Annabelle – 2013 to 2014 – NYC – Chapter 11

I heard this loud bang under the car like she had hit a pothole that was covered in snow.

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The holidays were upon us, and we decided the limit to spend on each other was $200. I would have no problem blowing $200 on my girlfriend.

I went out and got her all kinds of clothes and underwear and a robe, and other goodies I know girls like. She got me a ring. (Which shocked her mother and sister because a ring represents so much in our culture. I love that ring, and still wear it to this day. It’s just a steel worry ring with black accents. It feels like rock and roll so I wear it on my left middle finger everyday. I should probably take it off but it’s my thing now.

She also wrote a nice card and inside it were 2 tickets to see a Shakespearean play in New York City! I was excited to see it. I can’t remember which one it was, but it was the real deal. British actors performing the play just like they had 400 years ago.

So the day arrives. (It was around New Years 2014) I go to her apartment, and she rents a zip car. I heard that we were supposed to maybe get some snow later, but for now the weather is fine.

The car is a compact, and maybe 10 years old. She sets the GPS and we’re on our way. About half way to NY, the GPS, craps out. It just dies and stops working all together.

“Oh no! How are we ever going to find our way to New York City now?” Annabelle exclaims.

“Don’t worry sweetie. I used to live in New York. We’ll just follow the signs like we used to in the olden times.”

She laughs but I can tell she sort of half believes me. Young people today have never used a map or have had to navigate anything. They have all of that in their phones now. You could put me in a car pointed in any direction on the east coast and I could find my way all the way to California without even using a map. But these kids today, without their phones are lost. But that’s a small price to pay for youth and beauty by my side.

I get us into the city and we park the car in a garage for the day. This really is a great present.  The show is not untill 8pm tonight so we’ve got the whole day.  We stop at a cool spot for lunch and beer.

Then we head downtown to the Museum of Sex. You heard me right. There is a museum for that shit in NYC. Annabelle is all about exploring new things, and it was my idea so we went. It actually wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. But they have a lot of interesting exhibits. The works of William Kent, the sex lives of animals, sexy toys and sculptures, a whole exhibit about Linda Lovelace. Some erotic video.

I remember this huge video screen in one room where it’s just a woman deep throating a guy’s cock. It just loops over and over. It’s pretty amazing to see that incredible feat on a 12 foot TV screen. But like I said, the place is not that great. I wrote both our names in a little heart and tagged it in the bathroom. I don’t normally ever do anything like that, but it just seemed appropriate to have our names immortalized together forever in the bathroom of the Museum of Sex.

Later we stopped at a cool cocktail bar and chatted with the locals. Then on to an art gallery. I always enjoy my time with Annabelle when it’s just the two of us. Whether we’re at a museum, or the zoo, or just eating a meal I cooked for her at home. It’s always good. Once you bring in her chaotic work life or insane theater stuff, it just ruins everything. If we could just see each other occasionally and focus on each other it would be great. I get bored hanging around her apartment with nothing to do when she’s editing pictures or whatever else. (Or sometimes not even home!) I’d rather be home sipping some wine and watching netflix.

We walk to the theater. We’ve got some time so we go in and find our seats. The theater is beautiful.

The play begins and the acting is first-rate. They are performing this version just as they did four centuries ago. The only illumination on stage is candlelight. There are literally wooden chandeliers with big white candles all around them. Some times they melt and even fall onto the stage!

During the intermission, Annabelle wants to get us some water and use the restroom. During the first half of the play there was a guy a few rows ahead of me that somehow looked familiar to me. But when the lights came up I take another look at him. His people have gotten up and left and he’s just standing around stretching like I am. I realize he’s actor Timothy Oliphant from Justified and Deadwood! He looks at me and I look at him. He’s much better looking in real life than he is on TV.

“Timothy?”

“Yea.”

I go over and shake his hand. “I love you on Justified! I’m watching season 3 right now!”

“What’s your name?”

I apologize and tell him my name. I was delighted Timothy Oliphant wanted to know my name! We chit-chat a little bit, and because we’re in New York City and at a Shakespearean performance it just didn’t feel cool asking to do a selfie with him. It was just a private moment between two strangers who happened to be in the same place at the same time. Except one of them is a famous actor.

Later when Anabelle returned I quietly told her what had just happened. She had no idea who he was because she doesn’t ever watch TV and isn’t in touch with current media at all. So it was lost on her. But I was excited. No big deal.

The show was wonderful and I am so grateful for this unique Christmas gift. It’s been a perfect Winter’s day with the woman I love.

After the show we headed back to the garage to get the car. It’s probably a bit after 11pm.

It had already started to snow.

Heavily.

We head out of the city. The snow was really coming down. I remember getting on interstate 95 South. We had gone some distance but were still way up in North Jersey.

I heard this loud bang under the car like she had hit a pothole that was covered in snow. The right front tire blew out. I looked at the mile markers. We were 10 miles away from the next rest area. I told Annabelle to put on the hazard lights and slowly move into the right lane. I knew the tire would soon shred, but at least it would be cushioned by the snow-covered ground, so it may not shred as quickly and we’d be driving on the bare rim.

