Christmas – 2018 and Beyond – Part 5 – Duncan

I’m home.

I’ve an incredible Christmas with my entire family. I’m emotionally spent.

I’m on my laptop writing and watching Christmas shows. Doing what I love doing

I’m sipping vodka club and settling into blissful night of my own satisfaction.

 

It’s 10pm and I’m well into my zone.

My phone rings and it’s Duncan. My very best friend of 20 years who explains that he’s in Old City right now.

I’m half in the bag at this point and can’t believe he’s in the city.

He wants me to come out and hang.

Let’s be clear.

 

If I’m home and done work and don’t have to see anyone or have a date… once I’m home I’m done.

It’s like a vault. Once I’m down to the T-shirt and shorts and slippers there is no turning back.

Ever.

I have said that if Alessandra Ambrosio was knocking at my door to come out and hang I would blow her off.

I love her and have met her, (See: Alessandra Ambrosio) and have the pictures to prove it and I wouldn’t come out.

But I love Duncan and this asshole is some how in the city so I have to do it.

God Dammit.

Ha wants me to come to Amada for free drinks. For fuck’s sake. I don’t care about that. I spent the whole day with my family. I’m tired. There is no way I can come out and hang with you and your girlfriend and cousin.

Why have I not gotten on any notice on this arrival?

 

15 minutes later  I’m in a Lyft and on my way to Amada.

 

For Duncan I’ll do it. We have history. Deep history. I have to see him.

I arrive. It’s great to see him. The last time we were together was when the Eagles won the Superbowl ‘

 

I love Duncan.

 

There is also a welcome addition. His girlfriend Misa.

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about her.

I was so happy to meet her, and she is an absolutely lovely person that Duncan should probably marry. That’s how good she was. I thought she’d be like Yoko between John and Paul.

 

But Misa was wonderful. I wish only happiness for these two.

Later that night after I pounded a couple of free Manhattens, I told him that Misa was so amazing he should marry her or I would.

He seemed shocked.

I told him I was drunk and not to try to marry anybody.

 

But I can’t wait to see Duncan in February for the Superbowl.

 

EAGLES ARE IN THE PLAYOFFS!

 

We are so going to hang at the Ritz Carlton and sip expensive cocktails and nosh on some savory snacks.

 

I love Duncan and I’m so happy this fucker is still in my life!

 

Happy Holidays, one and all!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Christmas – 2018 and Beyond – Part 4

The kids pick me up and I’m stupid happy to see them. Lorelei’s boyfriend has the coolest car. It’s a black ex-law enforcement vehicle. So it’s a Crown Victoria, Still has the bigger motor, spotlight, the special suspension, and the battering ram on the front.

So technically, he can never be stopped by the cops for ANYTHING.

I love this car and I love the identity tied to it.

They’ve been together for 4 years and everybody loves Liam.  He’s a great guy and if he can put up with my daughter were good. (LOL!)

Oh course we have to stop at Wawa because they need coffee. (These kids and their lack of energy today!)

We drive to Janice’s house and I love that Liam is on point and I literally have to do nothing but provide banter.

It’s so relaxing. Just to be.

 

We figure out parking and all stroll up to the house.

We enter though the garage as everyone does. I decide to make a grand entrance and start with the opening bars of Andy Williams:”The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

My cousin exclaims that’s her favorite holiday song and immediately hugs me.

 

The party is in full swing. I hand Tom his mystery bottle of booze and we scatter to talk and mingle with everyone..

 

I don’t have to get into detail here because that’s our time, but it was amazing to see what’s left of my entire family.

Me and all of my sisters. They’re all amazing women. I love all of my brother in-laws too. The nieces and nephews. My daughter! So good!

 

Janices’s son got engaged to his lovely girlfriend. I adore them both and wish them nothing but health and happiness. (I’m not going to say anything about grandkids, but by writing this I already did!)

 

It was magical day as it always is thanks to Janice who has kept the Christmas candle burning after all of these years.

