfect romance. Because this way I don’t have to say my last 4 relationships ended for the same reason. I can still say 3, because this beautiful flower that has grown between Cherie myself in the last few weeks will be stomped into the earth under the hob nail boot of reality. Doomed from the start. Destroyed before it could ever flourish.

“Do you want more children, Cherie?”

Tune in 2 weeks from now for the chilling conclusion to this deal breaking tale!

 

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

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