Sun Stories: Jill – Meet My Friend Sabrina

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll have read the Jill saga. If not I’ll recap. Jill has been a client at the tanning salon for several years. She is a former stripper and escort. She’s 38 years old and an alcoholic. She was released from rehab and lives in a halfway house in South Philly with several other women in recovery. We hired her to work a few shifts at the salon. She was doing a great job until one night when she went out with former employee and neighbor of mine Trish.  Trish was sort of the catalyst because of her most recent mental episode because she was busted for cocaine. Trish went home but because Jill is an alcoholic, she couldn’t stop at one drink and got wasted and stayed out all night. That is against the rules in the halfway house where she lives. She was kicked out and didn’t tell us she wasn’t coming in to work so we fired her.

All is forgiven and she now works at a nail salon. They let her back in after a three-day detox. (So that’s good for her) She really is a nice lady and still comes in regularly to tan.

One night she comes in with another lady. She introduces her to me as her friend Sabrina. She has a pretty face, darker complexion (She doesn’t need to go tanning. She already has lovely skin) And a slender build. She looks to be around 5’4″.

I’m chatting with her and she says she works in the area. She seems nice enough but isn’t telling me much. Then Jill pipes in, “Oh, don’t be so evasive Sabrina. He knows all of our dark secrets. Sabrina lives in the halfway house with me.”

“Oh, okay.”

I can see Sabrina looks relieved.

“It’s just so boring to be sober! Everything revolves around drinking.”

Jill makes an interesting point. “Maybe you could start to consider a hobby or doing activities that don’t include alcohol.”

“I guess. But I’m so bored now! I haven’t had sex in six months and a girl needs the D! (sex) I think if they didn’t make us go to AA everyday, and do random sobriety checks I’d probably sneak the occasional drink just to have a little fun.”

“But you couldn’t do just a little drink or two now and then. You saw what happened last time.”

“I know…”

I send Jill back to the room for her tanning session. I sit down in the waiting area with Sabrina. She tells me that alcoholism runs in her family.

“We don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to, Sabrina.”

“No it’s okay. I didn’t always drink.”

“Really? How did you start?”

“I never had a problem with drinking until I got involved with a guy who drank a lot. I started drinking a lot with him and I just couldn’t stop. I just started getting blackout drunk all the time. It was terrible. So I had to get away from him and go to rehab, and now I’m here.”

“It’s a disease. Some people can drink all the time and it never owns them. Some can drink their whole lives and they don’t have any problems. But whatever your chemical makeup is, when it’s mixed with alcohol…”

“…It ends in disaster.”

We chat a bit more and I’m finding this woman sweet, attractive but a victim of her genes and choices.

Jill comes out of her session a little later, and we part ways. The girls say goodbye, and are off to do some sober activity.

I get to thinking about the girls and how hard this must be for them. You enjoy doing something and then it can destroy your life, and you can never do it again. It’s everywhere. On nearly every street in center city you can find alcohol. Most can enjoy it in moderation. Some in excess and nothing happens, but others it just wrecks your life. So it’s a large grey area like mental illness. I’m in no way comparing the two. But there isn’t just Sane and Crazy. There’s a whole spectrum out there.

The causes of alcoholism in women are diversified. Each person is unique. The way in which circumstances, psychology, and physiology come together ultimately create a likewise unique “formula” of factors that contribute to some women becoming alcoholics.

Alcohol affects woman far differently than men. In women, a larger amount of alcohol passes directly into a the blood stream than it does in men. This exposes a woman’s brain and body to more toxicity. Many experts feel that over-indulging is far more risky for women as a result, and that this alone is one of the potential causes of alcoholism in women.

Studies show that over 10 percent of women who drink have one drink a day. This is considered moderate drinking by the US Department of Health and Human Services. Some recent studies show that moderate drinking can have some benefits. Specifically, it may lower the risk of heart disease when combined with a good diet and exercise.

Nonetheless, this does not eliminate the risks, including the possibility that alcohol may interact with medications. Women who drink at this level are still in danger of developing various health issues including heart conditions, stroke and cancer. Additionally, thinking that drinking is “healthy” could be one of the causes of alcoholism in women.

Women who drink heavily run a higher risk than men of becoming dependent. These women also have a higher chance of being a victim of abuse (due to impaired critical thinking). They also tend to experience more severe physical damage then men, even if they haven’t been drinking as long as a man of the same age.

