Cherie – Chapter 1 – Love At First Swipe

“She has youth and beauty, and as I’m finding out about myself, I’m bored with anything else. She fits the criteria. Young. Attractive. Slender. She seems intelligent. Articulate. Good communication skills for the most part. Likes scary movies and thrillers. Getting her education. Works two jobs. What could go wrong?”

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I was literally about to begin writing this, and I just got a text from Cherie, so I hope that means something. I’ve responded back with “You must be psychic! I was just thinking about you.” (I was thinking about her because I was just about to write the first half of this very chapter.)

We swiped right on each other on Tinder. Cherie is a 26-year-old attractive, fit, black woman whose zodiac sign is Scorpio. When we first connected I sent her a simple, hello. She got back to me and said she was doing well, but she sitting in a boring class. She’s apparently studying developmental neuroscience. Once the small talk and pleasantries were dismissed, I asked her my standard question. “What prompted you to swipe right on my profile?”

She expressed that she liked the things I wrote in my bio. She said she likes to laugh and dine out, and like me, she’s a good listener. That’s pretty standard fare so far. Everybody likes to laugh and go out to dinner.

I truly hope that she’s a good listener, because I like to talk.

Then she asked me the same question. I told her that she seemed like an intelligent person who wanted to do big things. I really just read her brief profile about her being a neuroscience and psychology major, that had high dreams and aspirations, and spun it back to her in my own words.

I’ve heard from several of the women I’ve spoken to on Tinder that many times when they connect with someone, there is this long period of texting. Sometimes it doesn’t materialize into anything. Since I’ve operated in the real world my whole life, I like to establish things soon, and try to get a meeting. Sound like I’m in sales? I am. Depending on the client you always want to close as soon as possible. Keeps your numbers up and your pipeline full. So I move right in and ask her if she’s like to meet up for a drink sometime.

She thanks me for the compliment and agrees she has big dreams. (I know, I read it on your profile.) She says that having a drink with me sounds like a great idea. That was fast. My next response was positive affirmation and my cell number. She says she’ll send me a text.

Now, that looks like it happened very quickly but it actually didn’t. I was living my life all day, and she was probably in and out of classes and whatever else. That brief and pointed exchange began at 9:45am and ended at 3:30pm. Five and a half hours later! Now I just had to wait to see if she was going to text me.

Within moments she did. We continued our conversation off Tinder. She went on to tell me that she works as a medical assistant at a hospital, and also works at a pediatric office! 2 jobs and school? Wow! I tell her briefly my stuff, and she goes on to say that she loves her jobs because she gets to help people, but they can be stressful. I then hit her with how I get my energy from people and enjoy bringing people together personally and professionally. She likes that, and reveals that she’s a shy person at first but then she opens up after a bit.

I try to get her out for a Wednesday night drink.

I don’t hear from her for the rest of the day. She finally gets back to me and apologizes for the silence. She had a very long day with school and work. She re-affirms that she’d like to meet me for a drink, but she works late on Wednesdays but the weekend is probably better. I tell her I’m free Saturday. She’s available in the afternoon. I lock it down for 2pm Saturday. I tell her I’ll pick the spot. She thinks that sounds great.

That was early in the week. A lot can happen in 5 days. So I ping her Wednesday just to keep the current going. We participate in some light banter about the weather and our days events.

I ask another one of my standards: “What do you like to do when you’re not working or studying?” She likes movies, dining out and dancing, etc. I tell her I’m a former musician and not much of a dancer, but love movies and dining out too. I want to know what kind of movies she likes because that would be a splendid second date.

She likes scary movies and thrillers. I tell her I like the same. (I actually like a myriad of film genres but for this exchange, liking the same thing she likes works) I follow with “Let’s go to the movies together soon!” See what I did there?  I’m actually setting up a second date with a woman I haven’t even met for the first time yet. I’m reading her responses. She’s smart. I don’t ask or suggest, I simply say: “Let’s go see a movie together soon.” She responds with, “That sounds like a great idea. Notice how she uses the word “Sounds?” She is a good listener like she said. It reminds me of a thing that my ex-girlfriend Michelle does when I talk to her. She stays attentive to what I’m saying and usually mirrors my words back to me in affirmation. I like that Cherie is doing the same thing. Michelle does that all the time. (See: Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day) I love Michelle for that. and she doesn’t even know about her gift. (Ordoes she?)

