Cheyanne – 2016 to Present – Elegant Power

“I have to meet the Queen Bee.”

I’ m finally ready to write about this rare bird.  I had the honor of meeting Cheyanne thorough a twisted contact of mine. I was introduced to Cheyanne through Carol. (See: Carol – 2015 to 2016 – No Fun in Dysfunction) Carol is one of the may parasites that desperately tried to attach themselves to this glowing force. Cheyanne has the power to empower women in business and help them focus on what will make that business grow and be prosperous,

But not everyone that comes to Cheyanne is a suitable subject. But like myself our hearts are always open to help those around us. It’s in our nature, It’s what we do. I’m sure Cheyanne met poor Carol at some women’s networking event and opened her heart. I get this. I’ve done the same a hundred times in this business.

I work in advertising and have many connections and I am always willing to really help those around me. I believe a community is built with relationships not transactions, and Cheyanne shares my philosophy in regard to this.

If you go and read my blog about Carol it is an attempt for us to help her but she’llhave to find her own way. We were all there for her every step of the way. We give everybody a lot of chances. Why not? The world has given us chances and we all appreciate the do-overs.

Cheyanne is a career and business coach that works with women in Philadelphia and the tri state area to help women build their businesses.

She is  a woman on a mission. A mission to help people realize their fullest potential, and provide them with the tools and support to reach that potential. Her passion is empowering others to realize their passions and goals, and facilitate the aligning of their passions with their work or their businesses, leading to a more fulfilling, purposeful life and career. Cheyanne believes that you can be wildly successful and feel fulfilled and satisfied in your life and your career.

I went to a party at Tir na Nog and was invited by Carol. I was happy to see her despite the usual tensions and went there. I got there early. I get to the table and I see that it’s not just a couple of people but an absolute gaggle of beautiful women.

I take a seat and get my usual chardonnay with ice and am happy I am surrounded with all that I love. I get to have great conversations with some fascinating women. Business owners, entrepreneurs, and the up and coming.

I was most impressed by a little lady that had started her own cosmetic company. She was so beautiful and shy but I loved her confidence when it came to ger product, The thing she made was her voice. I loved that and made her a favorite.

I have been in sales my whole life so I can easily spot the leader. I saw her immediately. She was in the middle of the table. but I knew.

It was Cheyanne

Cheyanne is a petite, fit, young lady that doesn’t catch you with her emerald eyes or her lovely vermillion tresses, but her voice. You see the crowd and you know instantly she’s the boss.

There were all of these lovely minds at the table. I actually couldn’t believe I was privy to this but I was happy to be here. As usual, Carol was painfully late and blowing it. I was supposed to come on as her intro but without her I don’t know anyone. But being who I am I just dive into this table of delicious female pulchritude.

I have to meet the queen bee.

I introduce myself and meld into the group. I feel like that I’m an alien visitor to this convent of women that I shouldn’t belong,  but I’m here now and I’m feeling the energy from all of these amazing women.

I love this. I don’t care if crazy complicated Carol ever shows up. I’m honored to be at this table with all of these wonderful, empowered women. I’m the only man here, so as I sip my chardonnay with ice I’m comforted with the thought that these lovely gazelles feel safe with this lion in their presence.

A lion that grew up with three sisters and understood women at an early age. I knew I could never get in the bathroom! I love them all for different reasons.

I have secret intel few men have to grow up with women. I’m happy to know all of my sisters and it’s helped me to know women in my life. But it’s never stopped me from making tragic mistakes in the ways of love. But that’s a completely different thing,

Carol is late as usual. I am having a lovely time with the ladies as always. I feel safe and I’m fascinated about everything they do. Hearing about their businesses and their aspirations is intoxicating to me because the world would be a better place if we would just let women run it.

Mutual communication and peace on Earth, I think as I down my 3rd glass of chardonnay.

I say I’m going out for a smoke.

A few gather with me and I can trust a lady that enjoys a bit of vice. We head out through the big gold doors of the Phoenix and end up on the steps on 16th street.