Some of the health issues that result from female alcoholism include liver disease, memory loss, and high blood pressure. Psychologically, women who drink heavily are also prone to depressive disorders.

A woman who drinks while pregnant puts her unborn child at risk. There are a variety of birth defects that may develop in a fetus from drinking during pregnancy. These defects are referred to as Fetal Alcohol syndrome (FAS). FAS can manifest in many ways including brain damage, learning disorders, memory retention problems, and disfigurement.

Stress is often noted as one of the reasons women drink. Unfortunately this can become a very negative cycle as drinking can cause stress at home and work, which in turn could become one of the causes of alcoholism in women.

A woman who has an alcoholic family member is at higher risk for alcohol disease than others. Each woman’s genetic make up can also make a difference to how drinking effects her body. Signs that someone is becoming dependent on alcohol include missing work, craving alcohol, having a growing tolerance for increased amounts of alcohol, and drinking in risky situations.

If a woman realizes she’s becoming dependent, it’s possible for her to begin making changes on her own by reducing alcohol consumption or stopping altogether. Nonetheless, that person will need to remember that the temptation to return to drinking heavily may always be a part of their life. Controlling those urges is one key to success.

Women who are already addicted can go to their personal physician for advice and information on support groups. There is no reason to go through this process alone, and many reasons to seek support. Studies show that people who have a strong network of friends, family, counselors etc. will be more successful in their battle against alcohol disease than those struggling alone.

All of that being said, I started to think about Sabrina and Jill and what they could do to make life less boring and more fun, but keeping things sober.

Then I came up with an idea…

Tune in tomorrow to find out what that idea is. It may not be a good idea, but it’s an idea.

 

 

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Murder Mystery Weekend – Chapter 9

It was the first time up here for all three, so Eliza eventually took them on a quick tour of the outside of the house. I went inside to change into jeans and a t-shirt. I found everybody gathering in the kitchen. The guys had brought food, which had to be unpacked, and no one objected when Leo suggested a round of drinks.

I did notice one thing: there was a piece of paper taped to the kitchen wall. On it were listed the names of everyone who was participating in our weekend. Curiously, they were numbered. I was struck by that, and by the order we were in.

1- CLAIRE

2- ELIZA

3- LEO

4- CRAIG

5- BARBARA

6- BEN

7- ERIC

8- SHEILA

9- LENA

10- COLIN (me)

Curious – why had Teresa left herself off the list? Why was I last? Teresa had not compiled this list when she first told me about her idea; if she had, Sheila and Eric would have been the last two names. Teresa didn’t do things ‘by accident’. There was a clue here.

Sheila arrived next. I went out to greet her with Eliza.

– “You found it OK?” asked Eliza.

– “GPS got me close, but your directions were spot on.” replied Sheila. I should mention at this point that Sheila has the deepest, gruffest voice I have ever heard from a female. People usually do a double-take the first time they hear her speak, and then they still turn their heads the second time they hear her. Her voice is also raspy, which is part natural, and partly the consequence of years of heavy smoking.

Sheila has short, punky hair, which she likes to style in spikes, or absurd waves. She also likes to dye it; today’s color was green. It’s a bit funny, considering that she’s a high school English teacher. Apparently the School Board doesn’t object to spiked purple or orange hair, or to tattoos either – Sheila has seven of them, two of which I have not seen.

She’s handsome, rather than pretty. She sounds like a man, and could probably pass for one. Her face is all sharp angles, and she is completely flat-chested. She has no hips to speak of, and she prefers loose, shapeless clothing, so I couldn’t tell you anything about her ass. She shops in second-hand clothing stores, and finds unusual bargains.

It may sound odd, but I had a crush on Sheila through most of first year (before I met Teresa). See, Sheila is a sweetheart, as generous as she is smart. She also has amazing green eyes, and a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’, as the French would say. I can’t explain it.

– “Nobody’s dressed up yet?” she asked.

– “Not until everyone’s here.” I told her. “Teresa has plans, but she won’t tell anyone anything.”

– “This is going to be such fun!” said Sheila. “Thank you for hosting us, Eliza.”

– “My pleasure.” said Ee. “Let me show you around.”