Cherie says she hasn’t seen too many commercials for scary movies lately. I tell her I’ll look into it. She responds that she thinks that’s nice. I like her manners already. I just hope that if I take her to a scary movie she doesn’t start yelling things like: “Don’t go in there!” or “Get out the house, fool!”

I’m going to go ahead and apologize to everyone reading this in advance for that last bit.

It’s getting late. As a gentle reminder, I tell her she seems really cool, and that I’m really looking forward to meeting her on Saturday.

Crickets.

But at 7:30 the next morning I get a mirrored response. “Good Morning. Thanks you seem cool as well. I’m looking forward to meeting you.” I simply respond with a smiley face. Which brings us back to tonight when I began this chapter. As I finish this part she has responded. “Lol, I highly doubt I’m psychic but thanks. It’s a busy but productive day as well.”

The date is supposed to happen on Saturday. We’re supposed to meet for a drink. It’s Thursday and there is some small talk texts leading up to it. I want to keep the embers glowing until we meet. We chat about our days, and what shows we’re watching. I ask her if she is a beer, wine or a cocktail girl. This way I can gauge where we should meet. She says she’s a beer girl. Then she says she doesn’t really like alcohol and then says: “What about you?” I tell her I enjoy an occasional drink socially. (A bold-faced lie) I ask her if she’d rather meet for brunch instead of a drink on Saturday.

She chooses brunch. I ask her if she has any dietary concerns. She says no, but she is a really unhealthy but picky eater, and thanks me for asking and do I have any. I tell her I can eat anything. So I ask her if she has any preferences. She loves seafood and breakfast food. That sounds perfectly fine to me. I thought of several places I could take her, but went with my go to: Square 1682. The staff knows me. The food’s great, and the service is on point. She can have seafood or breakfast food and so can I.

Friday I text her a “Happy Friday” meme around 5pm. I tell her I look forward to meeting her at Square 1682 for brunch Saturday at 2pm.

She replies: “Where is that at?” I wanted to reply: “I keep forgetting that I am the only one on Earth with iPhone technology because I came from the future, and I also don’t end my sentences with prepositions!” Of course I don’t.

But I do say: “Here, let me google that for you.” And send her a screenshot of Square 1682’s webpage from my phone. She thanks me like nothing happened, because to her, technically nothing did. She closes with: “I’m looking forward to meeting you too.” (Redeemed)

So far just texting her, I like this chick. I’m really looking forward to meeting her Saturday. She seems really sweet. I just pray that she isn’t just meeting with me for free food and drinks. I mean, that could happen. It’s happened before. She is a student. But she has youth and beauty, and as I’m finding out about myself, I’m bored with anything else. She fits the criteria. Young. Attractive. Slender. She seems intelligent. Articulate. Good communication skills for the most part. Likes scary movies and thrillers. Getting her education. Works two jobs. What could go wrong?

 

 

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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Tales of Rock – Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and a Joint

During the event it was reported that Epstein said “I’m so high I’m on the ceiling. I’m up on the ceiling.”

In late August of 1964, The Beatles started their first official U.S. tour. The group began at Cow Palace in San Francisco and finished at the Paramount Theatre in New York. On August 28-29 The Beatles played at Forest Hills Stadium in New York and were befriended by Bob Dylan. The two parties were introduced by the writer Al Aronowitz at New York’s Delmonico Hotel.

After a brief chat with The Beatles, Bob Dylan asked John, Paul, Ringo, George, and Brian Epstein if they wanted to smoke a joint. Epstein looked apprehensive and said that the band hadn’t tried marijuana for years. Dylan was immediately surprised because he had been under the impression that they smoked weed because of the song I Want to Hold Your Hand. He mistook the lyrics “I can’t hide” with “I get high.”

The Beatles were never one to back down from a new experience and agreed. Lennon took the joint and passed it to Ringo whom he called his “royal taster.” Ringo smoked the entire thing, not knowing the tradition of sharing the joint between people. In response, Dylan rolled a joint for each of The Beatles and they smoked. During the event it was reported that Epstein said “I’m so high I’m on the ceiling. I’m up on the ceiling.” McCartney got more philosophical and asked Mal Evans to write down everything he was saying.