This was a harrowing experience. Total white out of a snowstorm, 90 miles from home, 10 miles from a rest stop, and tractor trailers roaring by our tiny battered car. I was trying to hold my shit together, imagining either the car becoming disabled and we’re stranded on the highway during a snowstorm in the middle of the night, or a giant truck simply smashing into us and killing us both.

That 10 mile drive was one of the longest of my life. We couldn’t go very fast because of the tire and the snow. I was feeling a lot of fear. I have to say, Annabelle kept the car on course and kept her cool during the harrowing drive.

After what seemed like an hour we finally limped into the rest area where there was a garage and some mechanics on duty. I was never so happy to see those guys!

They were all amazed we made it in there in one piece. I was so relieved just to be in the warm garage, off the highway and out of that car.

Annabelle called Zipcar, and told them what happened. They asked that she pay for a new tire on her credit card and they would reimburse her.

So we took some pictures of the damaged wheel and posted them on Facebook. While writing this I remembered I may still have those pics in Annabelle’s pic file on my Facebook. I don’t really go on Facebook anymore because I no longer care to share with the world what I’m up to and have no interest in what you had for lunch today.

I found the pics! Here they are. Shredded!

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It was around 2am by now, but we were both wide with adrenaline from our crazy trip.

The guys got the new wheel on and we were on our way. But the snow was getting worse as we pushed on back to Philly.

After what seemed like the rest of the night, we finally rolled into the city around 4am. Annabelle dropped me off at my house and I kissed her goodnight. I trudged through the snow up to my building and went inside.

Annabelle later texted me that she had dropped off the car and had gotten back to her apartment safely. I was so thankful it all worked out and proud of how Annabelle had handled the whole situation.

What a night!

 

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

Phicklephilly – 1962 to Present – Burden in my Hand

“If you want to make a delicious omelet, you’re going to have to break some eggs.”

I’ve been working a lot lately. Frankly I’m feeling a little burned out. But I love to work and get my energy from those around me. I get bored if I’m not doing something productive with my days.

I enjoy my down time though. I love my alone time. My daughter Lorelei is in and out. Normally she’s working and hanging our with friends or spending time with her boyfriend. After work I like nothing more than to come home, sit in my chair, sip some wine and watch my shows on Netflix.

Last night I was just chilling and I look over at my phone and there’s a text on my Facebook messenger.

It’s from Annabelle! (See: Annabelle: 2013 to 2014)

I wrote her series last year. It’s been done and in the can for a long time. It was difficult to write. Writing about my other ex Michelle was a pleasure. (See: Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day) But I found that you can live something, you can think about it and talk about it with your friends and family, but until you write it out, you never really resolve your feelings.

Once I wrote about Annabelle, I finally forgave her and let her go.

I haven’t seen her in over 3 years, and the only contact she’s had with me was a happy birthday on Facebook messenger last year. I’m so over Facebook, Instagram and social media in general. I just use it to promote phicklephilly now. I no longer care to show the world what I’m doing, nor do I care what anyone else is doing. The people in my life call me, text me and spend time with me. Real world stuff. Who gives a shit what you’re eating for dinner, or what vacation you’re on. I don’t give a shit about your kids. I don’t want to see your baby. That child who doesn’t even realize that his privacy as an individual citizen has been stolen by you so you can show off.

Get a life and go live it privately.

So I’m chilling at home last night watching my show, and I look over at my phone and there is the message. First of all Annabelle has my phone number she could have simply called me or texted me directly if she wanted to talk to me. But here I get a test on Facebook Messenger.

Apparently she’s been reading phicklephilly and realized that Annabelle is about her. First of all, please follow my blog properly Annabelle. I need followers! You can also “like” and comment if you want to.

Here’s what the text said: (I’ve corrected all of the grammatical errors)

“I hope that your hatred and your venom doesn’t completely fill your memory of me. There was a long time when things were good. Also don’t call my family white trash. The artists that you wrote about in your last account are some of the most successful culture makers in Philadelphia, and mark my words, spend more on one project than you make in a year. And God bless them for the difficult road they have taken. You sound like an asshole, and every time you call yourself a gentleman and make another generalization about women, you reveal your falseness.”

Bitter? Table for one?

I have no hatred or venom for anyone in this world. If there’s one person I should have it for it would be my ex-wife, not for the way she behaved in my life but for the way she treated and hurt my daughter. (I do like that Annabelle used the word “Venom”) I have nothing but good will towards Annabelle. She goes on to say that there was a long time when things were good in our relationship.

I have to disagree. Sorry for the spoiler, but we only dated for around 9 months. The first month or so was courtship and then she was my girlfriend for maybe 7 months after that. Much of the time she was absent even when we were in the same room together. The best parts of the relationship were few and far between for me. I was frustrated, annoyed, and disappointed most of the time. But I still felt love for Annabelle, but I’ve been over it for years. Rarely does she ever cross my mind anymore.

She doesn’t like that I referred to her family as white trash. I suppose that was a bit harsh. But stereotypes are earned by those that get them. You can have a bunch of money and still behave like a hillbilly.

The only way I know anything about her family is because she would never let me meet them. I wanted to but she said that I wasn’t ready to meet her family. I remember her actually saying that she even didn’t like her family very much.