 

https://lapetitemort17.wordpress.com/?p=266

 

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Will Living With My Best Friend Ruin Our Relationship? Here’s How To Make Sure It Doesn’t

When the time comes to search for a roommate, you might get the bright idea of forgoing the risk of living with a stranger, and opt to live with your very own best friend instead. Initially, it sounds like an amazing idea: You guys already know you’re obsessed with each other, so what’s the worst thing that can happen? Well, there’s always the chance that living with your best friend could hurt your relationship, and depending on the people involved in the situation, it may not work out for the best.

“For many, living with your best friend sounds like a dream come true, and it can be,” Doctor Lindsay Henderson, Psy.D., a psychologist who treats patients virtually via telehealth app LiveHealth Online, says in an interview with Elite Daily. “But it can also be a challenge, as any roommate situation presents many hurdles to work through.”

It might be easier, Henderson points out, to talk about your frustration over the mess in the kitchen with someone you aren’t going to happy hour with later that evening, you know? Plus, if this is your first time searching for a roommate to live with, she explains, you might discover along the way that you’re actually someone who values and prefers the quiet and alone time you’d get from co-existing with someone who’s only an acquaintance to you, as opposed to hanging out around the clock with your live-in bestie.

“It’s important to recognize that friendship dynamics and living dynamics can vary greatly,” Henderson tells Elite Daily.

Basically, just because your friendship is effortless, does not mean the same will apply to your living situation.

When you’re entering a living situation with your best friend, Henderson says, things can get super casual, super fast. You guys are really comfortable with one another, so the rules about how to clean the apartment, how to pay the bills, etc. can all slide out the window in the blink of an eye.

“As with any new co-habitating situation, whether your roommate is a stranger or your lifelong best friend, it is important to have an open and honest conversation about boundaries, expectations, and rules before moving in together,” Henderson advises.

Even if you feel like you and your best friend know each other inside and out, and you click on just about every level of your friendship, it’s crucial to acknowledge this decision to move in together as the pretty monumental thing that it is.

“The idea [of], ‘we are best friends, we will just figure it out,’ is dangerous,” Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and host of The Web Radio Show, tells me. “As best friends, you are in a position to set rules in a more comfortable way, but don’t let your comfort with one another underestimate the challenge that living together poses.”

Basically, as awkward as it may seem to lay out solid ground rules with your best friend, it’s important to view your living situation as a contract, or a new business endeavor, Klapow says. Communication is the secret to success in anyliving situation.

“Talk it out,” he says. “Set the boundaries versus assuming you’ll [both] recognize them.”

The tricky thing is, though, your idea of fair boundaries may clash with your BFF’s perspective on the subject. For instance, you might think it’s no big deal to have your SO sleep over a couple nights a week, but your bestie might think that’s crossing a line, and that your partner should be expected to chip in with bills and groceries if they stay over regularly.

These things need to be discussed when you move in with anyone, but since your potential new roomie is also your best friend, these disagreements could create tension in your relationship.

“It is not unusual to disagree with your best friend when you are sharing the same living space,” Henderson tells Elite Daily. “Even though it can be awkward, it is always best to have a direct conversation about any issues that do come up.”

She strongly urges you to have these conversations with your ride-or-die in person, as opposed to over text or phone call. Even if you guys are used to having novel-length, heart-to-heart exchanges over text, Henderson says it’s important to get used to communicating face-to-face as you approach this new living situation.

“[Texting] can be OK for little things,” she explains, “but it is easy to become less effective in written communications (i.e. passive aggressive or angry), and the tone of a note or text can often be misinterpreted.”

If you do find yourself knee-deep in a tense disagreement about your living situation with your BFF-turned-roomie, Henderson says there are healthy ways to resolve things and keep the peace.

“Begin the conversation by recognizing what is going well in the living situation, and what you appreciate about living with them,” she says. “Then, ask for feedback about what you are inadvertently doing that irks them.”

More often than not, Henderson says, you and your friend are both doing or saying things that are getting on one another’s nerves, but neither of you realizes how your behavior is coming off to the other person. For example, you may have been so focused on the leftover dishes your bestie left in the sink, that you had no idea she’s actually been cleaning out the fridge every single week (and is low-key annoyed that you haven’t thanked her for doing that).

Basically, Henderson says, try to stay as calm and level-headed as possible when giving your friend some feedback about their behavior, even if you feel really heated on the inside.

“Be ready with specific ways you would like things to change, and if appropriate, tell them why this is important to you, or how it may be affecting your relationship,” Henderson tells Elite Daily.