 

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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Keila – 2013 to 2017 – Fleas, Ticks and a Series of Bad Decisions

I told Alice not to hire Keila. I just didn’t feel that she had the discipline, experience, skill set and focus to do the job at Alice’s recruiting firm.

I’ve decided to stop writing about Alice and Keila. Alice is a dear friend, but we don’t do anything interesting enough to write about. Hopefully, this will be the last time I write about Keila.

I told Alice not to hire Keila. I just didn’t feel that she had the discipline, experience, skill set and focus to do the job at Alice’s recruiting firm. She lasted about two years there. Alice felt that she would be a good match, because she was a fearless networker and had no problem meeting new people.

But Keila has severe ADD. It’s really annoying to the rest of us who can calmly focus.

I’ve decided to cut her off, because of what she’s done to Alice. My loyalty is to Alice, and I don’t even really see Keila anymore.

Then I realized something. Some of the worst women I have ever met in this city all came through Keila. Birds of a feather flock together. Keila is like this big poodle that’s crawling with fleas and ticks. Because that’s what some these people are. Here’s the list:

Carol (See: Carol – 2014 to 2016 – There’s No Fun in Dysfunction) Crazy wacko who lives with her crazy mother and can’t keep a man or a job. Mess!

Harper (See: Harper – 2014 to 2015 – Plane Crash) Just a straight up lying, fraud and a whore who uses people. Awful!

Bibi (See: Bibi – 2015 – Matinee Madness) Rude, alcoholic loser who can’t keep a job or stay out of rehab.

Brooke (See: Brooke – 2015 to Present – Legs for Days) Okay this one came through Keila but I like her. She doesn’t see Keila anymore.

And many more whack job people along the way.

I’ve cut off all of these people (Except Brooke) and what I’ve needed to do all along was to cut off the head of this two legged dragon. So that’s what I’ve done. I’m done with Keila. She has these networking events and all of these desperate women and nutjobs go to thesee events. She always introduces them as “her new frends” but they’re not her friends. They’re normally desperate souls that attach themselves to her temporarily but after she gets what she wants from them she’s on to the next shiny object that’s her current distraction.

So after what Keila pulled on my friend Alice, I’m done with this one.

There’s some other people I need to slowly faze out as well. There not as godawful as Harper and Carol, but it’s time to start thinning the heard.

Live and learn baby. Step over the detritus in your life and move on.

Stay tuned!

 

 

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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Sun Stories: Seasonal Affective Disorder and Tanning Salons

“The problem is primarily caused by the lack of sunlight. It has been scientifically proven that sunlight favors increase in serotonin levels and favors vitamin D accumulation. Besides having anti-osteoporotic, immunomodulatory, anticarcinogenic, antipsoriatic, antioxidant properties, vitamin D is also a mood-modulator.”

UV rays exposure favors vitamin D synthesis in the skin. That’s why people who go to tanning salons have noticed mood improvement and keep the habit in order to maintain the state of well-being.

Now that we’re heading into winter, we’ve had a few people come into the salon saying they want to hop in a sunbed to help combat SAD. People suffering from seasonal affective disorder report feeling better after a visit at the tanning salon for a tanning bed session.

With the arrival of the cold season, besides cold-driven nuisance, some people experience drawbacks regarding the general state, lack of energy and depression of unknown origin. It was scientifically ascertained that the lack of light favors the production of melatonin by the pineal gland, a hormone inducing sleep. That’s why, during the cold seasons when days are shorter and the sunlight is scarce, we often feel sleepy or drowsy. Also, even during spring and summer, if the tendency is to keep most of the time indoors at home or at the office, the effect may be similar, though not as severe.

Well, if drowsiness were the only impact generated by season changes, things would be easier to solve (with a little coffee maybe!). The problem is that melatonin secretion is synchronized with the production of a neurotransmitter, serotonin, which is involved in several physiological processes such as temperature, blood-pressure regulation and in neuropsychological functions such as appetite, memory and mood. The two do not work together at the same time. When melatonin is secreted, serotonin production is inhibited. Lack of serotonin causes disorders such as chronic fatigue syndrome and reflects its effects on mood also, triggering depression in some persons.