I am surprised when Cheyanne appears. She asks if I have a cig and of course I yield to her.

I never expected this. An hour ago I didn’t know any of these women.  I’m supposed to meet Carol who hasn’t even shown up. I’m having a better time without her!

Cheyanne is holding court on the front steps of the Phoenix and I’m surrounded by her squad. I love where I am right now,  She’s smoking and we’re drinking wine and I feel real power here with her team.

We go back inside and all is good and fun. Conversation and fellowship flow like liquid even though I’m the ony man there.

Keila shows up (see: Keila – The Gaza Stripper – 2012 to present) with BiBi (See: Bibi Matinee Madness) and that is nothing but a distraction to all of the great energy happening at this table.

I’m always warm to Keila but she’s always swarming with fleas and ticks. (shity people) I give Bibi a chilly reception.

Carol shows up late as usual for no real reason, and I’m ready to bail and so is Cheyanne and her squad so I said my goodbyes and went on home.

I met some fantastic women that night and I am very happy to have been invited to this event by Carol.

I look forward to meeting up with Cheyanne again soon!

 

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Church – 2012 to Present – The Motherload

“With friends like Church, who needs to go to the liquor store?”

My man Church is making some major changes in his life. He’s a brand ambassador and has collected quite a collection of different spirits over the years. He has decided to get rid of all of the booze in his house. So he packed up a few bags and gave it all to me. Here’s what he’s given me so far.

Starr Ultra Superior Spiced Rum

2 bottles of Leblon Maison Leblon – Reserva especial Brazilian Rum 

The Famous Grouse blended scotch Scotland

Social Still Barrel Gin 90 proof

Liter of Plymouth English Gin

Wild Turkey American Honey Sting Bourbon

Liter of Brugal Especial Extra Dry Rum

Social Still Gin

The Famous Grouse Smoky Black Blended Scotch Whiskey

The Famous Grouse Scotch

Old Potrero 18th Century Style Whiskey

Social Still Spiced Rum

Social Still Hop Gin

Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Karlsson’s Gold Vodka

Social Still Rye Whiskey

Boulard Calvados Pays d’ Auge VSOP Cognac

Macallan Edrington Ambassador Scotch

The Naked Grouse Blended Scotch Whiskey

Domaine De Canton French Ginger Liqueur

Chambord Resberry Liqueur

Johnny Walker Black

Westland American Single Malt Whiskey

Nikka Coffey Grain Whiskey

The Glenturret Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskey – (Aged 27 Years!)

2 The Glencairn glasses!

and finally….

The Macallan 17-year-old scotch whiskey!!!

Obviously I was blown away. It’s the most booze I’ve ever owned at one time in my life. That’s over two dozen bottles!!!I cleared off this cabinet in my bedroom to house it all. It takes up two shelves. I’m so grateful he thought of me when it came to disposing of his booze. I’m sure I’ll find a good use for it. I have added to my own tiny collection. Two bottles of Whistle Pig 10-year-old Rye Whiskey, and a fifth of Ketel One Vodka from the Nolet Family distillery signed by 9th generation son, Carl Nolet!!!

I told my daughter, Lorelei we would crack the Macallan 17 on her wedding day. (If that ever happens.No pressure!)

Anyway, with friends like Church, who needs to go to the liquor store!

Love that guy!

 

 

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Phicklephilly – 2016 to Present – The Case of the Missing Bottles of Vodka

It was around the holidays. My buddy Duncan who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina came to Philly to see his family for Christmas. I didn’t know this at the time, but normally he would reach out to see if we could hang while he was in town. But he had to spend time with his family, and he was with his girlfriend, so the chance of him getting away were slim.

But out of the blue I get a photo from him of his girlfriend holding a 1.75 bottle of Grey Goose. That’s a sixty-five dollar bottle of vodka! Duncan is pretty well off, and he can afford such luxuries, but he’s not much of a drinker. The text accompanying the photo was: “Giant bottle of vodka for you.”