That event on that Sunday IS my Christmas now. Without that party, Christmas would simply be a day when nothing’s open in Philly to me.

So thank you so much Janice for the incredible party you put together every year for all of us.

It means the world to me and it’s all I have left of anything that resembles the incredible Christmases we all had as kids with mom and dad.

Those memories are locked in home movies but even clearer for me in my own mind. I have all of details right here. More vivid than any 8mm film could tell. Sadly those will go with me when I pass. But… Our Christmases where so epic someone should have made a film about them.

Didn’t Janice get a Volkswagen Rabbit one year? lol!

But all kidding aside, my dad loved Christmas so much. He passed 2 years ago but if he were still around I’m sure mom and dad would love to see that we’re all still together and still celebrating the season.

I thank my sister Janice for keeping that flame still burning.

 

I’ve stuffed my head with tons of food, and they’ve packed tons of cookies and goodies for my trip home, but my ride needs to roll so I have to leave.

I bid farewell to all of my brethren and off we go.

I’m the old guy in the back of the cop car going to the train station.

 

What a great day.

 

Christmas for me is now complete.

I’ve seen everybody in my family and the feeling is pure bliss.

I have a Tupperware container full of cookies baked by my sister April that is the EXACT recipe for my mother’s christmas cookies. They taste exactly like them and every bite brings me back to our time in the kitchen with mom at 312 Magee avenue at christmas with my sisters and my mom.

Every bite is worth s fortune.

Better than money.

 

The kids drop me at the train and the beauty of it all is that it’s perfectly timed.

I love that.

I literally pass my ticket and step on the train.

In 30 minutes I’m back in the majestic bubble of Rittenhouse.

I feel the rush of returning to my sweet city after and incredible day that couldn’t have been more perfect. It’s so good, even I couldn’t have written this level of joy.

 

I get home and settle in.

It’s 6:30pm. I’ll watch some christmas shows and have a cocktail.

A quiet night of love and refection.

 

4 hours later…. my phone rings.

 

WTF?

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Phicklephilly Reaches 50,000 Views!

Oh my God!

We did it!

After two and a half years and 942 blog posts I have miraculously reached 50,000 views on phicklephilly!!!

This is the best Christmas gift that I could have imagined this holiday season.

When I started this I never thought it would reach such heights.  I didn’t even know what I was doing. I just wanted to create again after not writing for over 10 years.

I was inspired by a lovely, charming waitress and a guy I worked with who said I should write about all of the ladies in my life.

It started out once a week on Mondays. I wrote about a waitress I was infatuated with at the time. (See: Maria – Amor En Vano)

Maria has become my muse and the ongoing inspiration for this blog.

The best part of that relationship is that we’re friends but rarely hang out. There’s no romantic connection and that’s what keeps it healthy. I could never get involved with her because we live in two different worlds.

When I see Maria, it’s the very best of Maria. I don’t ever experience the other aspects of her life. I’m sure they are extremely challenging for my muse. Life is complicated and confounding to my muse as she navigates the minefield of her life in the service industry and her romantic entanglements.

She has limitless value to me, but I never experience the darker aspects of her life.

It may seem one-sided but that’s how it’s best suited for our current relationship. She lives her life and I live mine. Completely different. I never see her struggles. I only hear about them.

Granted, I’m always available to help her in any way I can and I’m willing to help her in any way I can.

But for the most part when I see her it’s “Greatest Hits.”

 

I’ll be spending Christmas day going through all of my contacts to try to find her a marketing gig at an agency somewhere in the city.

I want to do it. I want my muse to be happy and successful. She’s been through too much. I have very little invested in her. But her presence has been the trigger that ignited this blog so I must honor her.

Maria needs to do nothing.

The train that is phicklephilly is already rolling down the track and has been for the last two years. (27,000 visitors and 50,000 views!)

She’s my inspiration! I have to help her!

The beauty of all of this is for once the muse doesn’t become the girlfriend. That’s where the problems always start.

I’m in a better place than I’ve ever been and my creative work continues to flourish. Whatever was inspired two years ago worked!