Of course that all changed when they kicked in a fortune for her to live in a newly constructed house.

In regard to these “culture makers” she’s referring to, I just don’t see it. Performing silly, poorly written performance pieces does nothing to contribute to the art culture here in Philly. The Walnut Street Theater, Ballet X, (Love!) The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Annenberg, and so many more. Who cares how long they spend on a project. Why spend a year of your life making trash? It’s just not any good. I’ve seen several of their shows and it’s just silly cabaret that feels forced and tragically outdated. I think they need God’s blessing for the foolish and wasteful path they’ve all chosen in their poverty-stricken lives. Just the grinding sadness of approaching middle age and never to have held down a real job or ever learned a prosperous vocation.

She says I sound like an asshole. I’ve gotten this before about the blog from these “raging feminist types.” Someone calling me an asshole or a misogynist either don’t know me or are too dumb to understand what they’re reading on my blog. 80% of my followers are women and they are the most loyal and outspoken on phicklephilly. I am proud to have a strong female following of bright, sharp women that can think for themselves and understand what’s real in the world and what’s truly important in their lives. I’ve recently added a female author to my blog. She owns every Saturday for the next year!

Annabelle also says that every time I call myself a gentleman and make generalizations about women I reveal my falseness. (Does anybody even use the word “falseness?” It sound like something she read somewhere.

Here’s the thing. If anybody should know what a gentleman I am, it should be Annabelle. All of the romantic gestures I showered her with, standing up from my chair when she left or entered a room, opening the door, pulling out her chair for her, putting on her coat for her, all the dinners I cooked for her, the surprises, the gifts, etc. Annabelle had never, EVER been treated as well as I treated her. She still communicates and is friends with a former lover that used to knock her around when he was angry. Who’s the asshole now? I’ve never raised my voice or my hand to a woman, EVER. I have 3 beautiful sisters and a daughter that know I am one of the last true gentlemen alive in the world. But how could Annabelle realize that even now? She had the best and she squandered it. My dear friend Robert refers to her as “The Selfish Loser.”

But, I like how Annabelle has crept out of the shadows to secretly read phicklephilly. I LOVE that my art has inspired her to attack me on social media. Because good art makes you feel something. Shitty art is dismissed and forgotten.

In closing, I really don’t want to hurt Annabelle. It’s just a bunch of words on a blog. I have to tell these stories. Writing her series really cleared up a lot of things for me, because as you’ll read in the coming chapters she really did a number on me. She didn’t willfully do it, she just isn’t mature enough to know how bad her behavior is and how it affects those around her. Adults just don’t do that to each other.

There are a few more chapters of Annabelle left and they’re pretty interesting. Thanks to everyone who supports phicklephilly and most of all to Annabelle for inspiring this bonus post!

 

 

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

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Annabelle – 2013 to 2014 – Chapter 9 -Matyson

“I’m like twenty-six, and you’re fifty-one.”

I noticed something strange when I looked at Annabelle’s Facebook. It suddenly said that she was in a relationship with some guy. I looked at the guy’s Facebook and the only photo was just a pair of weird hands holding a cat. I remember not being upset about it, because the dude seemed like some kind of weirdo. But I did need to find out what was going on before I invested anymore time into this girl.

There was a restaurant that I used to love at 20th and Chestnut called Matyson. I went there years ago with my ex, Michelle. (See Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day) Normally I don’t want to go to a restaurant that doesn’t serve drinks, but Matyson has exceptional food, and that’s where the focus lies. When I brought Michelle there I just brought a bottle of wine.

After my wonderful experience at Matyson with Michelle, I always associated the place with love. So having recently fallen for Annabelle, I figured I had to take her there for dinner. She’s a pescatarian, and they have some amazing seafood dishes. She loves to eat and I knew she would love it.

I made the reservation, and asked for a quiet table. I cruised by the place and they weren’t open yet. I headed to the liquor store to pick up some wine. I got a white and a red, just in case she wanted either. I return to the restaurant and Annabelle is already there. I tell her it’s a BYOB and that’s why I have the wine. We go in and the hostess seats us in the back. I had asked for a quiet table on my reservation and that’s what I got. It’s early and the place will probably fill up and get noisy, but until then, we’re good.

We’re chatting and they open the wine as we’re looking at the menu. I don’t remember what she ordered but I know I got the swordfish and it was terrific. Every time I’ve eaten at Matyson the food was always amazing. You could always find something exotic on the menu as well. Sweet breads, escargot, etc.

So the dinner goes well, and we’re done. I can’t remember if we had dessert, but we probably did, because Annabelle likes treats. I suggest we do a picture for posterity. When really all I want it for is to document us together and put it on Facebook. Back then I loved to show off all the places I went and all of the people I was hanging out with. I realize now that most people’s social media is just the greatest hits of their lives. I think if you could see the day in and day out it would be pretty boring. But back then I was just happy that I was going on dates with this younger woman and wanted the world to know. It all seems so silly to me now.

So she comes from around her side of the table and sits next to me.

“Ooh… This is where I want to be!” she exclaims.