I love vodka and Duncan knows it. He’s more of a rum guy. I wouldn’t spend that kind of money on booze. I own some expensive bottles, but I usually give them away as gifts, because they have been given to me by liquor reps like my pal Church. (I love my friends) I buy cheap vodka mostly. Not rot gut brands like Crystal Palace or Popov, but I’m a fan of Platinum 7X by Sazerac. It’s only twenty bucks for a 1.75. Big difference.

But if Duncan wants to spend that kind of loot on a giant bottle of good vodka and give it to me, I’ll take it.

But he sprung the picture on me, and I hadn’t planned on getting him anything, and we don’t normally exchange gifts around the holidays. So I assumed I would see him at some point and he would give it to me. But between his family responsibilities, and my dual work schedules, it just didn’t happen.

So I never got the bottle. He ended up putting it in their luggage and flying back home with it. I suppose it’s still sitting in his girlfriend’s house somewhere.

But the story doesn’t end there. I tell my friend Church what happened, and he has sympathy for my tragic loss. Then he suggests we exchange gifts this Christmas. I’m not really into getting presents and I don’t really want to do it. But he seems earnest and I give in. He says he’s going to get me a really good bottle of vodka. Being a liquor rep, he can make that happen, no problem. I tell him that’s not really necessary because I don’t want him spending a lot of money on me. But he insists.

I ask him what he likes, and he says decorative socks. You know these crazy socks that a lot of the guys are wearing now. They have crazy colors and images on them. Apparently, that’s in style now. Me? Just a comfortable pair of black socks with no holes in them and I’m good.

So I go online and find a cool set of six pairs of socks. They all have famous works of art on the sides of them. I’m artsy, so I like them and I figure he will too. I order them and figure I’ll get them in a couple of days because I have Amazon Prime. They deliver stuff like lightning.

I tell Church I ordered him some cool socks. He’s excited. A week goes by and still no socks. So I go online and check my order. You can literally track your package right to your door now. I look it up and it says that it won’t be delivered until January 15th!

Apparently I ordered these socks from a company in China, and that’s how long it takes. I tell Church the bad news and tell him I’m sorry, but that’s when he is getting his gift. We get a laugh out of it and go on with our lives.

Christmas comes and goes, as does New Years, and even Martin Luther King Day. But one day after that the package arrives! I take a picture of the package and send it to Church. I want him to know his Christmas present has finally arrived. (And also that it really did come from China!) He’s happy and makes a joke about how it’s practically just in time for Valentine’s Day. He says he’s coming down into the city, and will visit me at the salon tomorrow.

The next night I’m working my shift at the store, and in comes Church. He goes for his usual ‘Free’ can of diet coke from our fridge. He has a seat on the sofa and we’re chatting. I tell him to look to his left, and there is his gift in a black bag. He grabs it and starts opening it. He sees the socks and they look great. He’s happy, and I tell him although it took a long time I appreciate his patience, and hope he likes them. He says he does, and I’m glad that’s finally settled after waiting for a month.

Later, I close up the salon and we go to one of our favorite watering holes for a couple of drinks. Later he drives me home and off he goes.

We hang out a couple of times after that and he never gives me the bottle of vodka he promised me for Christmas. It just never happens.

I don’t really care. Church has given me countless bottles of great liquor for no reason at all on several occasions. He’s very kind, and one of the most giving and grateful men I know. I just think it’s a crazy irony that Duncan promises me a bottle of vodka out of the blue for Christmas. I tell Church I never got it. Church wants to do presents for Christmas. I agree. Promises a bottle of vodka. Never comes through with said gift.

Weird right? But stay tuned. Both Duncan and Church come through in a big way in the near future. More stories to come!

