Rebecca – 2016 to Present -Ghost Girl

“I really want to kiss you.”

“So kiss me.” I leaned in our lips brushed lightly. It wasn’t an overly passionate kiss. Instead, it was a tender, eager one. All too soon, it was over.

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I’ve been on a lot of dates. But I always wanted one of those dates you see in movies where everything just kind of comes together naturally and provides an amazing time for the couple. I’ll never forget the first time it finally happened for me. (At least in my opinion)

To be honest, I was part of the reason I never had that movie moment date before. Okay, so I was all of the reason. I over planned before dates and way over analyzed after. I thought about my dates so much that they could never seem spontaneous or natural. True, I occasionally had a few moments during a date, but never the whole date. This was probably due to my anxiety.

Perhaps the reason this particular date went so well is that I didn’t have time to plan, much less over plan. It had been awhile since I’d seen Rebecca. We’re both so busy. I was just happy she agreed to meet up with me again. I barely had time to run home and change. I did of course. And brushed my teeth, and put on extra deodorant, and made sure my hair looked decent, and spent a few minutes repeating, “You’ll be fine,” at the face in the mirror. My reflection seemed unconvinced.

I made it to her restaurant just before it closed. Although she has a great job she’s one of those people that always keep one hand back in their old life. I know another girl that does this. Rebecca works one dinner shift a week at a local restaurant. I think it’s cool. It’s like me with the real day job and working at the tanning salon nights and weekends.

I went inside and tried to ignore her ex-boyfriend who was a cook and who clearly did not try to ignore me at all. I shifted on my feet uncomfortably and attempted small talk with the hostess. She wouldn’t stop smiling and told me how happy she was that I was about to take her friend out. It just added to the pressure and my nervousness. I just have strong feelings for Rebecca. There’s just that “something” about her.

Finally, my date walked out. She wore a brown leather jacket over her uniform. She looked tired from her shift. There was a grease stain on her collar and some other food stain on the front of her blouse. She was breathtaking.

Not her usual, sheer stockings and pumps.

She looked at her feet as she walked over. She looked up at me. Her eyes seemed larger than normal, but no too big for her slender face. They were wide open, eager. My heart beat quickly.

“Hey,” she said.

“Hey,” I managed, “Ready to go?”

“Sure. What are we going to do?”

My heart beat even faster in panic. I had no idea what we were going to do. (This is really out of character for me. I am a Master dating expert!)  I had been so busy preparing for our date that I never got around to planning it. I had nothing to offer. I thought I managed to destroy our date before it even started.

I went for the change up. (What it is about this girl?)

“Uh, whatever you want to do,” I said,thinking it would at least buy me a little time.

“Really?” she asked, “What I want to do?” Her eyes widened (which didn’t seem possible) and she looked at me differently. She seemed to express amazement, but that confused me.

“Yeah,” I said, “What you want.”

The edges of her eyes glistened like a perfectly still pool under a waning moon. I worried that I upset her, but she spoke a moment later.

Wow,” she whispered. “Can I think about it for a minute?”

“Of course,” I said. We walked outside into the chilly air. I hustled in front of her as we approached a taxi. I grabbed the handle of the passenger door and opened it for her.

“Are you opening the door for me?”

“Yeah.”

“Why?”

“Uh, it’s just what I do.”

She didn’t say anything, but I think she mouthed “wow” again.

She got in and I shut the door behind her. I smiled to myself.

I got in,  “So, know what you want to do?”

“Yes. I want to do something fun, but I want to go somewhere we can talk.”

In a moment of inspiration I asked, “Do you like pool?”

“Yes.”

“Then I know just the place.”

We took off down Chestnut street. We talked a bit in the cab, but the conversation kept faltering because we were both nervous.

“What’s this?” she asked me as we pulled in the parking lot of Zelner’s Putt & Play.

“It’s an indoor miniature golf course,” I explained, “And it has pool tables.”

“But it’s closed.”

“I friend works here. I have a key.”

I unlocked the doors and secured them behind us. She looked a little nervous about the locked doors.

“Do you want to do something else?” I asked, concerned.

“No, sorry, this is fine.”

We went to the pool table and I put in two quarters. Neither of us played very well. The game ended when I sunk the eight ball (yes, I know I should have let her win, but I’m a little too competitive).

I reached in my pocket for more quarters when she asked, “Can we just sit and talk?”

“Of course.”

We walked over to the stairs. We sat down and talked. For two hours. Somewhere in the middle of the conversation she looked down and twisted her feet. She cocked her head and bit her lip.

“What?” I asked.

“Can I ask you something?”