I’m actually surprised. For some reason I just couldn’t get a good read on this one. With my last girlfriend Michelle, I knew she liked me because we were always getting drunk and attacking each other. With Annabelle it’s been a long slow promise. I mean, I know these younger girls aren’t very sure of themselves, but it’s taking a bit of time. They take the picture and I’m happy with the result.

“This is really great Annabelle.”

“Yea, it is. (sighs) You’re a tough one.”

“Tough? I’m not tough.”

“I REALLY like you.”

“I really like you too, Annabelle.”

“I’m like twenty-six, and you’re like fifty-one.”

“You’re twenty-seven now, and age is but a number my dear.” (I didn’t say that, but something like that.)

“I’m kinda seeing someone.”

That’s when I literally felt this searing pain spread from my heart outward. It was actually like a fire that suddenly flashed across my chest. “Oh….” I think she could sense my pain. Maybe she was afraid to hurt me, but didn’t know what she wanted.

We left the restaurant and were walking towards Rittenhouse square. She started to say she didn’t really like this guy and feels that it will end soon. I had to seize the moment and show my alpha dominance.

“Well normally, when I have a presence in a woman’s life, those sort of problems just work themselves out.”

“Yea, you’re probably right. I don’t really like him”

I don’t know who this clown is, and frankly I don’t care. But I want this girl, and I will win. I’ve won before. (Even if it was only temporary!)

But in hindsight as I write this, I should bear in mind a word of caution. Is this what Annabelle does? Does she like most girl in their twenties, simply leap from guy to guy? By doing that, you never fully experience the loss of a lover. You simply discard him when you’re tired of him or have discovered a new place in which to land. It’s a wicked cycle. I could someday be on the receiving end of what’s about to happen this other guy.

We’re walking down 18th street and I ask her if she’d like to see the batcave. She agrees. It’s only around the corner. I take her in and the first thing she sees is the mini lights I have strung around the french doors that lead to my veranda. I have them on a timer and it looks really cool and illuminates the living room just enough. We sit on the couch and I ask her if she wants some wine. I pour her a glass and fix myself a vodka and tonic. I put on some chill music and we just hang out.

“Is that a working fireplace?”

“Absolutely, and it’s awesome on cold winter nights here.”

There’s some smooching and light making out. I think I’m all good here. I don’t have to worry about a thing. She really likes me, and hasn’t felt this way before and is a little confused. It’ll be fine.

Eventually, she actually falls asleep in my arms. I just remain still and sip my drink listening to the music.

I’m happy. Annabelle is with me at my house. Things are moving forward. I’m falling in love with her if I haven’t already.

She wakes up about twenty minutes later.

“Was I asleep?”

“Yes, dear.”

“Wow. That’s never happened before.”

“Sure, you’ve fallen asleep plenty of times!”

“No I mean, I’ve never been on a date with a guy and I’m so comfortable early on that I can just fall asleep next to him.”

“Get used to it.”

She smiles, “I should probably get going, I have an early shoot tomorrow. Can I use your restroom?”

“Absolutely. Through there and then make a right. I’ll call a car for you.”

“You’re funny.”

We walk outside and she says that she’ll see if she can get cab. I tell her to wait. She looks puzzled. A black Lincoln pulls up and stops. I tell her to get in and they’ll take her home. This is when UBER was really new in the Philadelphia market. Back in 2013 it was still an exclusive service. They were one of my accounts and I had a $600 credit with them!

The car pulls away and I go back in the house. I’m in my chair sipping a drink and smoking a cig. My phone pings.

“Thank you for a lovely evening, and this limo ride home! I feel SO special!”

“That’s because you ARE special, Annabelle.”

 

 

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

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Annabelle – 2013 to 2014 – Chapter 7 – Happy Birthday

“Make a wish, Annabelle.”

So in our last chapter, I took the lovely Asian girl Mia Ling to Helium, because of Annabelle’s indecision or scheduling conflict. All of this during her birthday week. I posted the photos of Mia and I on Facebook. Nobody ever said anything so I’m assuming she never saw it, but if she did see it, and it got her thinking, maybe it would help move whatever this is forward.

It was Sunday, and I remember it being a rainy day. I had been hanging out with my ex-girlfriend, Michelle most of the afternoon. (See Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day) Even though Michelle and I had broken up over two years ago, we were still pals and hung out every other weekend I didn’t have my daughter Lorelei. (See Lorelei – 1997 – Present – The Apple of My Eye) Lorelei hadn’t come to live with me yet. She wouldn’t arrive until February of 2015.

There was a bar called Urban Enoteca at the corner of 17th and Walnut at the Latham Hotel. The only good thing about that place was that not many people went there, and it was a good spot for us to get out of the rain and chill out and have a couple of Chardonnays.  I suppose it stayed that way, because it closed down about a year or so ago. Something else is there now.

I was carrying a bag with me that had a copy of a screenplay I had written in it. Annabelle had shown an interest in reading it.

I was a little nervous about seeing her, and expressed this to Michelle. I think when she asked how come, I just told her that I really liked this girl. This wasn’t a walk around a museum, or lunch. This was her birthday dinner. I was wondering later if Michelle didn’t like the idea about me liking another girl so much that I was feeling nervous about our date. Probably not, because by this time she had already decided to get back together with Dave after being broken up for over five years.