 

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Prova – 2015 to Present – Glow of the Sun – Many Happy Hours

“The girl with the lovely smile…”

Finally caught up with busy girl Prova! I had three appointments before my meeting with her that day. The first was with some clown from Brown Forman. I emailed him to confirm our lunch meeting and he responded with “I’d rather do this as a phone call.” So I cancelled that appointment. My second appointment was with the General Manager at The Hard Rock Cafe at 12th and Market. But VP Mike Pence was in town, and President Trump was coming the next day and staying at the Lowe’s Hotel right across the street.  The streets were all blocked, and when I got there the GM said he’s got the Secret Service here and could we do this another day? I see that this part of the city is a shit show so I tell him we’ll reschedule. Then my 3:30 meeting with hot redhead Cheyanne, (whom I’ve been meaning to write about but we can never get our schedules together) gets cancelled, because Cheyanne had been complaining about a migraine she’s been fighting all day. So that’s three down, and one more chance to go before I just give up and go home.

I check in with Prova and she is on her way. We decided to try some different places that we had previously discussed. (See Prova – 2015 to Present – Glow of the Sun) I meet her at Frankie Bradley’s. That bar formerly was a gay bar that was pretty much exclusively for lesbians. (It was called Sisters) But now it’s what I think is just a regular neighborhood bar. Based on some of the signage out front, I think they do a lot of drag shows there. Anyway, it’s a good spot to hang out. We catch up and have a couple of drinks. She tells me she had recently applied for a job there as a bartender. We get a hold of the manager and he comes over to chat. She tells him that she had applied, and he asks her to send him an email and reference her resume. So maybe our lady Prova will be working there soon. It seems like a nice place. We tell the bartender we’re trying some new bars, and he suggests Toast on Walnut. So after we pay our bill we go there.

Toast on Walnut is what the owners from “Sisters” made their new bar. So we walk in and there is a young lady at the door, who cards Prova. She doesn’t card me and I fret that I’m obviously over twenty-one. We all laugh and she asks to see my ID.

Inside it’s a nice bar. The bar itself is whitish blue and appears to be illuminated from within. I stick with the vodka and club and Prova sips a red wine. There aren’t many people in the place, but it’s early. The place is so new, it even smells new! Fresh wood and leather. We decide we’re only going to have one here, and then we’re going to go somewhere else. It’s a nice place but it just seems dead at the moment. So before we leave I tell Prova that I’m going to use the restroom. I walk back through all of the rainbow-colored lights, and walk into the bathroom.

Surprisingly, there is a dude in there using the urinal. But they aren’t your typical urinals. They’re not the vertical, rectangular boxes, with privacy barriers on the sides. These are just oval-shaped deep bowls sticking out of the walls, with no barriers. He’s shaking his dragon away in that little bowl, and I decide to use the stall. I just need a little privacy. I do what needs to be done and I come out of the stall, and see a woman with dark hair drying her hands at the sink.

It’s Prova!

Apparently, they must only have the one community restroom. I was shocked to see her at first.

“What are you doing in here?”

“I just wanted to wash my hands.”

“What if I’d been using one of those little urinal bowls over there when you walked in?”

“I don’t know.”

“You would have gotten a glimpse of what everybody in town is talking about!”

Honest mistake! But that was a close call I wasn’t expecting in a lesbian themed bar. We decide to head over to Boxers. That’s another gay bar on Walnut. It’s a sports bar. But all of the bartenders and staff, walk around with no shirts on. So even though it’s primarily a gay bar, there’s always something for the ladies to look at. All the guys are young and in great shape. I actually like going to boxers. I’ve been there twice. Both times with female friends. Think about it… If you’re a straight guy with female friends it’s the perfect spot. You’re able to watch sports, drink and eat. No assholes are going to mess with you or your friend, because gay dudes are nice. Your friend gets to take in the eye candy, and you do your thing. Everybody wins. We have gentleman’s clubs, at least it gives the ladies something to look at when their out with their male friends. I know most men don’t have female friends. But the men reading this should try. All women that like hanging out with you aren’t targets for you to try to bang. We’d all be better men if we had more female friends. Do it!

We order up some pizza and nachos and go to town on that. We were both hungry so we destroyed most of it. We enjoyed a few drinks there and chatted with the friendly staff. They used to have these drink cards that they would hand out. Every time you bought a drink they gave you a card and the next one was super cheap. So it kept you at the bar longer. It was a great deal! But I asked about it when I was there and the guys told me they can only do that in their NYC location now. When asked why, they said that it’s unlawful in Pennsylvania to encourage people to drink more. Technically it’s not, but it does keep you drinking more and for a longer period of time. PA has a lot of liquor laws because it’s controlled by the Alcohol and Liquor Control Board, which is a state-run agency.