 

I remember when I created the first skeleton of phicklephilly I had no clue what I was doing or where I was going. I knew I had to start dating again, (Ugh) and knew I needed content.

I created the blog and that was a huge first step. But actually, that’s the easy part.

You can sign up for any writing site on the internet and they’ll pretty much effortlessly walk you through it.

What it really comes down to after that is up to you.

I created phicklephilly in July of 2016.

I never wrote a word until September.

The whole summer went by with me having a blog and not doing anything about it. Pretty much a bit more of what I’d done for the last 10 years.

Nothing.

I asked myself, “Is this going to be another thing you talk about with people you know at lunch and over drinks and never do?

I paused and thought about Maria. A beautiful, sweet woman from humble beginnings like myself, that was self-made. A woman who told herself that she was determined to get her marketing degree and rise above her current vocation.

Am I going to write and create again, or am I just going to talk about it over beers with a bunch of people and never do it?

That would be easy and dumb.

I know people who are far better than me in regard to the written word.

I discussed what I was going to do. They said I had inspired them to write again too.

Here’s the difference.

They are stuck in their lives and will NEVER take pen to paper ever again.

That’s fine. It has no effect on my life. But I needed to evolve and start creating again. I’ve done art. I’ve done music. Writing should be easy if I just put my mind to it.

Anyone who is reading this who writes knows it’s not easy.

You have to find your space and be alone and bang out a 1000 words about whatever. Fuck writers block. You just have to be alone and create. You do it every day and crank out the art.

Like a ballerina, she takes classes every day. My father once said, if you want to be a painter, go paint every day. Well I like to create and I write everyday.

I was chatting with my sister Gabrielle at the holiday party on Sunday, and I was telling her about what’s coming out in 2019.

“How do you have the time to come up with so much material and stories to have it come out everyday, twice a day?”

“I like to work and be busy, but in my down time instead of sitting around or blowing money doing anything else, I write. When I’m off I edit or create. It’s not hard if you put your mind to it.”

Nothing’s hard if you put your mind to it.

That’s how everything has been accomplished in the world.

Most people just go to work and then do a bunch of other things that don’t evolve them and they wonder why they’re going nowhere or attach themselves to things they think will make them happy but it’s all a fail.

Put something on Earth that wasn’t here before you got here.

Tell your story.

If you’re serious you’ll do it.

If you want my help. I’ll help you.

Everybody needs a mentor.

Me included.

 

Happy Holidays! Thank you one and all for all the views and comments and follows. phicklephilly has grown beyond anything I could have imagined.

 

Thank you, Maria for your inspiration!

 

I’m going to try to write this damn thing until the day I die.

 

I hope you all enjoy all of the new aspects I’ve added in 2019.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Christmas – 2018 and Beyond – Part 1

For Janice

 

It’s the holiday season, and with that comes a bit of emotion.

I remember talking to a friend of mine a few years ago and asking him how he was feeling about the approaching holiday season.

“I’m not that into it this year.”

Neither was I.

But that was back in 2014 when he was struggling with his marriage and my ex-wife was hell-bent on suing me for 6 months of back child support from 2004.

But all of that is gone now.

 

Rittenhouse Park is beautiful. Lights hanging from the trees and the lovely Christmas tree at the center of it all.

All of that nonsense has been settled, but I find myself today trying to get into the Christmas spirit. The weather has been fair, and I see the Christmas lights in the Square  but it still doesn’t feel like Christmas.

I’m waiting for that surge. It should happen because for once I’m not suffering at the hands of some entity.

I spoke to another dear friend of mine and he was in the same state. He said that he and his girlfriend had begun decorating but he wasn’t quite there either.

I started watching Christmas shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime and listening to Christmas music, but still… not that spiritual pull that I was expecting.

I was wondering, what was up this year?

I don’t have any challenges and things seem good, so why can’t I get into it and feel the joy of the Christmas season this year?

 

I’ll tell you why.