Bottom line: Besties can live happily ever after — sometimes. But, just to play devil’s advocate here, let’s say you and your best friend took the plunge, moved in together, applied all of these healthy strategies to a T, and things stillcrashed and burned. Then what?

How do you salvage the friendship if things ultimately don’t work out between you and your BFF-turned-roomie?

“Unfortunately, not all roommate situations are meant to be,” says Henderson. “If you have made every effort to set clear expectations and boundaries, you have prioritized what is important to you, and practiced picking your battles, and yet you’re still left feeling unhappy in your living situation, it may be time to look for alternatives.”

It won’t be easy, but Klapow says it’s important to remember that “living together is testing your relationship and friendship,” and when it comes down to it, you have to accept that this fallout does not have to mean you aren’t best friends, or that your friendship is automatically ruined. It simply means, Klapow explains, that you are best friends, who simply don’t do well living together.

Acknowledge that things just aren’t working, he says, and remind yourselves you can choose to stop living together before the relationship completely fizzles out.

Henderson agrees, adding that, if things do go sour in the end, you may need some time apart to heal and forgive — and that’s OK. Don’t be afraid to give each other this space, she advises. Good friends will usually find their way back to each other.

 

Was this helpful? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on this post!

 

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Another Life – Chapter 6

Marty was treating Caroline like the protagonist in a fucking Jane Austen novel – in another eight or nine years, he’d have progressed to holding her hand.

I had no problem with Caroline. Actually, I didn’t know her all that well. I’d been trying to stay away from her – and to keep her sisters with me – to give Marty some room. Lord knows what he was doing with it.

He kept asking me to go to their house with him – and I kept going. I asked myself why: really, I did. Maybe 60% of it was loyalty to my buddy. The rest? Fucked if I know.

Tanya was jailbait. Avoid at all costs. That didn’t mean that I was blind. She was funny, with a caustic sense of humor and a sharp tongue. Ron was probably right: one of these days she was going to turn into a proper little hottie. Couldn’t fault her taste in music, either.

Sam was a conundrum, shrouded in a mystery, wrapped in a nutbar. I couldn’t figure her out – and I couldn’t decide how I felt about her. Dumb as a bag of rocks. Pretty. Sweet, at times.

Best left alone.

Against my better judgment, I took up with Anne again. That was a mistake. We both knew it, right after the first time we ended up in bed. But it took a second fuck, in her bedroom, before we were smart enough to call it quits.

Then Marty invited me to a cottage party.

– “I’ll drive, if you can get us a case of beer.” he said.

– “Let me guess: we’re taking the sisters.”

– “If that’s okay with you.”

It turned out to be a massive party, with incredibly loud music, over 100 people, and a beautiful night sky.

– “Sit near me.” I ordered Sam and Tanya. I didn’t want either one getting into trouble.

Quite a few beers were drunk that night – many of them by me. I was feeling a bit … melancholy. Maybe it was breaking up with Anne again. But I snapped out of it when I heard the first chords of Heart’s ‘Barracuda’ blaring over the speakers.

– “Listen to this.” I told Tanya. “The drums. Everybody hears the guitar – or Ann Wilson’s voice.”

– “She’s awesome.” said Tanya.

– “I know – but the listen to the drummer. He’s kicking the shit out of this song!”

Tanya just grinned. She loved it when I talked to her, made her the centre of my attention. She listened to me for twenty minutes solid, as I switched to Zeppelin, trying to explain what made John Bonham such an incredible drummer.

– “Tanya? Could you get Uncle Joe another beer? And one for yourself and your sister, if you don’t mind.”

– “I’ll get them!” yelled Sam, as she sprang to her feet. She was no longer a brunette – she’d dyed her hair blonde again. Off she ran. Tanya watched her go, and then turned to me.

– “Joe?”

– “Yeah?”

– “If I was 18, would you go out with me?”

Shit. Shitshitshit.

– “Tanya – you’re a bright girl.” I said. She could tell that I was building up to a ‘but’.

“I think you like me.” she said.

– “You’re smart, and you have you good taste in music.” I told her. “You still have to recognize why Neil Peart is a fucking great drummer, too … but you’re pretty cool.”

– “You didn’t answer my question.” she said.

– “What was the question?” I asked. I’d already had more beers than I needed.

– “Here you go!” shouted Sam. She handed us both a fresh beer.

I have to admit it: I was on my way to getting seriously blitzed. I hadn’t intended to. But keeping track of Sam and Tanya was hard work.