Now that I think about it, I may or may not be the love of Michelle’s life, but Dave is her fail safe. They were a couple in their teens. Hell, he may have been the one that punched her V card. They broke up when she moved to Philly back in the early 2000’s, and then after a few years tried to get back together around the time I appeared in 2008, and then she was with me for a couple of years, and then again drifted back to him. This time for good. So maybe Dave is the love of Michelle’s life, and I was simply a distraction. He’s always been in her life, and firmly remains there today.

But I digress. I say goodbye to Michelle after our drinks and head over to Devon, the seafood spot in Rittenhouse Park. I made a reservation that morning for 6pm. I also did something else.

But I’ll get to that later.

When I get to the restaurant I find that they have already seated her. It’s a nice quiet table in the back. We get some wine and look at the menus. I’m really happy to see her. I love her! It’s only really our third date, and it feels like an ordeal to get here, but we’re having her birthday dinner, and I’m there!

I don’t remember what we ate, but the conversation was lively and it looked like she was really enjoying herself. I told her I had brought along a copy of my screenplay to give her to read. She came back with, “No. You hold on to it. I want you to read it to me.”

“Right now?”

“No, silly. Next time we’re together you can read it to me.”

“Okay…okay.” I say, a little awestruck. I can’t believe this is happening. I think she just set up our next date.

So it’s going really well. It’s so new and exciting at this point. So when we’re finished dinner, the server comes over and says to me, “Aren’t you the guy that does the advertising for Alcohol Monthly?” I tell her that’s affirmative.

“Thought so.” I’ll be right back.

When she returns she is carrying a lovely creme brulee with a single candle burning in it. She is flanked by two other attractive servers and they all break into Happy Birthday. Of course I smile and sing along.  Annabelle is absolutely surprised and delighted.

I live in Rittenhouse, so earlier that day I physically went to Devon to make the reservation. I gave them very specific instructions about what I wanted. It was her birthday. Here is her name. Here is what I want you to do with the dessert. The server is to ask me who I am, and when I agree, she’ll know it’s a go with the creme brulee and singing. A good, romantic gesture that worked and went a long way to making a solid impression.

They leave, and I take her hands in mine across the table.

“Make a wish, Annabelle.”

She closed her eyes and squeezed my hands. I did too and wished right along with her.

Annabelle released me, opened her eyes, and blew out the candle.

The dessert was beautiful and so was the birthday girl.

 

 

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

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Annabelle – 2013 to 2014 – Chapter 4 – My “A” Game Lunch

I wasn’t sure, but I sure felt the euphoria of Annabelle. It had nothing to do with her, but at that point, neither of us knew that.

I had sent an email to Annabelle sometime after our “First Date”  thanking her for a wonderful time. I also asked her if she’d like to meet me for lunch at Jones (Stephen Starr restaurant at 8th and Chestnut) I knew the General Manager and knew I would get the exclusive hook up.

She got back to me and said yes!

I made a reservation, and got there early. My table was clear and I took a seat. the staff knew what to do. I waited. Annabelle arrived and I waved her over. She she had a t-shirt on and was wearing a pair of denim cutoffs that showed off her long slender legs. I hadn’t seen them before, but at nearly six feet tall, she had incredible pins.

She said she had just come from the pool where she had been swimming. I didn’t care. I was just happy that she had shown up. She had this scrubbed, day at the beach air about her. I liked it.

Within minutes a bowl of their signature mac and cheese, (which is glorious at Jones) arrived with a side of siracha. Annabelle was impressed. She wasn’t accustomed to going to restaurants with older men that made things happen. I could tell this. She was a simple girl who was surrounded by artsy people who had nothing.

We dug into the mac and cheese with great fury. Baby was hungry and liked to eat. We chatted, and I was happy to see this beauty again. I did my nervous talking thing I do with all new women in my life. But she was laughing a lot and I knew it was working. I was still friends with Michelle, but she was moving on with Delaware Dave, and I was feeling the power with this one. (See: Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day)

I gave her a dvd of “The Art of the Steal” the documentary about the Barnes museum that we went to on our first date. I also brought her two miniatures of Chivas Regal’s Maple Whiskey, or as I call it, Hangover Nightmare Juice. At some point on our first date she mentioned that she liked maple syrup. Annabelle was delighted. How crazy will it be when I go to her apartment and find that she has no DVD player or a TV???

Sadly, I was still in love with the idea of love and didn’t know what I was getting myself into. If someone had pulled me aside and told me that this whole thing was a mistake that would have been great. But I know I would have done it anyway. I missed the drug of love I once had with Michelle and wanted it again. Annabelle was twenty-six and I wanted her. I didn’t even care so much about her age, I just needed to feed the addict.

That was me back then. I suppose that was me always. The failure that could always close beautiful young women. I wanted Annabelle to feed my addiction to love. I was the guy who couldn’t have a healthy mutual relationship with a woman. I had already gone down in a ball of flames years ago. A failed marriage, and a string of bad relationships. Nearly more than I could count. The last few had failed because they were younger than me and wanted marriage and kids. I had already destroyed that and had a kid to prove it. A hundred thousand dollars blown on child support and a broken family. Nothing worked. I wasn’t cut out to be in a relationship, let alone a marriage.