 

Because for the first time in my life I realized I’m filled with the Christmas spirit every day of the year now.

Yeah.

The curse that has had its grip on me my entire life has been lifted.

 

All of the bad relationships, depression, anxiety, crazy girls, debt, stuff, dumb assets, shitty jobs and crappy people are all gone.

 

My life is simple and happy now.

 

There’s an elegance in that.

 

My daughter Lorelei has lived with me for the last 4 years. She did it to escape the clutches of her mother and has flourished here in Philly. She has a great job! She’s been in a healthy relationship with her boyfriend for nearly 4 years and he’s a great boy. I love that guy. He’s good to her and that works for me. As long as baby’s happy, I’m happy.

I like my job and all is well. I like my co-workers. I’ve been told we’re the best team they’ve ever had.

Words like that mean so much.

So I’ve been wondering about the whole Christmas spirit thing this year.

 

But it’s already been here, all year-long.

 

My friends, my wonderful family, my daughter, my work, just my life in general.

The reason I’m struggling to get into it is because I’ve been in it all year the whole time!

There’s no Christmas spirit I need to “get into.” It’s already present everyday!

That’s why I’ve been searching for it with Christmas carols and movies and twinkling lights.

There’s no need.

I live in Christmas now. The simplicity of my life is beautiful for the very first time. No more problems. No more challenging relationships or negativity to deal with anymore.

All of it…. is long gone.

 

But Someday…

 

I’ll be long gone.

 

But today, in this moment, I’m looking forward to seeing my sister Janice and the rest of my sisters and family at her annual holiday party.

It’s actually close to Christmas this year and that will make it even better.

That gathering IS my Christmas now.

It’s the only living relic of what Christmas is, or was in my family. Jan has done it perfectly for more years than I can remember. I love that I can always count on the consistency of that event and how it’s so perfect and fun every year.

I remember going to holiday events when I was a kid. There were your sisters and your cousins. There were your parents. There were your aunts, uncles, and your grandparents there.

A lot of old people. Kind of boring and you had to be on your best behavior.

But now I attend this event and I see how life has changed.

 

Life does what it does.

 

Everything that begins… ends.

 

But it’s not over yet and hopefully this tradition will be carried on somehow through the family.

I stand in my sister Janice’s kitchen and realize that now my sisters, cousins, I are now the senior members of this tribe.

We are surrounded by beautiful young people.

 

We, are now the elders.

 

My daughter, my nieces and nephews…. all beautiful young people looking forward in their lives. We, are now our parents, and at some point may become our grandparents.

Life rolls on and there’s no way to stop it. So you should think about that and think about how precious TIME is.

Embrace it.

My father used to say: “Befriend Time.”

I know what he meant: Time is something that should always be close to your heart. Because life is fleeting. What you’re enjoying today or even if you’re struggling it may be gone in a year from now. For no reason… other than time.

If you’re suffering from a break up or a lost friend, please know that the only thing beyond all of your friends and therapy that will fix you is TIME.

It fixes everything and you have no control over it. You simply have to live and keep going.

Go forward no matter what.

If you feel like you’re trapped in a relationship, or a marriage or a job, take a moment and think about your prison.

Please.

You can let go of the bars and watch as they fall away and you can walk right out of that prison.

You are the one holding onto those bars.

 

I can’t wait to see my family this holiday season. When I look into my cousin’s eyes I see my Uncle Jack and still miss him.

 

I miss you too, Mom and Dad so much!

You both gave us the most wonderful christmas’s that most children could only dream of. My sisters and I will carry those memories and cast them into our own children.

Thank you so much.

You were both so perfect in those moments.

 

Every Christmas morning was absolute magic.

 

 

But there’s more… (But it’s just stuff)

In addition to trying to get into the Christmas spirit I’ve been actively searching for Christmas music and new Christmas shows. I’ve seen and experienced everything Christmas in my 50 years on this planet. I watched the Christmas Chronicles, (Great. Love Kurt Russell.  Christmas with a View. Hot girl but clunky dialog and a predictable ending. The Princess Switch. LOVE. So fun, I adore Vanessa Hudgens and her world-class legs, but it’s a nice film and had my heart from start to finish.) Check ’em out. They’re all fun. (I’m becoming and old softy!)