Satisfied with our excursion into the Gayborhood, we decided to have a nightcap at the bar where she works. We hung out at a table and she had a beer and I stick with the vodka and club I had been drinking all night. Some of her co-workers would stop by the table and chit-chat. It was great. There is one guy there, I forget his name, but he’s really funny to talk to. I think he’s Prova’s favorite there.

Prova is a lovely, smart woman who I am glad to have as a friend. I like spending time with her. She continues on her spiritual journey of self discovery in the hospitality industry. I will do whatever I can to help her. Because that’s what we all should do.

Incidentally, it was the longest time I ever hung out with Prova.

Five hours!!!

 

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Marisa – 2017 to Present – Part I – The Friendly Hostess

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

I was sitting at the bar in the Sofitel hotel the other night with Church. Normally we would be at our other favorite bar, but it really depends on who’s working. The people and personalities are what really give life to a good bar. I love our other bar and adore the staff, but sometimes you have to change it up. What I love most about Sofitel is that it a quiet bar. It is plush and dark and classy. The staff knows us and Church is a beloved figure there. For once I am riding his coat tails here. His legend looms large here.

We’re sitting there chatting, and this lovely little Filipino hostess walks up and starts chatting with us. Obviously, dark almond eyes, raven hair, and olive skin. She looked late twenties or early thirties. It’s hard to tell. The bar is dark, and she looks young.

She immediately starts talking to us both, which is odd. The hostess or host never circle the bar and check on the clients. It’s refreshing and I love the attention. Church doesn’t know what to make of it, but I’m on it. She’s very sweet, and affable.

I’m sipping a martini, and I think Church was having a coffee. He excuses himself to the restroom, and I make my move. I give her a free tanning card for the salon and my new business card to the institute. I also ask her if she’d like to have lunch with me sometime. She says yes, and I type her name in my phone. I do my signature move, by handing her my phone. She instinctively types her number in and I have her. A swift and easy kill.

She says she has to go make her rounds and off she goes. Church returns and all is as it was. My friends know my life and what I do, but unlike some, I never reveal it all. That’s a sign of weakness. You have to always play your cards close to the vest. Give them all enough so that they trust you, but keep your dark powers to yourself. That’s what makes you who you are.

We hang for a bit, and she’s already texting me that she got cut early. Church loves being on his phone so it’s not unusual for me to be on mine at the same time. I’m texting her. She’s adorable, and based on her forwardness, I know she’s available.

We leave, and as usual, Church drives me home, which I really appreciate. It’s winter and my man makes sure I get home safe.

Marisa and I text each other over the next week or so and I try to set a lunch date. I have to be careful, but I have to be bold. I feel alive when I am negotiating deals. Whether it is in the boardroom or the bedroom. My lifestyle isn’t for everyone. If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch. I feel like the man I was in my late teens and early twenties again. But I’m now middle-aged. No more do I have the fears and trappings of a younger man. My time on Earth has taught me well. I have overcome all of the bullshit I carried around with me for years. Life is more simple now.

I’m in sales. I have a lot of lines in the water at all times. I only surround myself with good people now. It clears the mind. All of the crazies are gone to spin-off into the universe somewhere. It means nothing to me now. If this girl wants to have lunch with me, fine. If not, who cares. I am now surrounded by willing, eager candidates.

I am not being arrogant. I’m a gentleman, and will always be. It’s in my nature since I was a teenager. That will never change. But I am not getting any younger, and if things don’t move forward now, I have to move on and cut loose the detritus. There’s always more to do and more living to get to.

Based on our texts, Marisa seems a little bit erratic. She’ll text me at 10pm and ask me if I want to meet for a beer in the interim. I tell her I am home and going to sleep. I can’t tell her that I am sitting in my chair watching season eight of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, drinking vodka clubs and smoking cigarettes, in a ripped T-shirt and an old pair of shorts. I just don’t feel like moving. I’ll get to her when I get to her. On my time.