Melatonin is active at night and serotonin is active in the daytime. Also, there is the age factor that contributes to the balance of the two chemicals: the secretion of melatonin decreases with age. There has been established that the link between serotonin and melatonin along with their dependence on the body clock may explain the depression experienced by the people suffering from the disorder called Seasonal Affective Disorder – SAD. Depression, sleep problems, weight gain, anxiety, joint pain, irritability, stress, headaches are some of the symptoms that may appear when we suffer from SAD.

The problem is primarily caused by the lack of sunlight. It has been scientifically proven that sunlight favors increase in serotonin levels and favors vitamin D accumulation. Besides having anti-osteoporotic, immunomodulatory, anticarcinogenic, antipsoriatic, antioxidant properties, vitamin D is also a mood-modulator.

UV rays exposure favors vitamin D synthesis in the skin. That’s why people who go to tanning salons have noticed mood improvement and keep the habit in order to maintain the state of well-being.

Light therapy represents a way to treat SAD. Light operates on the body in two ways: through skin impact or by entering your eyes. Only UV light has effects on the skin, while the light that has effects by entering your eyes needs not be UV, it just has to be bright. Its energizing effect comes from the fact that it stimulates the production of serotonin. The simplest way to get enough bright light is to spend an hour a day or more outdoors, where the light levels range from 1,000 to 50,000 lux or more, compared to room lighting, which is about 50-200 lux.

If your schedule or the weather does not permit it, an alternative is to purchase a light therapy device. For optimum effects, the light source either has to be very bright – 5,000 lux or more – or it has to be in a particular spectrum – around 460 nanometers, which is in the blue range. According to new research, blue range light will provide benefits even if at a dimmer level. Most companies producing light bulbs make full spectrum lights that may successfully replace sunlight.

Yet, there are side effects that bright artificial light may induce, namely it may interfere with sleep (especially when exposure is made in the evening hours) or even trigger in some people a mania – condition called bipolar disorder (known as manic depression).

The safest remains the natural outdoor light, on condition that UV protection is used.

 

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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Tales of Rock – Aerosmith Not Done With Mirrors

“Jerry Garcia says that we were the druggiest bunch of guys the Grateful Dead ever saw. They were worried about us, so that gives you some idea of how fucked up and crazy we were.”

It may come as a surprise to those whose awareness of Aerosmith began with its commercial hits of the late ’80s and early ’90s, but the band was once a sleazy rock band known for its hardcore drug use—enough to shock the likes of the Grateful Dead. In a 1990 Rolling Stone article on Aerosmith profiling its clean-and-sober comeback, Steven Tyler relayed this anecdote; “Jerry Garcia says that we were the druggiest bunch of guys the Grateful Dead ever saw. They were worried about us, so that gives you some idea of how fucked up and crazy we were.”

Amusing as this might have been, it came at a cost. Sedated in the ’70s, Aerosmith was still unbeatable over a six album run, but as the ’80s dawned, its abilities sagged considerably. The band lost both its guitarists for a dismal album before reuniting for the half-baked Done With Mirrors. Like a lot of Aerosmith album titles, this had a double meaning; they were supposedly going clean. But they weren’t actually done snorting coke off mirrors or any other surface available, and it took a stint in rehab for the entire band to get Aerosmith’s commercial comeback off the ground with the ironically titled Permanent Vacation.

In the documentary The Making Of Pump, Joe Perry describes the difficulties he faced in returning to making music not high on “China White.” Speaking to Rolling Stone, however, Tyler had a different perspective: “I’m still bummed that I didn’t get all the pussy I could have had in the ’70s. We were more interested in the finer blends of cocaine from a shipment of dates that came in on the back of some camel with the stamp of a half-moon on it and the star of Lebanon, which by the way was laced with opium. We were real connoisseurs. That was much more important to me than some girl with big tits.”

It’s hard for me to imagine a more tragic commentary on potential wasted by drug addiction.

I will write more about this band in the near future. They are my favorite rock band of all time.

 

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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Phicklephilly – 24 Hours Off From Everything And My Survival

“I hear the sweet hiss of the cold bottle of ginger ale open and take a sweet sip. After you’ve been as sick as I’ve been for the last 11 hours the taste is exquisite. It is as if I’ve returned from a horrendous bloody battle in a desert of puke and shit and now I have the honor to sup ginger ale from the breasts of Aphrodite herself.

Disclosure: I know plenty of people who can’t handle anything that has to deal with bodily functions especially when it has to do with waste disposal associated with illness. My family has always referred to this as toilet humor and sadly it normally comes up at mealtime.  Like everything else here, this is a true story. I can’t make this stuff up.