 

Anyway… I’m really looking forward to seeing my family today.

 

Who knew I’d be trying to find out why I wasn’t in the Christmas spirit when it had been in me all along?

 

In this moment. This joyous fleeting day…

 

In a short amount of time…

 

This moment at my sister’s….

 

In a short amount of time….will all seem like a long time ago.

 

 

Merry Christmas to one and all!

Health and happiness to you and all of your families this holiday season.

Thank you for being a part of my life here on Phicklephillly.

It means the world to me.

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Annabelle – 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.

Church – 2013 to Present -Seizure Salad

I’m sitting in my go to bar with Church. It’s our spot and it’s what we do. He’s sipping a Sailor Jerry and Coke, and I’m having my usual Chardonnay with a side of ice. He orders a salad and I go with the sliders. There is a couple a few seats down from me to my right. I know the guy, his name is Brian, but I don’t know the lady he’s with so I wave but don’t approach. He could be working.

On the left of Church, is a brunette in her thirties and an older gentleman. Looks like a lawyer. We don’t really pay any attention. We’re chatting and doing our thing.

Daphne rolls behind the bar and says hello. She tells me it’s a slow night. Not much happening. She goes back to her hostess stand and it’s just another night in paradise.

Suddenly, the woman who was sitting to Church’s left, goes off the bar stool and hits the floor. Normally, I’d call that Thursday night.  We see so many banged up people around the city losing their shit. But this woman was having a seizure. People within visual range are shocked and the bar goes quiet.

I point to the phone on the wall, because the bartender on duty didn’t see one of her patrons suddenly vanish from the bar. “Liz, call 911.”

She starts dialing. Church, with his cat-like reflexes, springs into action and goes from sitting next to me sipping a drink to all the way around the other side of her on the floor holding her head to keep her steady. I get down there and untangle her leg from the lower rail of his bar stool. I have the legs. Church is focuses on the poor woman’s head. She’s thrashing about, and Church is barking commands to those around him. He’s literally single-handedly coordinating the effort to help save this poor woman, and keeping her from injuring herself further.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but Church was formerly a Corpsmen in the United States Navy.

A Corpsman works in a wide variety of capacities and locations, including shore establishments such as naval hospitals and clinics, aboard ships, and as the primary medical caregivers for sailors while underway. Hospital corpsmen are frequently the only medical caregiver available in many fleet or Marine units on extended deployment. In addition, hospital corpsmen perform duties as assistants in the prevention and treatment of disease and injury and assist health care professionals in providing medical care to sailors and their families.

They may function as clinical or specialty technicians, medical administrative personnel and health care providers at medical treatment facilities. They also serve as battlefield corpsmen with the Marine Corps, rendering emergency medical treatment to include initial treatment in a combat environment. Qualified hospital corpsmen may be assigned the responsibility of independent duty aboard ships and submarines; Fleet Marine Service, SEAL and Seabee units, and at isolated duty stations where no medical officer is available.

Yea, pretty bad ass. That’s the guy you want next to you when somebody takes a header at your favorite bar.

She’s making what almost sounds like barking sounds, and staring wildly about. He’s got a good hold on her. He’s talking to her. But mostly he’s trying to keep her from bashing her face into the wooden wall of the bar. The bartender comes around, and some others have gathered. I grab a cloth napkin and ask if we need to put it in her mouth. I always heard that epileptics could bite or swallow their own tongues. Church says, no. He knows what he’s doing and has the situation well under control.

She seems to be calming down. I look over at the guy who was with her. He’s just standing there staring, and looking uncomfortable. The paramedics come and stabilize her. I feel so bad for her. It’s the holidays, and she’s out for a drinks and this horror befalls her. They get her onto the gurney and roll her out. The police are there and also ask some questions. Church is on point, he gives law enforcement the full report.