So I set the date. Lunch at one of my favorite spots. She gives off a flaky vibe, so I know I’ll have to hard confirm this one to make it happen. I can just sense these things now.

Here’s the thing. Mary works as hostess at this restaurant. I don’t know why I chose this place. It could be a “worlds collide” moment for any other man. But I dig the danger. I have romantic designs on Mary, and I’m bringing a fresh baby to my table on a day she’s working. Why would I do this? Because I know the risk is low, as well as the value of both of these women. I can pull it off. What could go wrong?

 

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Sarika – 2014 to Present – Back In The Widow’s Web

Surprise, surprise!

I left the salon after a meeting with Achilles about the fitness center. I wanted to hit Dan Dan, the Asian fusion restaurant and bar where my buddy, Chet works as bartender. I just wanted to unwind after a long day of work, and toss back a few chardonnays.

I was completely out of cigs, so I headed over to the nearest newsstand at 16th and Locust Street. I stood in line while a few people ahead of me were buying their lottery tickets. (Or as I call it, 401K for the poor) I realized I didn’t have enough cash so I got out of line and headed to the little store down on Spruce.

I get my smokes and I head back up 16th street. I get to the intersection at Locust street again, and who do I see crossing the street from me but Sarika! She’s smiling and waving.

I’m wondering how this is possible and it almost seems surreal. I know she looked up at me two weeks ago at Parc and then looked away. I just assumed she had read the blogs about her and she now hated me.

But here she is smiling and looking gorgeous as always. She apologizes for being all sweaty but she says she just came from a spin class at Flywheel across the street.

She still looks sexy as hell. Sweat beading on her forehead, her raven tresses askew and curling about her shoulders. I can see her nipples poking through her wet sports bra. I think this is how she would look after a session with me.

But I digress…

She’s lively and a bit out of breath. We catch up on what’s been happening in our lives. I talk about the fitness center and she goes on about how much she has had to travel lately for her job. She says she recently got a raise. She’s obviously killing it as an engineer/scientist. Brains and beauty.

I ask her if she’d like to join me at Dan Dan for a drink, but she said she’s too sweaty and gross to go anywhere. She just wants to go home.

She says she met a guy she likes. I think she said they met in Atlanta, but he lives in Florida. All of these long distance relationships. But when you think about it, in this day and age it’s not that bad. Sarika travels so much it’s nothing for her to hop on a plane and jet down to Florida for a few days. She can afford it and she’s accustomed to traveling.

I’m happy to hear that she’s doing well and not mad at me. I guess when she said she was reading my blog a few months ago she missed the stuff about her. Bullet dodged!

She says she has to go to Boston this weekend, but will be back next week. She’d like to meet up for a drink.

So I’m happy about this little twist. I’ll let sleeping dogs lie, and we’ll move forward from here.

Sarika is back!

 

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Annabelle – 2013 to 2014 – Chapter 3 -First Date

What if I’m not falling for her at all? What if I’m simply in love with the idea of love, and not this woman?

It was a hot day in July of 2013. I remember that summer being especially humid. I didn’t want to get all sweaty before my date with Annabelle. So I took a taxi up to the Barnes Museum. But sadly, many of those cabs are still hot as hell in the summertime. I went inside, told them I was on the guest list and that I was waiting for my plus one.  The girl at the counter tells me it’s cooler downstairs. I head down to cool off and dry out. I was heavier back then, (36 waist!) so maybe that’s why I was sweating more. I get some water and have a seat.