“Sure.” I must have been smitten because I normally would have said, “You just did.”

“Why did you ask me out?”

“Seriously? I thought you were beautiful the moment I saw you. When I got to know you a little bit, I found out how nice you are. I would’ve asked you out sooner if you hadn’t been in a relationship.”

Her face darkened for the slightest moment, but then her mouth spread in a grin and she laughed. I never heard such laughter before and the music of it filled the empty room.

“You think I’m beautiful?” She looked at me a moment and then scrunched her eyebrows. “What is it? Are you laughing at me?” She misinterpreted my grin.

“Well, it’s just that I realized I want to do whatever it takes to see you smile and laugh again.”

“Why?”

“Because you’re even more beautiful when you smile.”

She looked down at the floor, but kept on smiling.

“I’m beautiful,” she repeated.

We talked a while longer until she had to get home.

“I don’t want to go,” she said.

“I don’t want you to.”

I took her home and we stood on the stoop in front of her house. The night was quite cold by then, but I felt warm. We stood and talked far longer than we should.

She caught me off guard when she said, “Did you know your eyes are beautiful?”

“It’s because they’re looking at you.” (Yes, I quoted Jermaine Jackson. Sue me.)

She looked down again, which she had done all night, but this time it wasn’t for as long. She leaned up a little and said, “I really want to kiss you.”

“So kiss me.” I leaned in our lips brushed lightly. It wasn’t an overly passionate kiss. Instead, it was a tender, eager one. All too soon, it was over.

“I really need to go inside,” she said.

“I know.” She turned to open her door and I continued,  “I think this is the best date I’ve ever been on.” It was certainly the least expensive. (You all know I love that)

“I know it’s the best one I’ve ever had.”

It was my turn to say, “Wow.”

“Goodnight.” she said as she gave me a quick peck on the lips.

“Yes, it was.”

“Call me tomorrow.”

“I will.”

I stood for a moment after she went inside. I smiled in the moonlight as I walked to my awaiting UBER. As I rode home, I put my fingers against my lips and smiled more. It was a great date. It was perfect.

I couldn’t wait to talk to her in the morning. I couldn’t wait to ask her out again. I couldn’t wait until our next date. I’m glad I didn’t know that night, that perfect night, would be the last date we ever went on. I’m glad I had that moment to sigh and remember one perfect date without knowing there would not be another one with her.

We can all talk about this later, but soon you’ll find out why.

 

 

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 – 7/5/13 to 4/17/14 – Epilogue

“’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” – Alfred Lord Tennyson

It was about 6 months later until I saw her again. I was working for a local publication, and my boss asked if I’d check on their booth at an event in University City. It was on a Saturday in the spring of 2015. They would normally have a booth set up at some sponsored events, and they’d have a couple of interns man it.

Since I was new no one would recognize me there, so I could see that the magazines were displayed and the swag was out, and that the interns were doing their jobs.

I met with my friend Carla for a few drinks that evening at The Continental bar in midtown. Now that I think about it, I had spent the day with Kylie, (See: Kylie – Broken Wing) and had to ditch her to go meet up with my good friend Carla.

We had a couple of drinks and wound up chatting with a couple of gals we would meet up with later. After about an hour we hopped in an UBER and headed out to University City. We got there and when you live in Rittenhouse in center city, going out to University City is like going to a different planet.

I was expecting a straight up festival, with beer and food, but all that was out there was a bunch of families, a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cart and a big stage set up. Oh, and our little booth off to the side.

Carla and I were clearly disappointed. We thought we’d be chugging free drinks and stuffing our heads with chow. We go over to the booth and check it out. I chat with the interns and everything seems to be in order.

The show starts and it’s some sort of musical number.

“Carla. I need to get out of here now.”

“This thing sucks. I agree. But it seems like something’s bothering you.”

“See that girl right there? The one on the left in the show.”

“Yea.”

“That’s Annabelle. My ex-girlfriend.”

“Oh the girl who was standing over there before, staring at you since the minute you got here?”

“She was?”

“I didn’t even see her. How did you…?

“Women can sense these things.”

“Let’s go.”

The next time was  a month or so later when I went to a beer garden that was my account at the publication. They invited me down to their place of business for some free drinks. I can’t pass that up.

So I get there and have a few drinks at the bar, and who the hell comes out to entertain everybody?

Yep. Same musical troupe, and there’s Annabelle. I watched the show a little bit, but it was so awful, I had to get out of there. Their stuff is so silly it’s absurd. I think the only reason the troupe exists is so the lead guy can run around in public in a fucking dress.