They also speak to the guy she came in with. He says he doesn’t know her very well. He met her over at DelFrisco’s steakhouse, and then brought her over here for a drink. That’s a big lawyer hang out. Not my scene. This guy didn’t do anything to help or comfort her when she had the seizure, and he didn’t go to the hospital with her. I don’t care if you just picked up the chick in a bar. Lady falls down, you go to the damn hospital with her. I’m thinking that weasel was married and didn’t want any problems. How would he explain to his wife that he was at the hospital with some other woman? I may be wrong, but I got the vibe something was definitely shady about that guy.

We go back to our seats at the bar and have another drink. Church is pissed because somebody was telling him to turn her head when she was foaming at the mouth and that’s not what you’re supposed to do. Me, I was just glad the lady was okay.

Daphne came over to chat and get a recap. I tell her what I know, and tease her.”You had to say it was a slow night and that nothing was happening, and look what you did, Daph…”

“I know, right? Me and my big mouth.”

Indeed…

 

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Sarika – Song of the Black Widow

God, she’s beautiful. I couldn’t find a stock picture on the internet to capture the delightful beauty of this girl. She is so pretty. Indian. Exotic. The type of beauty you’d almost pay for to be seen with at an event. She is probably one of the most beautiful women I know in Philly. But she recently reached out to me to come hang at a happy hour and a brand new place in Rittenhouse, called Scarpetta. Smith and Wolensky’s is gone and now that place is here. It’s in the Rittenhouse Hotel. She also mentioned that she wants me to come up to her apartment and check out her new place at the Dorchester. I am so glad I have reconnected with her. This vacuous she-devil is such a good character for this work. I am a huge fan of lovely Sarika.

I got to Scarpetta around 5:30. They’ve done a nice job with the place. It’s dark and intimate. The bar looks the same but they’ve opened up the place a bit. There’s only the one bar, but they have a lounge in the back and there is a dining room upstairs. I look around for Sarika but I don’t see her. I’m chatting with the manager and then I look out the window and see her walking towards the building.

Sarika looks amazing as always. We grab a couple of drinks at the bar and sit in this cool little area by ourselves near the window. Rittenhouse Square looks beautiful. It’s all decorated for the holidays.There are strings of bulbs in the trees and the whole park twinkle with light. She is having some sort of light pink beverage that I didn’t catch the name of, and I’m having the old-fashioned. Normally, cocktails are around fifteen dollars, but during happy hour they’re half price. So that’s something I can live with for now.

I ask her what she’s been up to and she says she’s been going on a lot of dates. Turns out that weasel she wanted to bring to my eighty dollar a plate New Years party last year has been gone for a while. I remember she was so into that guy. Apparently they were together off and on for two years. She says she wasted her best years on him and now she’s old. She’s 28! Come on Sarika, you are still but a child. She said he was a jerk to her and probably never loved her. I get her laughing, and start thinking that the black widow isn’t so bad after all. She may be smart as a whip, but she’s still a young woman navigating her way through love and life. I even joke that she probably has a blood-red hour-glass tattooed on her belly.

I do love pretty things, and she is no exception.

I tell her she looks great as always. She has been in some sunny destinations lately, so her skin is a darker brown than normal. I like it. It makes her look even more mysterious and exotic. I mention it and she immediately asks if I think it looks ugly. She always says things like that. She is so smart but so immature at the same time. She’s also a bit of a chatterbox. I think most men can’t handle that and don’t like a girl who talks too much. I don’t mind it. I like a girl who has things to say and experiences to share. I love to talk and entertain a woman, so it’s nice when I have a chatty girl so I don’t have to do all of the work. Women like a good listener and I grew up with three sisters. But what I can’t stand is what Carol used to do. Just babbling on nonstop like a tire spinning in the snow. (See: Carol 5/2014 to 8/2016 – There’s No Fun In Dysfunction)

I once read that women speak up to 20,000 words a day, compared to men, who speak only 12,000. So when we get home…We’re done!