We ended up sitting around a huge bonfire. Sam was drunk, and clingy. Tanya was drunk, and growing incoherent. I was drunk – and not sure what was going on.

I do remember someone hijacking the turntable, and putting on ‘Achilles’ Last Stand.’ Martin found us there. While Caroline glared at us, he got us to our feet. Somehow, we got the drunken sisters into the back seat of his car. I ended up in the middle, with a sister on either side of me.

Tanya was fairly wasted, and a bit queasy. We rolled down her window, and made sure that she got a steady supply of fresh air. Sam wasn’t so far gone.

I was. I saw her pretty face, hovering near mine. And I leaned forward – and kissed her.

Lord knows what I was thinking. Maybe I wasn’t thinking at all. Her lips tasted sweet, though. Sam tickled my lip with her tongue. I did what any red-blooded male would have done, and slid my tongue into her mouth.

Yes, I was kissing Sam. French-kissing Sam, to be exact. Marty drove, while Caroline talked to him. I kept Tanya’s head near the open window, in case she was tempted to spew. Other than that, I necked with Sam. I did have the occasional lucid moment, and I did ask myself: what the fuck are you doing?

I ignored myself, and kept smooching with Sam. She was a good kisser. I did pull back, once, to look at her. Maybe I was drunk. Actually, I was quite drunk – but she looked just fine. And she tasted very nice.

On my other side, Tanya was snoring. At least she didn’t puke.

Marty got us home safely.

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 Chapter 2 – On The Road

After working through the Fall after the Summer season was over, I was itching to get on with the next chapter of my life. I had stayed on at Hunt’s Pier and worked on the maintenance crew. I think they laid us off around the holidays and we all just went on Unemployment. I planned my trip and kept in touch with Frank.

Back in 1981 the best way to plan a trip was to be a member of AAA. (Automobile Association of America) You went into the office and told them where you were planning to go and they would literally map out the entire trip for you. Maps, Tour books, something they called a Trip Tik, (Which was little notebooks that blew up your route on a series of maps.) It was really thorough. Using the tools provided you couldn’t get lost. They gave you info on everything. Gas stations, hotels and motels, facts about each town you were passing through. Just a wonderful service for travelers.

So I tell them what I’m doing and give them a week or so to put it all together. I had used their services before for short trips to Baltimore and Washington D.C. Kind of like, let’s take a few trips and see how we do before we take the epic journey to the new world.

Frank tells me he’s leaving Fort Lauderdale the 1st week of February and heading up to his Aunt’s house in Atlanta. I tell him I’ll come down and meet him there. He says we can hang there for a week and then head out West from there. Sounds like a plan to me. He provides me with her address and I tell him I’ll see him then.

That’s how people communicated long distance back then. Just a couple of phone calls and usually letters. Yes, we wrote letters. I’ll write about that in another post.

____________________________________

It was a cold grey morning in February, 1982. The VW minibus was all packed, and I was saying goodbye to my parents and sisters. I remember my mother crying, and my dad giving me some extra money. I hugged and kissed everyone goodbye and I left home.

It was a tough morning and I was scared shitless. I had never done anything like this before, let alone by myself. I drive South to Cape May. I am catching the first Ferry to Lewes Delaware. It’s the shorter route. I’ve never been on a ferry before so I’m terrified of that too. I decide I’m going to stay in the car the entire trip and listen to my music. It’s freezing outside anyway. I drive in with the rest of the cars. We wait a few minutes and then the ferry moves out into the Delaware River. Everybody gets out of their cars and heads upstairs to the inside upper deck.

I’m alone in this hollow dark place in the middle of a ferry surrounded by a bunch of empty cars. It feels like everyone’s gone and I’m left behind. fear and anxiety clutch me.

I change my mind. I get out of the van and lock it up. I go upstairs. People are in there and it’s warm and people are drinking coffee and eating and chatting. I’m so alone and I’m barely out of Jersey. I decide to go outside to get some fresh air. I’m the only one dumb enough to go out of the main cabin this time of year. But I want to feel it.

I step out onto the deck. The February wind bites my cheeks. The sky is grey like my spirit. I walk to the bow of the boat and look down. The boat is literally crunching through the ice coated water. I can see ice breaking up right in front of me. I’ve never seen anything like this. I mean, I’ve seen Tookany Creek frozen in the winter but that was just a little creek that we used to play near when I was a kid back in the 1970’s in Northeast Philly.