It was killing me to see her and I needed closure. I texted her and said I wanted to meet up and chat. We set it up and I met her at a bar in Northern Liberties. (Which I hate)

I had one before she arrived. She gets there and we go to a table and sit down. She orders a drink and said her stomach has been bothering her. She says it’s from all of the junk food she’s been eating down at the beer garden where her troupe has been performing all month. I think she’s full of shit. She always pulls health issues or headaches to get out of stuff.

I begin to recount all of the stuff she did after she broke up with me, and how much it hurt me, and how adults don’t do that to each other. I told her how much that hurt me for months, having her rip open the sutures that were trying to heal in my wounded heart.

She said she was sorry she hurt me, but really didn’t show any real emotion. I believe simply because she isn’t capable of it. When you don’t know who you are, where you’re going, or what you want in life, how can you possibly know what anyone else around you is feeling? Annabelle only sees what she wants. She hasn’t a clue that her selfish actions can really hurt a person that is close with her.

She told me that she had moved, and was going to buy some shitty house but her parents told her they didn’t want her living in that neighborhood, so they bought her a nice house in a better part of town. I suppose since they’re rich and she’s the only one of their kids that’s a financial failure, they felt they had to step in. So she lives on the first floor, she has taken in a roommate who lives on the 2nd floor and uses the basement for her photography stuff.

She has the roommate because she obviously can’t afford the mortgage. Who has roommates in their thirties?

“I don’t really have to work that hard anymore or make a lot of money. Because I don’t have the bills I used to have.”

(Yea, because your parents bought you a fucking house.)

She left after the one drink and I walked her outside and she got on her bike.

“You’ll have to see my house.” she said as she rode off.

No thanks, I thought to myself.

Well, so much for closure.

Her apology was hollow.

About a year later this woman I know who works in the arts hit me up at the publication I worked for at the time. Trixie wanted some love from our magazine to promote a little art performance she had written. I asked her if there was any budget to advertise and of course she said no. These “artists” never have two shillings to rub together.

So I talk to my editor and since we support the arts, she said she’d be happy to write a little piece about it and put it in our events calendar.

I called Trixie and told her that the piece would run for the two weeks before the event. So it would be in our magazine twice. She was very happy and thanked me for the free support/advertising.

So on opening night of the show I decided to check out what I had promoted for the last two weeks. I like Trixie and I decided to take my good friend, Carly (See: Carly – 2013 to Present – The Mad Baker)

Carly always comes through for me in the clutch. She’s one of my favorite people in Philadelphia.

We plowed some vodka before the show in case it sucked. We hop in an UBER and head down to the show. We get there. It’s some little installation in South Philly. We go in and there are only maybe between and 20 or 30 people there. We grab a pair of wines (Box wine!) and head into the show.

It starts with some woman doing some sort of weird slow dance on the floor. I don’t get it. Then they have us all head upstairs for the 2nd part of the “performance.”

I have the sudden realization that it is a two woman show starring Trixie and of all the fucking people on the Earth… Annabelle.

I’m an artist. I’ve been an artist my whole life. Started drawing as a child. Art major in school. Won art shows, and drew comics. I have sold my art work and even had it stolen. So my shit must have been good. I taught myself how to play guitar. I started out as a singer in the choir and then a lead singer in my first band. Then guitarist in my 2nd and 3rd bands. Philly, Jersey and LA. I’m a writer and a huge film guy. I love all kinds of music from Sinatra to Slayer and everything in between. I love the ballet, the orchestra, the arts in general. So I have a pretty good idea what is good art and what is absolute shit.

What I witnessed that evening may as well have fallen out of a dog’s ass and hit the pavement in a steaming pile of awfulness.

It didn’t make sense. It was poorly written. Horribly acted. Trixie has a great ass though. That’s all I can say. She looked hot. Annabelle was like a scientist in the beginning and then changed into a bird of some kind. It made no sense at all. Annabelle literally wrapped in saran wrap with feathers covering her sort of non nipples and hippie bush. It was a revolting mess.

I’m grateful that I had the lovely opportunity of plying myself with alcohol before the “show.” (more like, abortion)

After that massacre, Annabelle came right up to us and I told her it was really good. It was either that or just simply throw up on her in disgust.

I introduced her to Carly and I’m sure she thought Carly was my main squeeze. Oh, by the way, Carly looked amazing. Black Versace cocktail dress, black sheer hose and black pumps. She looked smoking hot.

Annabelle told us she was going to have to get out of the polyurethane feather nightmare that she was wearing and would chat some more. We told her great job and we’d be downstairs sipping free boxed wine.