You’ve been warned.

I woke up the other day like any other day. It was warm outside and I was looking forward to doing some work, and then going to visit my friend, Prova at her bar. (Prova – 2015 to Present – Glow of the Sun) I just wanted to sip a beer and have some snacks with her and my buddy Church. I’d be happy to see her lovely face and chat with them both.

I have a deadly immune system, and rarely ever get the common cold that everybody gets every year. My vessel is an inhospitable place for disease. I suppose you could call it one of my “superpowers.” Another one of my “superpowers” is having the ability of turning alcohol into regret. (But you  will read those superhero stories in other posts on this blog)

I’ve suffered with stomach disorders ever since I was a kid. It’s not a big deal. It’s just my biology. So, I wake up on a Monday, and just chill for a bit. I post a pic for Phicklephilly on Instagram to let everybody know what’s story is publishing that day.  I have a bottle of water next to the bed on the night stand. I take a few swigs from it like I do everyday.

After a bit I feel the urge that I have to go. That’s pretty normal for most people. Start your day with a movement. Hop in the shower and start your day with an empty colon. But this suddenly feels different. I have some cramping that has appeared out of nowhere. It’s as if whatever is about to happen, or whatever evil spirit that has taken up residence in my body has been awakened along with me.

I head into my bathroom and take a seat.  There is a sudden rush of diarrhea. Now this doesn’t make me panic. Because it could be just my biology that I’ve had for the last half a century, or whatever the hell I ate and drank last night at the bar. As we all know that if you mix Mexican food with beer and tequila, you realize you’ve discovered the formula for rocket fuel.

But I didn’t do that last night. I had dinner with Church (See: Church – 2012 to present –  Brand Ambassador) and 2 beers. I finish and go back to my bed for a few minutes just to contemplate the day. I’m a morning man, (ask the ladies) and I like to get up early and start my day with plenty of time to plan.

Now I’m feeling some cramping that is occurring not in my intestines but in my stomach. I feel the uneasiness of this because 30 minutes ago I felt fine.

But the beast has awakened.

I head back into the bathroom and again take a seat. Maybe I wasn’t done. Maybe it’s just middle age. But I soon realize as another rush of yellow tide bursts through the dam of my ass into the bowl, something is wrong. Very wrong.

I feel hot and cold. I’m starting to sweat. My breath comes in short gasps of ragged illness. I feel a wave of nausea wash over me. My ass is on fire. My mind is racing. Is this food poisoning?

I open the medicine cabinet and look for some sort of anti diarrheal and finally find a bottle of kaopectate. It says to take 30ml of it to stop diarrhea and make you less nauseous. Cool. I shake the bottle and crack open the crusty lid and do a good shot of it. It said it was peppermint flavored but I didn’t get that flavor in the finish.

I sit back down and more of the same foul brown water spraying from my dirt chute happens. I’m suddenly feeling worse instead of better and I look again at the bottle of kaopectate I just did a shot from. I see the expiration date… 4/2014.

Oh fuck. I just drank some 3-year-old expired shit. Oh nooooo….

With no time to stand, wipe or even turn around, I catapult off the bowl to the tub. My chest hits the cold porcelain and a Technicolor yawn gushes from my mouth like a river of evil.  I didn’t realize I had drunk so much water this morning, because my stomach should have been empty since last night. But there was more that came forth.

Everybody hates the feeling of throwing up. But the worst part is right before it happens when you don’t want it to happen.  Once it hits it’s awful because stuff is supposed to go in that orifice that tastes good or belongs to someone you love.  Not blast out in a foul-smelling geyser of filth. As it’s happening, there is the retch. That’s the trigger to open the flood gates. You have to gauge your breathing so it doesn’t go through your nose. Because once that hell train leaves the station, there’s no stopping it. So there I am on my knees with my shorts around my ankles, a foul yellow liquid running down my leg, and me blasting a second burst into the tub of all places. I’m retching and seeing the contents of my stomach pour forth. I reach to the left and grasp the cold water faucet and turn it on. I take some cold water in my hand and rub it on my face. I read once that cool water on the face calms you down. Apparently it works on everyone.