I think maybe I should just be alone. I love women. Desperately. But what if for some reason I am only in love with the idea of love and I am unable to actually be in love. I want Annabelle. She’s receptive, and artist, blonde, long legs…

I’m a fool. I am only chasing and courting her because she is young and beautiful. Just like Michelle. That unattainable gazelle that is just out of reach. I must have her. But do I really know her? Is it a match? She works in the arts. They’re a bunch of weirdo losers in the “arts”. We have nothing in common. Just this common connection. A girl I met in a bar that is kind of finding her way in life.

But I’m happy in this moment. I love the sound of her warm voice.

The lunch goes well. It’s the 17th of July. My father’s birthday. He’s 83 today. I picked this day because 17 is a common number in my family. It keeps turning up. That’s why this second date is happening. Annabelle is along for the ride. I’ll call my father tonight and tell him all about it. He’ll listen intently and live through me for once. But not really. He’s had his life. It has been so much more colorful than mine. Just like when I’m talking to him and telling a story. He’s not listening. I know he’s just waiting for me to shut up so he can talk.

He’ll ask her name, and I’ll tell him. He’ll access her heritage and maybe approve. If she sounds western European she’s good.

I remember when I was out in L.A. and working as a musician. My girlfriend at the end was a nineteen year old black girl. I remembered when we finally packed it in and came home. I loved and trusted my dad, because he was awesome. I told him about the black girl and what had happened. I’ll never forget what he said, ” Are you into blacks now?”

I should date and fall in love with a beautiful black girl just to smite that motherfucker. Yea, I can call my dad a motherfucker, because he fucked my mom and made me.

But I digress…

The lunch goes really well. She was excited about the pair of miniatures of Chivas Regal Maple.(The shit tastes terrible)  I also told her I would have asked her out to a second date sooner, but I was waiting for the Art of the Steal DVD to be delivered in the mail!

I have to go meet with the nice people at Chris’ Jazz Bar and she has to go to a photo shoot.

We go outside, and her bike is locked to a pole out front. A bicycle. A simple girl. She’s young and beautiful. Oh, those legs.

I’m in love with the idea of love.

What’s wrong with me?

I tell her I have to go and we hug. I remember very specifically, I went in for the hug…and went for the kiss on the cheek back by the ear. I think we all want to kiss on the lips. But you must sometimes settle for the cheek. It’s just the stupid rules of dating. Especially in the beginning.

She tells me her birthday is coming up soon.

The baby seal is hot. She’s been sitting on the rocks with her mom. She decides to jump into the sea to cool off. The water is crisp, and frothy.

Twenty five yards away, a dark grey dorsal fin cuts through the  water, sensing the life. Feeling the drug of the next love affair. Ready to feed.

I tell her I have some good ideas for her birthday, and she agrees. (I’m so going to make this happen)

I kiss her cheek and say that she’s great.

I walk west on Sansom. I text her that it was amazing seeing her and want to see her again.

When I get to Chris’ Jazz Cafe, I’m waiting for the general manager, and I get a text.

It’s Annabelle. She agrees, and gives me the XO

When I saw the XO I knew it was on. I kissed her on the cheek. That’s still the friend zone. But you can cross over. If a girl throws you an XO in an early text, you’re in boys.

I wasn’t sure, but I sure felt the euphoria of Annabelle. It had nothing to do with her, but at that point, neither of us knew that.

She wanted her dad, and I just wanted to be loved by pretty girls when I was thirteen. So here we are, and we’ll have to see what happens.

 

 

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

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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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Michelle – 2007 to Present – Epilogue

“Every man dies. Not every man lives.” – HCW

Michelle and I have kept in touch since she moved to San Francisco to live with Dave. She found a good job and has even been promoted. She’s doing really well in her career. It seems pretty fast paced so she’s a busy lady. I met Michelle when she was 27. She is now 37 years old. We’ve known each other for over a decade now, but somehow it seems a lot longer. I suppose having a rich history together helps.

Michelle and Dave have lived out in San Fran for over three years now. They finally got married in 2016. He still works at the same job, and like I said she’s killing it in her job. We keep in touch through texting and sometimes use face time on our phones. Our friendship has transcended time and space.

They have no children yet, and I don’t know what their plan is in that department. We all know that the deal breaker between Michelle and I was that I didn’t want marriage and kids so she was out. I’m sure like every white couple in their thirties that have known each other for 20 years, they’re “trying.”

I never understand that about people. If you really want kids, throw the switch and make it happen. It’ll all work out. It’s easy. You can’t build a computer in an elevator but you can make a kid! Just get on with it! That’s what you wanted. The American Dream.

I did it and it worked out and I didn’t even want it. I love my Lorelei. She is a shaft of golden light through the darkness of my marriage and my life.

The housing market in San Francisco is some of the most expensive property in the country. Although Michelle and Dave are doing well, they are slowly being priced out of the market due to rising real estate prices and gentrification. So they may have to return to the east coast in the next year or so.

So there’s that little twist to the story. (Stop it. Not going to anything.)