I am terrified. I’m alone. What am I doing?  I’m so scared.

But I must go on.

The ferry lands in Lewes, Delaware and everyone embarks.  I’m in my VW minibus and off I go. I’m driving South and now it’s on. I have to push on through Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina and I’m just scared. Simply frightened.

I remember my mom had packed me a little lunch for the trip. A little sandwich, chips and a soda. I went through the Chesapeake Tunnel and came out on the other side. I had so much anxiety going through that when I got to the other side I pulled over one the side of the road and threw up. That was my life back then. I couldn’t do anything without getting sick. My whole life was sickness. Think about that. All of the fun adventures you look forward to and are excited to do paralyze me.

You’re hot for your date with a new girl? I’m dying inside. I love her just as much and took the chance to get her but when the time comes I’m dead inside. A sea of nausea and fear. I can never enjoy any of the things you love. it’s all fear and sickness,  all of the things you take for granted and have fun with, I and sitting there on the sidelines dying.

You look forward to getting into the pants of the girl before you. I’m just happy she isn’t revolted by me and when I finally drag myself forward to ask her out I am almost to sick to take her out.

But I love her so much

And I will dry heave myself away to take her on a date. why? No idea. Just something in me. A weakness. a sickness.

I end up in a hotel in South Carolina and I am drained from the drive. I call my parents and cry on the phone to them. They are sweet to me but I know I must do better tomorrow and make it to Atlanta before I perish on this journey.

I fall asleep in my hotel bed. I’m scared and alone. I am breaking the shell of my anxiety and understanding. I have to do this. I know it. I have to do this. I have to go to California, if nothing else.

I’m a loser and have nothing else left in my life to do.  I have to do this now because there is no alternative.

_____________________________________

I wake up in my hotel room in South Carolina. I can’t even tell you what it was like because I am in a daze. I just need to get back on the road and get to Atlanta. I’m close. I’m one state away and I’m still really scared. I have to push forward. I’m going to see my friend. It’ll be great. That’s all I need to do.

I fire up the VW and off I go. I drive for hours and finally hit the outskirts of Atlanta. The directions they gave me back then were so good I actually pulled up on Frank’s aunt’s street by dusk that day.

I was so relieved I got to the house It’s like I was home again. but in a stranger’s home. but frank was there and a nice old lady and they were all very Irish and beautiful. the warmth and welcoming was overwhelming that I had made my trip was magic.

I was so happy to see Frank and his aunt was so welcoming. My fear turned to safety. I knew id be okay. We catch up over dinner and a few beers. I find it hard to believe this is all happening.

I knew our adventure was just beginning and we’d go and do that but for now we would rest for a week and just let the journey happen when we wanted it to. I was still having a lot of anxiety but was happy that I had moved forward with my life and I was with my friend.

I was away from shitty Wildwood a the dead-end that it had become. I was away from Hunt’s Pier and my dad and my family completely. Gone. I loved them but that wasn’t for me any more. I was going to California to be a metal god and that was the end of it.

I tried to keep a diary on the road but life became to interesting for me to even bother.

I settled into my bed and knew there was fortune to be had.

 

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California Dreamin’ -1982 to 1984 – Chapter 1 – The Idea

Back in 1982, I left New Jersey in my ’69 Volkswagen mini bus for Los Angeles. I’ll tell the whole story of that journey at some point, but I wanted to intro a new series that tells some of my interesting dating and social interactions while out in California. I was only 19 years old when I left, so these stories come from a younger man’s life. We got up to some wild shit back then.

These stories contain a bit more sexually explosive content so beware fair readers.

We were young, in a band and living in L.A. What could happen?

It was a long time ago but some of these tales are worth telling.

I’ll kick it off with this one.

 

I was sitting in a little tavern with my friend Bill in North Wildwood back in the summer of ’81. It’s a nice little beer and shot neighborhood bar. Woody’s is located at 19th and New Jersey Ave. It took me a moment to remember the name and location. It was a good lunch spot and also cool to hang out at night if you wanted to stay away from the club scene.

I met Bill working on Hunt’s Pier. It’s an old amusement pier on the boardwalk. I worked on The Golden Nugget Mine Ride, which was an old roller coaster enclosed in what looked like a big old western type mine. People road in little mine cars through the ride and stuff popped out of the darkness to shock and surprise them. It’s been torn down for many years but I have so many wonderful memories to write about regarding this period of my life. I can still smell the grease of the chain that carried the mine cars to the roof of the building.