I give one last heave and I can feel that I’m done. I see these orange chunks in the mess that look like bits of carrots. I’m thinking, when the fuck did I have carrots? The I realize they are bits of sweet potato fries that I ate last night at the Wrap Shack with Church. I pull the shower control upwards and the shower comes on to wash away the dinner that I’ve have the horror of revisiting.

The cool porcelain feels good on my chest. Have you ever noticed that? That cool stone feels good against your sad sick face. I get to my feet and grab some toilet paper and wipe my soaked ass and legs. I pull my drawers up and stumble back to my bed and get under the covers. I check the time. Whenever you have a virus like this you should always check when and how often you get the Hershey squirts and when you get to drive the porcelain bus.

I am sick. I need some sort of comfort, but I can’t eat or drink anything for fear of purging it all up again. So I start watching my favorite show on Netflix on my phone in my bed. Some old episodes of Mystery Science Theater are in order. The nostalgia and laughs will get me through this.

I was back and forth to the bathroom every 20 minutes for number 2. I felt like I was a flesh water balloon that was just emptying the contents of my entire ascending, traversing, and descending colon. I couldn’t imagine where that much liquid was coming from. It was if I was just being completely emptied out.

Each time it would be as if I was an attachment to some backyard hose and the liquid would just shoot out of me like it was a giant urethra. It was if I had become a human bilge pump for a day. Just awful.

The shits intermittently happened every 20 minutes to a half hour. This went on for a few hours. Whatever the hell was in these foul anal waters was burning my ass. I mean not a burning sensation on the way out. Then it was just a rush of yellowish fluid.  but once you touched the toilet paper to your sweet star fruit, there was this searing pain that would literally make me cry out in pain. It didn’t feel like the pillow soft joy of cottonelle. It felt like someone had set some sandpaper on fire and then swabbed out my tender balloon knot with that flaming nightmare.  Wiping my nether regions was worse than the constant shitting and the throwing up combined.

I hoped I wouldn’t puke again. I had put out so much glorious regurgitation I couldn’t imagine there could be anymore. But 1:35pm rolls around and I can feel the familiar, fear and hot and cold sweats the come with the return of the puke alien. I’m in bed, and I’m like, oh fuck…not again. How can I give anymore after I’ve already painted the bowl so many times with my flaming brown mosaic.

I head back in to the bathroom. I’ve hit the bowl so many times the seat is still warm. I take a seat and let go of another hose down of the potty. While this is happening I go back to and old accupressure move I know.  If you are having stomach pains you take the index finger and the thumb and press on the web of your hand between your left index finger and thumb. It’s supposed to work and you go from one to the other. Did it work?

Without having time to even wipe, I rocket back to the tub and blast another sidewalk pizza into the tub. This one is as fierce as the first, and I can feel my stomach muscles getting pulled with the force. It’s usually the initial blast, that looks smaller that the first one I did before but there are usually three good shots in the chamber. I know I need to exorcise these demons from my soul so I go hard. It’s so awful. I again go for the cold water and just run the shower over my head. I wipe the cold water on my face and head and neck. The water washes away the filth and off of me. When that short painful ordeal is over I get to my feet once agin. I wipe my ruined anus and wince in the sheer agony as the soft paper sets my back hole into what feels now like an exit wound.

I go back to bed and set the time. I watch MST3K and stay curled up under the covers. My only comfort is the guys on the show. I’m so sick.

A few more regular trips to the bathroom and I’m hoping this ordeal will end soon. Or maybe I’ll just die and that’ll be it.

I’m counting the time between shits and pukes. It’s now 3pm and I’m thinking that maybe I won’t chunder anymore.

3:25pm. That familiar feeling. I start on the hopper and end up with my sorry head in the tub. This time it is only painful retching and a foul-smelling brownish-yellow bile that comes from my rasping gullet. This has to be the end. Please, God… no more. I get to my feet. Sandpaper on the bunghole brings tears to my eyes because the pain is so agonizing. I’m thinking am I going to die of ass cancer like my 1970’s pin-up idol Farrah Fawcett? Yea, this is how my mind works.

However, somehow I did start to feel slightly better after this bile blast.

I’m dehydrated and weak. I stumble to the kitchen and grab a bowl from the cupboard. I grab a few ice cubes from the freezer and toss them in the bowl. I head back to bed and suck one cube at a time while watching my show under the covers. I can’t take a chance with anything else.