Since she moved out West, Michelle has had to hide her friendship with me from Dave. He wouldn’t approve. I get it. Would I want my wife talking to her ex-boyfriend? Probably not. I’m pretty secure in myself though. It’s not like I’m talking to her to get her back. That’s simply not the case. Michelle and I have been friends longer than we were ever lovers. Our romantic relationship only lasted about two and a half years, but our friendship has lasted ten years! So in reality, she’s just keeping in touch with her friend back in Philly. She does that with all of her other friends back here so I’m just one of them. But I’m sure Dave wouldn’t see it like that, so she keeps me a secret. Dave thinks I’m ancient history for over five years now. (I still love that my pimp hand is strong nationwide. Kidding!)

Michelle lives a pretty clean and healthy life out there in the land of fruits and nuts. But whenever Dave has to go out-of-town she is usually drinking wine, smoking cigarettes and face timing with me. It’s like the kids in catholic school when I was growing up. They are held down so strictly, and when they’d got loose, they’d go crazy. Sometimes I think it’s that way for Michelle. But in the long run, living a healthier life will extend her life and she’ll feel better, and think more clearly. But not being able to be who you really are can create some long-term problems. But people are very adaptable. People evolve and change. A healthy clean life for Michelle may be her simply growing up.

I really believe that.

I’ve gotten the advice from some of my friends that what we’re doing is wrong. But based on what I know about those friends lives, I’d never listen to what they think I should do. They’ve made plenty of bad choices, and I’ll do what I want. It ends when Michelle says so, and not before. She’s the boss of that. No one knows what my life is, or was with Michelle and neither do you.

That belongs to us, and only us.

Michelle makes the final call on us and nobody else.

She’s been back to Philly a few times since she moved out west. Normally she swings by the city around the holidays. In 2014 she was around one evening. It was a lovely but bittersweet encounter. She was overcome with emotion. She had been spending the afternoon with several of her old friends, and I was the last stop. (Deal with it) We went to 1 Tippling Place for a drink before stopping at Crow and the Pitcher for another. She was supposed to go to her friend Gloria’s house and sleep over and then they were to have breakfast, but it didn’t quite play out that way.

She ended up sleeping on my sofa. Nothing happened, but she was pretty hung over the next morning. She got up and took an UBER down to Gloria’s the next morning for breakfast. Gloria was a little miffed, but Michelle’s time was limited. I later met up with her at 30th Street Station. She was going to take the train down to Delaware to see what I’m assuming was her family. She was a nervous wreck. So we sat at the Bridgewater Cafe and threw back a few chardonnays to take the edge off.

I put her on the train and off she went.

In 2015 she visited again around the holidays. She was unsure what time she’d be in the city. I was at McGlinchey’s drinking with Johnny R. She rolled in at one point and we all sat at a table by the door. It was nice. Johnny and I took turns playing songs on the jukebox, and we were all drinking and smoking cigarettes. It was just like old times. I played “Fly Me To The Moon,” and Michelle and I got up and danced in the aisle next to the bar. (Which was a sweet moment I get to wrap myself up in like a warm blanket.) Here we are in the shittiest bar in Philly and we bring the elegance and power just like always.

That was a glorious moment with my love.

Later, Johnny left and I walked down Chestnut Street towards 17th with Michelle. I think she told her people she was staying at her friend Susan’s house. But in reality she had booked a room at the Club Quarters. We took her bags up to the room. She was supposed to meet Susan for dinner, and said if I was around later we could meet up for a drink.

I went to Wawa and got a sandwich. I was starving, because eating anything from McGlinchey’s is always a health risk. I went back to my office at One Penn Center on JFK Boulevard and ate my sandwich and drank some box wine I kept there. (Cheap ass, but Mad Men style!)

She texted me about and hour and a half later. I met her at Club Quarters. She wanted to get a cocktail somewhere. We stopped in AKitchen on 18th Street. We chatted and enjoyed our drinks, just like we always did. Stories were told, memories refreshed, and cigarettes smoked. She said she should probably go back to her room. I walked her to the entrance of the hotel.

“Wanna come up?”

God Damn it.

So I ended up sleeping over that night. There was some playful moments, but I don’t think Michelle knew what she wanted that night. I probably should have gone home. We had planned on meeting for breakfast the next morning. But when the new day dawned she just wanted to go back to her family. She was feeling guilty about spending too much time with me again. So I guess I was dining alone that day.

I walked her to the parking garage and we went to her car. She pulled out of the lot and I got out. We said our goodbyes and I told her not to worry, and that nothing had happened. Just like I always do.

But nothing really happened.

Once again, my former queen disappeared into the morning light.

I ended up dining alone at Rachael’s alone. (Breakfast is always cheap and glorious despite your circumstances)

I have seen Michelle again since then, but for now, I will stop here. I have already written a chapter about that encounter. It’s connected to another series that will come out at a later date. (2018!) Don’t worry, it’s solid, and I have some more ideas for some future bonus Michelle posts.

Should I have married her? Maybe. My sisters love her, and so does my brother-in-law for all of the wrong reasons. (lol) But we wanted different things back then. I certainly don’t want any more children, and marriage hasn’t worked for me.  My only marriage resulted in a bitter divorce that cost me over $100,000 in child support.