Bill worked one of the games at the front of the pier. I don’t remember how we met, but we became good friends because at the time he was the funniest guy I had ever met. We hung out outside work and Bill was just so funny to be around. Usually I’m supplying the laughs but he just had a quick wit and I loved that about him. Bill wanted to go to California and become “the next Robert DeNiro” at the end of the summer season.

I tell him I want to go to California and become a metal god. (guy that plays hard rock and metal in a band) I suggest we save our earnings and go out together. He agrees.

I was a young naïve teenager back then and fell hard for people I met. We talked all about how great it would be when we got to L.A. and became stars. We did this most of the summer.

At some point I remember my dad chatting with Bill about our plan. I had him over to meet my Dad because I was so taken with my funny amazing new friend. My Pop has a lot of experience with people.

My Dad later told me that it sounded like Bill, was a bit of a feather merchant. Someone who could attach himself to me to get a free ride out to L.A. He also said that the stories Bill had told him about things he did and said back home in South Philly, and my Dad felt those stories didn’t wash. He also felt that Bill wasn’t really saving any money for this trip that I had already saved a thousand dollars for.

Well I think somehow Bill caught wind of what my dad was feeling. (Just looking out for my best interest) and got pissed off.  I remember him saying how he really hated my father and the trip was off.

I was crushed. I loved Bill and it was like he was breaking up with me. But as I write this now, I know my Dad was right about him. Bill’s pride was hurt, he was kind of a blowhard, and he hadn’t saved any money all summer. This was his immature boy’s way out.

But all was not lost. There was another guy I worked with on the ride. Frank. He was from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He was studying law and taking a year or two off to travel and have fun before he entered law school in London. We worked together every night on the ride and became good friends.

I remember telling Frank what had happened with Bill, and he said he’d go to California with me. He was going down to Florida with some of his mates in October and they were just going to work there for a bit. Irish people can get jobs like crazy. Great people! He said that he’d be coming up to stay with his Aunt and cousin in Atlanta after the holidays. So we started to plan for that. I was happy to be going with Frank, because I liked him and knew he was trustworthy and reliable.

I never really saw or spoke to Bill ever again. Not that I hated him or anything. We just lost touch after the incident and I guess he went back to South Philly.

But I was excited that the trip to Cali was still on!

 

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Sheryl – The Past Revisted

“I wish I could find a guy I could trust to blindfold me, restrain me and have his way with me, but in a safe way.”)

So I reluctantly sent a text to Sheryl about how I’m writing a blog and she’s going to be in it.

(See: Sheryl – Not The Muse) to get the full history.

I wish this had gone better, because it could have been so much better!

I was torn with the decision to contact her due to the 20 year gap and the history there. But the blog won’t write itself and I did it.

She responded positively and really wanted to re-connect with me and meet up this time. I tried a year ago, and it went to shit because she bailed on the last-minute because she said her ex husband was going to jail and her son was upset.

Red Flag.

But it’s been a year and I wrote about it and figured why not, at least meet with her. She was the inspiration for a character in a book I wrote in the 90’s and she was fun to be with then.

We set it up and instead of me meeting with the 22-year-old girl I knew back in the day I am now meeting with the divorced 42-year-old mother of 2 in 2018.

No big deal. I’m divorced and Lorelei is with me at 22.

We set it up for a Sunday at 4:30pm.

I’m picking up a shift at the tanning salon from 11 to 4pm.

She has anxiety about travel but caught the PATCO line from Jersey and I tell her I’ll be there to meet her at the station at 16th and Locust.

I finish work and head to the stop. Some guy begs for change and I blow him off just like all of the grifters I can’t help in this city as I descend the steps into the final stop for PATCO.

 

I hear and feel the rush of hot air as the train rushes into the station. I stand in a spot where I’m easily seen from all exits.

 

People pour from the train and rise on the escalators and climb the steps to the sidewalk above.

I’m waiting.

I watch for her. Many people pass. A crowd of commuters roar past me and I stand there like a statue in the middle of the terminal.

Once the people are gone I remain thinking maybe she’s on the next train, but based on her texts she should have been on this one.

I walk down the hallway, and there is one woman standing there in a long dress looking at the city maps and frantically texting.

