Trish – 2012 to Present – The She Wolf Meets Her Childhood Hero

“He’s always a funny approachable guy. I want to be like him. A funny approachable woman. Not to take yourself too seriously. I’m gonna meet him. That’s on a Do Before you Die Bucket List. I have had an opportunity to see his work and I must do it because he has changed my life.”

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Trish is my hot neighbor. (See: Trish – 2011 to Present – The She Wolf) She’s an artist, graphic designer and even pulls a few shifts at the tanning salon. I’m a big fan. She has a heart of gold. Trish is always rooting for the underdog.  She cares for the weak, the small or the forgotten. I love that about her.

She’s even thinking of starting her own blog as a spin-off series from phicklephilly.(Which would be awesome!)

She’s also a very articulate writer that has a really natural flow with her thoughts and ideas. If you’ve ever seen her artwork, she has a wonderful ability to transfer what’s in her mind elegantly to the canvas.

She stops by my apartment the other day and hands me a 1.75 bottle of vodka for covering her 7 hour shift last Saturday. That’s a grateful neighbor and co-worker. I’ll work every Saturday for her if that’s what she wants to give me as thanks!

We chat about a few things and then get into what’s been going on in our lives.

On the Saturday I worked for her she went to Chinatown and took a Mega Bus to Manhattan. It was only $11 bucks! How do they stay afloat charging $11?

 

Trish rolled into the city and disembarked from the bus at 4:50pm. She gets her metro card refilled. She checked into the Chelsea Inn Hotel which cost her $80 bucks. Still cheap for a hotel room in New York City. She loved the room. Big TV. King sized bed. The works. Trish travels on a budget, but arrives in style.

 

She heads over to the Alchemist Kitchen to get some supplements. The Gramercy is 15 blocks away from her hotel. She’s been really looking forward to seeing this act and this is why she made the trek to Manhattan.

She walked there alone and sober. They’re all waiting like cattle to see him. She’s sad she has no weed. She’s tired of talking to people, and  cant wait to see her childhood hero and to hopefully meet her childhood hero.

“I know I’m going to meet my hero Mulder from the X Files TV show.”

Trish loves the X Files. This great hero of her life and she’s going to meet him. Trish is determined.

And when Trish is on a mission, stay out of her way.

She enters the Gramercy to see David Duchovney  perform with his band.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Duchovny

I thought David was only an actor and author, but apparently he’s a man of many talents. I’m a big fan of his work in the cable TV series, Californication.

The Gramercy where he’s only 10 blocks away from where David grew up!

Doors opened at 7pm that night. Some violin quartet from Ireland were the warm up act before Duchovny’s band.

People are moving to get drinks. Tectonic plates are shifting. She will make it to the front. You wiggle your way to the front. Like the slow shift of the world. Like a river. Before he comes out she’s in an euphoric state. Normally she’s super annoyed, but she’s dealing with all of the idiots because Mulder is coming.

She’s waited here two hours for this moment.

When the quartet is done their set. The lights come up and David comes onstage.

“It feels like it’s not my life.” She told me when she saw the man live for the very first time.

“I was 2nd row so I could see my guy!”

She lost her shit when Mulder hits the stage. She’s 12 years old again. She’s blown away. Trish is giggling like it’s Beatlemania.  She is screaming her love her for her TV idol. She is excited beyond words.

On scale of 1 to 10 it is beyond the scale. Trish is so filled with joy.

“It was more about this magical creature and to meet him and be in the same room with the man I love.”

Trish was such a super nerd fan of the show. “I was obsessed with the series itself. The novels based on the show and the action figures. I feel the decency of who Fox Mulder was helped me build my own character.”

“He was who we should all be.” she says.

“He’s always a funny approachable guy. I want to be like him. A funny approachable woman. Not to take yourself too seriously. I’m gonna meet him. That’s on a Do Before you Die Bucket List. I have had an opportunity to see his work and I must do it because he has changed my life.”

After the show she waits another two hours and he finally comes outside the venue. She approaches him. Her childhood idol. She digs her hand into her pocket and produces a small Fox Mulder action figure she played with as a child. She places the toy and a silver sharpie marker in his hands.

He autographs her little guy.

It was so fast she had almost no time with him. But she looked into his eyes. “He’s real!”

 

Trish has an uncanny sense at picking up on all of the emotions of those around her. It gives her great empathy for the human race. She has such a good heart. She could feel through the crush of the fans that David just wanted to go home.

“He is genuinely a great guy. I felt so calm to be near him. Life is short, and it was great to meet him.  I also loved being by herself. Just me on my own self adventure.”

Trish doesn’t care to be attached to anything. She’s fine with being on her own and would like to be on her own.

“I just wanted him to go home safe.”

“They treated him like an animal.” she said regarding the pushing fans.

“All they wanted was their shit signed by him. But I really felt something.”

“It was so nice. It was like a dream but I was wide awake.”

 

 

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 – Madonna Almost Made Albums With Michael Jackson And Prince

“To write songs together is a very intimate experience,”

Hey, did you know Madonna and Michael Jackson used to date?

In 1991, Michael and Madonna had been wanting to collaborate on an album for a short while, so they did what any sane performer would do and started pseudo-dating. The couple would arrange dinner dates, watch movies together, and at one point even attended the Oscars as each other’s dates. They were just “being silly,” as Madge puts it — “silly” being what famous artists think of conventional relationships.