Lorelei is plenty. I love her so.

Michelle and I came together like two taxis on Broad street in a glorious crash. Nobody was killed and everybody fell in love.

I loved her, but I couldn’t do any more children. If I ever get married again and I fuck the next one up, my social security checks go to the next ex-wife. I can’t risk that financial ruin again in this lifetime.

What is marriage anyway? A dice roll. A legal binding contract between two people where if you split up you could lose half your shit?

We’re not that.

We were never that.

Our love goes far beyond the trappings of traditional marriage.

So I’ll leave it at that. An elegant moment in history.

 

I believe in having a good sense of humor. People tell me I’m funny, and I have even done stand up. If you ask a woman what she wants in a man, one of the things will always be, “good sense of humor.”

I know some hilarious guys who are alone. Most women don’t want that. That’s just something they read somewhere, or a lie they’ve been told. But I really believe in the power of laughter. So although this has been a long and sometimes difficult tome to write, I will leave you on a humorous note.

I’ve laughed and cried writing it, and I like laughing better. So I’ll do the funny bit, then close with something from the heart. I’m going to start with something I have never told anyone.

Not even Michelle.

Then I’m going to tell you something Michelle told me a couple of years ago.

 

My Truth

If you go back to the first chapter of Michelle, you’ll read how I describe her as this beautiful, tall goddess. I’m the loser scuttling along behind her down the hallway in my cheap ass squeaky shoes. Michelle is a former print and runway model and National Champion Swimmer. She stands at 5’11”. In heels she is 6’3″.

Yea… That is a Sexy Baby.

Our hero on the other hand, is only 5’9″. Which isn’t bad. Like my mother used to say, “We’re average.”

Do I mind my height? Absolutely not. Every guy would like to be tall. At least 6 foot. But I have been perfectly happy with my size in regard to every part of my anatomy. No one has ever complained.

“It’s not the music, it’s how you play it”.

But, when I started spending more time with Michelle, especially at work, in the field or at a bar, she would be in heels. Our height differential became glaringly apparent to me. So I went online. I think the company is overseas. It’s called Tall Man Shoes. I ordered two different styles of dress shoes from them. The shoes are constructed in such a way, that it looks like a normal men’s dress shoe, but inside is a lift.

If you look at them carefully, the heel is slightly higher. But not enough to notice and the back of the shoe is higher and longer vertically. So those shoes gave me another two inches in height. No one ever knew. I just appeared that height. I wore them all of the time and even got a pair of casual shoes. They were quality made shoes and lasted a long time. I nearly twisted my ankle half a dozen times in those damn things.

One time, I actually went off a curb sideways wearing those shoes and really hurt my left foot. I couldn’t walk on it for a day or two and had to call out of work. I called Michelle to get me booze because I was crippled by my shoes and she didn’t want to help me because she was too busy!

But I never told her!

I think I stopped wearing them after that.

Funny thing is, the next girl I started dating after Michelle was six feet tall! Yep, I was back wearing the fucking high heels! (Annabelle!)

 

Michelle’s Truth

She told me she faked ALL of her orgasms with me.

Yea…

Every one of them.

All fake.

You would think that would wound my manhood.

The flaccid, cold fact that I was unable to please my most beloved woman when I made love to her.

But it doesn’t.

You know why?

BECAUSE I NEVER FAKED ANY OF MY ORGASMS!

 

Now, as promised…a heartfelt note.

 

Dear Philadelphia,

Thank you for everything. I am proof that here in the City of Brotherly Love, your dreams can come true. Life is what you make it.  Michelle is proof of that. Today your life could be an elegant dream. Tomorrow a nightmare. Be thankful for what you have. We all make choices, that’s part of growing up. Happiness cannot exist without sadness.

I have been very lucky. Michelle has moved forward with her life without me. Here I am dating women and going nowhere with any of them.

But I know why I am where I am.

Even my daughter Lorelei will leave me to fly on new wings like Michelle. For different reasons, but it’s all just a matter of time.

She’ll be gone too.

I don’t know if Michelle was the love of my life, but it sure felt like it.

But my life isn’t over yet.

Love,

Phicklephilly

 

These fifteen chapters of our greatest hits has been a love letter to you. The series has run from Hallowen 2016 right up to your birthday this Memorial Day Weekend when we first went to NYC and consummated our love back in 2008, Michelle.

Happy Birthday!

Thank you for loving me and being in my life. You always said I was prosperous. I know you were a big part of that. 

 

 

Role Credits…..

Special thanks to everyone who supported the story and read it every week and followed me on this amazing journey. Thanks to the real Michelle for reading it and helping me remember all of our wonderful times together. Thank you friends, family and WordPress followers. I love you and all of your comments and support.

(Yea, My sisters read this blog and it’s horrible. Really?)

I write this with tears in my eyes.

My late father once said: “Every man dies, but not every man lives.”

I have truly lived and loved.

I am proud to have had the honor to dance with you Michelle in my livingroom and terrorize this town on a daily basis with you back in the day.

I’ll never forget it.

I will continue my journey through this life. I’m glad you’re all along for the ride.

Life is fleeting and fragile.

Enjoy yourself!

Fin

 

 

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

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