I didn’t have to work at the salon that night, but Trish is on. (See: Trish -The She Wolf – 2012 to Present) I text her and ask her if she can bring be some ginger ale, Gatorade and some saltine crackers. I tell her I’m dying and if she doesn’t want the blood of her neighbor and co-worker on her hands she’ll do it. I’ll pay any price. She tells me she’ll be home around 8:30pm.

I watch my show. Joel, Crow, and Tom Servo carry me through my miserable plight. All I do for the next 2 and a half hours is suck ice cubes and blast ass fire into the bowl every half hour.

But 5:30pm comes and I don’t toss my cookies. It’s surpassed the 2 hour mark and that’s a good thing. The longer I can go with out becoming suddenly overcome with nausea the better. I keep sucking ice and watching my show and the clock.

I’m still spraying foul ass water into the bowl every half hour or so and my sphincter feels like it’s been cut with razor blades and doused with alcohol and salt every time I wipe, but I haven’t blown chunks in over 4 hours. I’m suddenly filled with melancholy joy.

I don’t know if I passed out a few times in the last few hours but I may have for 20 minute intermittent periods.

It’s now 7:30pm and I have sucked my way through 2 ice trays and sipped a little water. There is a glimmer of hope when I look at the clock and I’m actually counting the minutes when I will get that text from Trish to make delivery on the crackers and ginger ale. So that’s a solid sign I may be finding my way out of this black day of horror.

I think of Prova and how I told her I’d see her today at 3pm with Church. I told him hours ago I was dying and wouldn’t be coming out today. He wished me well and would have brought me anything I needed, but when I told him it was still early in this ordeal and I was in no shape to do anything but empty the contents of my digestive tract.

That day I had felt as if I was a broken tube of toothpaste. Ripped open at both ends and just squeezed at the middle by the ragged clawed hand of Mephistopheles himself.

8:30 I get the magic text from Trish. She says she just got home and will bring me what I so desperately need. I asked her how much, and she says $8.68. I grab $10 and head for the front door. I look like some sad, scruffy Dr. Seuss character that’s been hit by a bus and tossed in a dumpster outside the Gold Club Strip joint.

She hands me the bag. I hand her the $10 and then thank her profusely. I go back to my room and can’t wait to dine. I’ve still got the shits but I’ve grown accustomed to the squirts and the pain. At one point my anus was so raw I just sat on the edge of the tub and splashed cold water into my crack to clean myself because I couldn’t take the pain in my fire hole anymore.

I rip open the crackers and gently start to eat a few. They taste delicious, these plain lightly salted crackers. I haven’t eaten anything in over 24 hours. I hear the sweet hiss of the cold bottle of ginger ale open and take a sweet sip. After you’ve been as sick as I’ve been for the last 11 hours the taste is exquisite. It is as if I’ve returned from a horrendous bloody battle in a desert of puke and shit and now I have the honor to sup ginger ale  from the breasts of Aphrodite herself.

It’s that good when you’ve been this sick.

I’m feeling a bit better and even the butt sprays are becoming less. I eat some more crackers and finish the bottle of ginger ale.

I’m going to survive.

A lady friend of mine who has been texting me to check on me, says she wishes she were there to be my nurse and take care of me. I ask would she wear the sexy nurse outfit with the white stockings and short skirt. She says of course and knows I’m on the mend.

I may be sick, but it would take a lot more than a stomach flu or food poisoning to kill my libido.

I’m afraid to sleep for some reason, but I’m on the other side of this shit and puke demon possession. I still make a few trips to the bathroom. I’m feeling much better, but still weak.

I finally fall asleep.

 

The next morning, I awaken early, wondering if I’m really going to be okay today. Have I won?

A few squirts but now it’s mostly gas, because my entire digestive tract has been emptied of its contents. Nothing but air left in me. I can actually pass gas without fear of shitting the bed. I guess that’s a good thing and my ass hurts slightly less. I eat some more crackers and finish the bottle Gatorade. It too is delicious and quenching.

Rain is falling outside. I can hear it hitting hard and soft on my window sill intermittently. There are some small storms coming through. I’m snuggled down and it’s comforting. I’m safe. I’m back. I escaped the clutches of sickness and won.