I walk down and look through the bars and speak.

“Sheryl?”

“Oh Hey! I didn’t know which way to go. I was just texting you.”

Sheryl is much older than I remember her. The youthful curvy blonde is gone. Here is a dyed red-haired middle-aged woman who has a considerable number of miles on her. This is not just age. This is bad experience and a collection of bad decisions. Decisions  that have been made over and over. Bad men, alcoholism, crime, abuse, poverty, children and bad lifestyle decisions.

We hug and it’s nice to see a ghost from my very distant past that isn’t dead.

 

We sit outside at Fado, a really great Irish bar at 15th and Locust. (The food and service is terrific!)

It’s all a little weird so I order a Manhattan to take the edge off. She goes with a Jack and Coke.

We catch up and I tell her everything that’s been going on in my life for the last 20 years and she does the same.

But I hear how bad it’s been for her. I know things were bad in her life when I met her 20 years ago, but it hasn’t stopped.

 

Her whole life has been poverty, baby mama drama, shitty family, alcoholism, abuse, kid problems, horrible men, and employment struggles.

It’s sad but true.

But it seems nothing’s changed in Sheryl’s life as she’s grown older.

But I will say this. Hanging with Sheryl, and drinking and smoking and reminiscing about the old times was really nice. We picked up like in was 1996.

 

But it’s 2019.

 

I’ve evolved beyond all of the trappings of all of my old life. So much has changed in my life. No more anxiety. No more depression. Love to work at my job. Love to be busy. Great friends and all is good with my family. Daughter is fine and happy. We live in Rittenhouse. We’re firing on all cylinders here at camp phicklephilly.

But when I listen to Sheryl, she still sound like she’s struggling with all of the trash from her past that sadly is still sitting front and center in her present life. Her whole life is in a stinking bag someone left at the curb.

As the drinks flowed, of course the conversation turned sexual.

Sheryl is still trapped in making bad decisions in regard to bed mates.

I know Sheryl very well and the things that will ignite her libido, but at her current age I have zero interest in approaching her.

During our meeting I could tell it was made clear to me she wanted me to meet her at some future date and perform a certain deed that would have fulfilled her desire.

“I wish I could find a guy I could trust to blindfold me, restrain me and have his way with me, but in a safe way.”)

I love the idea of what we discussed, but sadly, I’d rather act that play out with a much younger and prettier victim than this target.

(To be honest with all of you my faithful readers… I just want to live my life and have no interest in doing anything with anyone kinky anymore. That’s all behind me now.)

Here’s the worst part.

(Not really)

The first server comes out and tells me that her shift is ending and we can close out so she can transfer the check to the next girl.

Of course knowing the industry I want to cash her out and tip her.

Sheryl offers No Quarter.

No offer of cash or help with the tip.

 

Okay. No big deal. She took a train out of her bubble and came to Philly on a Sunday to meet with me.

But we continue on with another server and Sheryl wants food. She gets Salmon and I get chicken fingers.

The drinks are still flowing and she’s pounding Jack and Cokes.

 

Everything’s great, and it feels like the old days…. but it’s 2019 and so much has changed for me, but it seems like nothing’s changed for Sheryl.

If anything, it’s gotten worse for her. She’s great at her job at the bank and is very much-needed but it’s obvious why she never gets a raise or is promoted.

The corporation is ashamed at the way she looks.

Sad but True.

Sheryl is still driven by her sexual urges and that was the thing that drove us together 20 years ago, but for me I have grown past that in so many ways. Sadly, Sheryl’s life is still ruled by that nonsense.

I am light years beyond all of that, and I now look upon these meetings as only fuel for this blog and novelty.

But here’s the worst part for me.

It was nice to reconnect with my former friend, but after the second round of food and drinks, there was no effort on the part of Sheryl to kick in for the bill.

 

All of the best people in my life at least offer.

 

I have friends where I’m actually surprised when they even try. I love them dearly.

Sheryl texted me and wanted to pencil in the last Sunday of every month to meet up and hang.

I can’t afford that. $80 a month to circle the drain? No fucking way. That’s a thousand dollars a year.

I’m offended at this point.

Thank you for your time in the 90’s. I really enjoyed our conversations and the sex.

I’m glad I got to see you, but I expected you to be a bit further along.

I know we could have had some fun together this year, but I’m going to pass Sheryl.

 

You’re cut off.

 

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