I get a text from Annabelle that she has arrived. I tell her to just let them know who she is and they’ll let her in. She comes downstairs to get me. She is wearing her hair up, and has a black top and matching black slacks that just cover her knees. Is that called Capri pants? She is also wearing heels so she towers over me. I don’t care. I’m Phicklephilly. I cast a great shadow across this city. She goes to use the restroom, and I chill out looking at little models of what the building looked like when they were designing it. The are all in different stages under glass.  I’m looking at one of the tiny models very closely when she returns. She comes up behind me and I just feel her presence. I turn around and she is over me looking at what I’m looking at. I tell her it felt like I was being stalked by a raptor from Jurassic Park. She laughs and does this little impression of a raptor. I find this funny and ask her if she liked the film  Jurassic Park. (One of my favorite movies)

“I love Jurassic Park.”

“Okay….okay” I reply.

We go upstairs and into the main ballroom. They are having a little first Friday celebration. A live band plays some sweet jazz. For whatever reason we’re both starving. I get us high top with a pair of chairs, and tell her I’ll go fetch us some snacks and wine.

I head over to the bar and all they have is overpriced everything and some cheese and chips. It’s the Barnes for God’s sake. Can’t they afford any decent chow for the guests? I gather up two bags of chips some cheese and a couple of glasses of wine. I’m not even gone for five minutes, and some old codger has already swooped in and started talking to my date. This guy is easily twenty years older than me. I approach, drop the food on the table and hand Annabelle her wine.

“Really dude? I was gone all of five minutes. Get your own girl.” I joke.

We chat with the old guy. He seems charming and harmless. After a bit, Annabelle and I go over to tour the collection. Apparently, that wasn’t part of the passes I was given. I simply drop a name and they let us in. I had never seen the collection before so it was a real treat for me to see what a billion dollar art collection looked like.

The collection includes 181 paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 69 by Paul Cézanne, 59 by Henri Matisse, 46 by Pablo Picasso, 21 by Chaim Soutine, 18 by Henri Rousseau, 16 by Amedeo Modigliani, 11 by Edgar Degas, seven by Vincent van Gogh, and six by Georges Seurat. Other European and American masters in the collection include Giorgio de Chirico, Peter Paul Rubens, Titian, Paul Gauguin, El Greco, Francisco Goya, Édouard Manet, Jean Hugo, Claude Monet, Maurice Utrillo, William Glackens, Charles Demuth, Jules Pascin and Maurice Prendergast. It also holds a variety of African artworks; ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art; and American and European furniture, decorative arts and metalwork. The museum also holds several significant works by cubist sculptor Jacques Lipchitz.

It was pretty amazing how one guy was able to collect this many fantastic, priceless pieces of art. We walk from room to room, looking at everything. At one point she says, “Out of everything in this room, which is your favorite?”  Then I would choose the one I liked the best. I would do the same to her. We did this enough times, until finally she asked me what was my favorite in the last room.

I simply pointed to her.

She smiled.

We then went downstairs to the rum tasting. We were all in a room and they gave us three different rums to try. The guy that was running the tasting really knew a lot about each rum and what made them different. But the weird part was, they were comparing the taste and look of the rum to different paintings in the collection. They had the images on a video screen on the wall. I’ve never seen this done, and I don’t even think it’s a real thing. But free rum is free rum. I remember the person talking about the mood of the paintings and the taste of the rum, and I was into it. there was a moment when my eyes drifted away from the host and onto Annabelle. I was looking at the painting and then my gaze passed over to Annabelle. I looked at her profile and neck. Was I falling for this girl? I took girls to events all of the time. What was it about this one? There’s nothing special about her really. It’s been two years since Michelle. I’m really taken with her. Has it just been too long since I’ve fallen in love that I just want that feeling again?

What if I’m not falling for her at all? What if I’m simply in love with the idea of love, and not this woman?

After the weird art/rum tasting we headed back upstairs. We probably shouldn’t have had all that wine and rum with so little food. I can handle it but it could be a bit painful for Annabelle tomorrow.

We leave the museum. It’s located in an area where it would be difficult to catch a taxi. I decide we should walk up to Spring Garden. We reach the corner and flag one down. We share the perfunctory hug. Dating’s funny. So much of it is tied to timing and ritual. I put her in the cab and ask her to text me that she has gotten home safely.

The cab rolls east into the night and as I walk back down into center city. As the city rises before me, I feel a little spring in my step.

 

 

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