It is puzzling how a woman this strikingly beautiful can’t keep a man. But the more you’re around her the more it makes sense. She says she’s been finding men on an app called J Swipe. It’s like Tinder for Jews. I asked her why that app? She said Jewish men normally appreciate women more, have good jobs, and have money. Sounds like she’s hunting for a husband. I think one of the challenges Sarika is facing is that she may be viewed more as a conquest. A creature to be captured and checked off of some list, because she’s so beautifully exotic.

She said she went out with a guy on Monday and even had a date with a pilot after our happy hour. So I assume I won’t be getting a tour of that gorgeous apartment in her building tonight. Sarika has a very busy life. She travels a great deal for her job as a scientist. I know she was formerly an engineer, but now I guess she’s a scientist. She makes great money and spends her other free time hopping on planes and taking little trips. It sounds like a fun life with all of the dating, and jet setting vacations, but it almost seems like she doesn’t want to be alone in her apartment. She’s crazy dating now. It’s good that she’s getting out there and meeting people after two years wasted with weasel man. But again, I can see men wanting her because she’s so beautiful, but she’s kind of annoying to talk to for any length of time. So if they get the opportunity to sleep with her they may not stick around.

Sarika is very intelligent and a nerd. I have taken her to Science after Hours at the Franklin Institute in the past. She loved it like a child. We went to see Jurassic World last summer, and Guardians of the Galaxy is her favorite movie. If my friend Duncan finds that up he’ll probably move up here from North Carolina. You would think guys would find that hot. A pretty girl who likes guy stuff and sci-fi, but it hasn’t worked. Maybe one of these many men that she is meeting for dates, will be rich and just marry her as a trophy wife. But sadly, people are funny about race in this country. They may want to sleep with a hot girl, but they may not want to bring and Indian woman back home to meet the family. I personally I have nothing against it. If you have been reading this blog, you know I love all different kinds of women. As Hank Moody says in the show Californication, “I got all your albums. I love you all and you and you included, Sarika.”

My buddy Church shows up at Scarpetta. I’m happy to see him. Once Sarika  goes on her date at One Tippling Place up the street, he and I can go to Square 1682 and have a drink. Church knows everybody in the restaurant and bar business in this town, so when he orders a drink and the server brings it over, she says, “This one is on Nathan.” He’s the GM there so Church got the hook up. I get another drink, but Sarika is only having the one so she doesn’t show up drunk for her date at 7:00.

While I was waiting at the bar to get my drink, Church chatted with Sarika. I was a little glad that it took the bartender a little time to get to me and make my drink. Normally I don’t like that, but I thought it would give Church a chance to talk to Sarika.

I get back to our little area by the window. We all chat a bit more. Sarika has to go soon, so she heads back to the ladies room. Church tells me she wouldn’t stop talking and it was driving him crazy. He’s been on edge lately, and listening to Sarika go on about something was annoying him. He said something to the effect, “I wanted to put a gun in my mouth.” He said she is so vacuous and self-absorbed and all she talked about was herself.

He once said that about another attractive girl who talked a lot. He was in a car with her and she was talking non stop and he said, “I wanted to leap right out of the car while it was going 70 miles per hour down the highway.”

Sarika returns, and I put her coat on for her. I tell her I will pay for the one drink she had. She tells me she’ll get me next time. I give her a kiss on the cheek good-bye and she’s off. I get the bill for my two old-fashioneds and her dainty drink. It should come to over $22 plus tax. I look at it and it’s only $15. So I got the hookup because I was with Church.

Dude certainly has the power.

I think next we’ll do a happy hour with my friend Carly.  So the night went well and again without incident.

So maybe my pretty little arachnid is finally growing up.

I love Sarika. She is beautiful, and I enjoy her company, if nobody else does, and I can’t wait to see her again.

(Oh… and if you’ve somehow found this and other stories Sarika, I’ll understand if you cut me off. The truth always hurts more than fiction)

 

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