We went downstairs and grabbed more wine and went outside to smoke.

“What do we do?”

It was starting to rain.

“We get the fuck out of here. Trixie ambushed you and got free advertising for her shitty show that no one went to see. We’re going.”

I hit the UBER app and we were back in Rittenhouse in 15 minutes.

This is an entirely different epilogue that Michelle’s (See: Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day) This is all I have to wrap up the tattered mess that was my short nine month relationship with Annabelle.

In hindsight, should I have ever gotten involved with Annabelle? No. She was too young, and too naive about herself or even the world. It was an absolute mismatch. I once made a list when it was over of all of the thing I liked and didn’t like about Annabelle.

On the GOOD list there were only 3 things. Youth, sex, and nice to be with when we were together just doing things. (ie: dates, museums, dinners, etc.)

Just think. Two of the 3 things she almost had no control over.

The BAD list had over 15 things that I didn’t like about her on it. That my friend, is a strong indicator that it was an absolute mismatch and maybe she was just with me due to her distant daddy issues and I was a novelty to her. A new toy. The latest shiny thing that had attracted her attention like a squirrel.

I remember she told me she once slept walked and went into the bathroom and cut her bangs off. When I met her that second time at that shitty bar where she worked I thought her hair looked a little weird. She had to go to a hairdresser to try to fix that mess. I think it may have something to do with stress.

One time she slept walked and got scissors and cut up a dress that she was supposed to wear to some event for her sister. This chick has real issues or maybe even a real mental disorder. When I look at my relationship with her now, I can’t even believe I stuck around as long as I did. I should have cut her loose way earlier than when it ended. I should have seen the crazy. But you know, I did. I just put up with it because I loved her.

I didn’t love her. That just sounds nice. That’s why people put up with shit. No. People put up with shit because their minds are clouded with society’s norms. If you can take a step back, (Most men can’t. Actually most people can’t) you’d see that you’re in a relationship with someone who is absolutely not right for you. I know some idiots that are doing this right now!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bitter. But you can think about your mistakes with people. You can talk to your friends and family about your mistakes, but when you take the time to actually WRITE them down, you see the truth. The truth “that your own rod licks you the hardest.”

My mother used to say that, and it’s so true. Think of all the fucked up shit that has happened to you in your life. The bad stuff. You did that. You were probably the architect of that madness. You made that. You at least helped. You brought that nightmare into your life.

It’s okay. I’m not here to hurt anybody. I just want you to think. “Doing the same thing over and over and thinking you’re going to get a different result is madness.”

I’ve done that. We all have. I have to evolve up and out from this relationship. I will. I will never get mixed up aith a girl like Annabelle ever again. I’d rather die alone than go through something like that with such a mixed up emotionally bankrupt, lost soul like Annabelle.

You gotta cut your losses and go.

Everybody’s different and we all go through our own shit in our own way. You can tell your friend that he should leave his cheating wife who hasn’t fucked him in two years but he has to exit that burning building in his own way. All the while wasting years of living he should be enjoying and not going to fucking meetings and therapists.

Drop the clutch and GO!

It’s like telling someone they should get in better shape.

You try to change your own mind and body.

That shit’s hard. How are you going to change another person?

You can’t. They have to do it their own way in their own time.

Anyway. No more artists or failed actresses. I just can’t.

Annabelle was texting after the show and thanking me profusely for my support. Sadly, she seemed so scared and unsure of herself. I guess now that I was standing outside the gates of Annabelle Asylum, I had a different perspective. I could see clearly she was just another lost soul of the arts community here in our fair city

I had some great dinners and some decent sex with her so there’s that. But I would erase it all if I could have the opportunity to never have met Annabelle. But I’m wrong in my thinking. I had to meet her. I had to experience this so I could learn more about myself. I’m still on the journey to find real and genuine love in this city.

But now based on these experiences I’ve had I now have a clearer idea of what that should look like. I have learned much.

And for that I am grateful and I continue to evolve and grow as a man.

That show was the last time I ever saw Annabelle.

But last year on my birthday, she messaged me on Facebook.

“Happy Birthday, Charles, I hope your life is going well.”

I waited a day and thanked her and wished her a happy birthday too. (Hers is July and mine is August 9, both Leos)

 

That was the last I ever spoke to her. I’ve never seen or heard from her again. (Thank goodness!)

 

Will I ever find a girl who is a good match for me in this city that will stick around?

 

My heart is always open, and we’ll have to see what happens. Thanks to you all of my readers. We’ll get there together!

 

 

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 – NYC – Chapter 11

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

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.

 

 

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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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