I leave my bed around 11am and head to the bathroom. I turn on a hot shower and brush my teeth. I get into the shower. The water feels good on my body. I lather up and feel that the storm has really passed. I grab a fresh razor and shave off the 2 days of scruff from my face. Shampooing my hair feels good. I’m getting my filthy self all cleaned up.

I survived.

It feels good to throw everything I wore yesterday into the hamper and put on all clean clothes and comb my hair. I finish dressing and am feeling better. It was like I was kidnapped and held hostage in my own house for an entire day. It was awful.

I grab some cash and head outside. The day is beautiful. It’s not cold and the rain has stopped for a bit. The sun’s out. I’m alive. I feel great. Everything looks more beautiful to me. The people, my street, the fresh air. I’m so grateful for my health and everything in my life at that moment.

If you have your health you have so much. My immune system is working just fine and I spanked my demons and made them pay. Because here I am headed to Rittenhouse Square good as new.

I stop in Manhattan Bagels at 18th and Sansom. I grab a diet Snapple and order a bacon egg and cheese on a toasted rye bagel. I walk to the counter and happily greet the cashier, picking up a ripe banana and adding it to my order. I pay and take a seat at the window, appreciating life again outside my sickness exile of the past 24 hours. I crack the Snapple and take a sip of that quenching tea. Glorious. The banana tastes better than any I’ve ever eaten. I savor the firm softness in the fruit as the potassium goes to work to repair me. I can’t get enough of that banana. I’m like a gay man who just discovered what a glory hole is.

The girl brings me my breakfast. It’s perfect. Delicious. I’m back. Everything is new and I’m so grateful. That night I’m at the salon running around and taking care of our clients. All is right in the universe again.

Your health is everything.

So, like I said at the beginning of this tome, I have a deadly immune system. It’s scary when you get violently ill and especially when you don’t see it coming. But I have suffered with tummy troubles my whole life, so I’m well equipped to take what comes for me.

I rarely get the common cold that the world suffers with every season. I have no allergies. Nothing. But… when I do on occasion get the common cold I absolutely hate it. Here’s why. It starts out with you not feeling right. Just a bit off and you don’t know why. Maybe it’s an imbalance or that feeling around your eyes. You think you’re fine. Then the sore throat starts. Maybe on one side of your throat. Maybe it’s nothing. But then, why are the glands in my neck under my jaw line swollen and tender? My throat is now sore on both sides now. I start sneezing. Then coughing. My nose is stuffed up. Maybe one side is so stuffed I can only breath out of one nostril and it switches sides. Tricky! I’m starting to feel body aches. Maybe hot and cold flashes. I feel dopey. There are tons of discharge from my nose and lungs as my white blood cells go in for battle once again. They have honed these skills over millions of years of evolution. It’s what they do. But there’s always some new hybrid motherfucker that wants to come in and take their shit. But Homo Sapiens are a tough lot, and you don’t get to be number one on this planet by losing. Our species is a scrappy bunch.  Go ahead, bring your best. Some of us that survived beat the Black Plague, lived on to build new civilizations and thrive as a stronger species.

Sure medicine helps, but the immune system you were born with and those that built it that came before you is there for a reason. You don’t need to run to the doctor every time you get the sniffles. The world is on drugs of every kind. You’ve been sold an idea that every thing is dirty and you need a pill for everything. You don’t. That’s what your immune system is for. Your child needs to get sick and know what it feels like to feel like shit… and then get well by eating right and drinking lots of fluids and letting the body rest so the pros inside your body can go fight the battle and win again.

You can see tomorrow with a smile and be grateful that life is fleeting and fragile. Your health is everything. If you wake up tomorrow and feel okay. Then you’re way ahead. Make the most of the day, because you don’t know what tomorrow brings.

  1. Health.
  2. To love and be loved.
  3. Family.
  4. Good people around you.
  5. Something to look forward to.
  6. Fun stuff to do.
  7. Good work that you can do today.

That’s kind of it people. All the big houses, money, cars, and fancy handbags is all bullshit.

—————————————————————

I will make a final footnote here. If you made it this far through this disgusting, graphic story, I thank you. It was just gross but I wanted it to be real. But if you’ll notice, I tried to use every vulgar slang word that I could think of to describe what was happening. Even in darkness, I have to bring forth a little light and humor.

” Because that light at the end of the tunnel, may be you.” – Steven Tyler

 

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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