Madonna claimed that their sort-of romance was necessary for the two artists to get to know each other before they jumped into recording an album. According to her, “To write songs together is a very intimate experience,” and apparently after you have survived the Darwinian slaughter that is early relationships you are strong enough as two people to sit in a booth together and sing into a microphone.

Ironically, it seemed that Madonna’s intensity was exactly why the whole thing fell apart. According to Jackson, Madonna was too demanding and would attempt to dictate where they would go on dates, which would lead to a debate over whether or not the couple would visit Disneyland together, which was absolutely a deal-breaker for Jackson. Then, when the collaboration had finally started, Jackson balked at Madge’s risque lyrics, preferring a love song or ballad over her traditionally sexy tunes, and ducked out of the project after a meeting with the pop star left him feeling anxious. Michael admitted that Madonna scared him, and the album was scrapped completely.

But there was another performer whose collaboration with Madonna would have arguably been just as amazing — Prince. And you can bet your ass the bendy sex-gnome wasn’t afraid of some risque lyrics. After joining forces on a couple of songs, Madonna’s manager had the brilliant idea to send the pair on a world tour. But after being approached with the idea, Prince graciously turned it down citing concern for the world’s mental health, claiming that the planet just wasn’t ready to cope with their simultaneous greatness. You may recognize this as being both Prince-Speak for “I don’t feel like doing that,” and a thing that he earnestly believed.

 

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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Kylie – 2012 to 2015 – Broken Wing – Part I – Reconnected Rebound

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

I met Kylie a few years ago after Michelle had broken up with me but we remained friends.  (See: Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day) I had met Kylie when she was shooting some photos for Philly Weekly. (See: Kylie – 2012 to 2016 – Broken Wing – The Rittenhouse Cocktail & Fashion Event)

I hadn’t seen her really after that, but back in May of 2014, my then boss and I ended up getting invited to go out on a tour boat for a few hours on the Delaware River. There was going to be free wine and snacks so we jumped on that cruise.

It was just a small party boat, that gave tours up and down the river in the spring and summer. It was beautiful day to be out on the water. There were a few other folks from the media there too  but one I noticed in particular.

Kylie is memorable for a few things. She has a very unique stacked bob hairstyle and a set of world-class legs on her. She’s probably only 5’2″ but she’s a runner and really fit. So every bit of sinew,musculature and balance is packed into those shapely stems.

So we’re chatting, and she’s looking hot with those legs out. The crackers and cheese are happening and the wine is flowing. We’re laughing and I feel like there’s a connection at some level. We’re reminiscing about the Rittenhouse cocktail event two years ago.

She tells me she’s on this gig to get some shots for Philly Weekly but they don’t pay much. She is still working with this older guy who has his own studio down in Old City. He’s been a professional photographer his whole life. When being a trained photographer really meant something  before it went all digital. Now every swingin’ dick in the city can just pick up an expensive digital camera and call themselves a photographer. Most wouldn’t know the difference between F stop and the F word!

She works with this older guy… we’ll call him Jim. He owns the business and he pays her to shoot some of the jobs he gets. I would think if you aren’t doing a lot of consistent commercial work and a bunch of weddings you probably won’t make much money. But over the years this guy has been pretty successful.

The cruise was a really nice way to reconnect with her. We exchange numbers and decide to meet up for a drink. So I’m feeling pretty good when I get off the boat.

It was maybe a week or so later, and we met up at Milkboy for a few drinks. Milkboy is a bar/music venue at 11th and Chestnut street. There are a bunch of people there I know and they’re treating us great. Somebody took a pic of the two of us and we looked pretty cozy. And of course everything has to go up on social media. I look back on my life back then and I was just as bad as everybody else if not worse. I put pics up of everything I was doing. Now I almost never post anything on my personal Facebook page or Instagram. I just promote phicklephilly on those platforms now.

Back then when I was Annabelle, I would post pics of us all of the time. I also had us locked down as “In a Relationship” on Facebook. So if you’re in a relationship and things end it doesn’t stay between you and your significant others. Every asshole that you’re “friends” with on Facebook know that it’s over. That’s like being a celebrity and breaking up with your spouse. The world knows. That must be horrible. Because I have 5000 “friends” on Facebook and everybody knows when it’s over. I will never let that happen again.

But… Annabelle didn’t know what she wanted back then. She probably still doesn’t, but if this pic of yours truly and Kylie pops up in her feed on facebook, it’ll look like I have moved on in less that 30 days after she dumped me.

Well, let’s see what happens.

Damn you, Annabelle.

 

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

Sun Stories: Haley – 2016 to Present – Lightning in a Bottle

“Now with what I’m describing you’d think that this young lady is a perfect little angel.

Quite the contrary.”

I got a text from Achilles (See: Sun Stories: Achilles, 2016 to Present – The Bronze God) He asked if I could work open to close today. That’s 10am to 8pm, on your feet, running around the salon for 10 hours. I agreed, because I have a flexible schedule at my other job, and I think he may have come down with a cold. On top of that it’s been thunder storming all day, and he probably doesn’t want to come out in this mess.

So I’m at the salon, and it’s a pretty quiet day. You’d think more people would come out to tan on a rainy day, but it’s the other way around. They come when it’s warm and sunny out.

I’m just standing behind the counter writing my blog on the computer. When in walks this cute 19-year-old girl. Raven hair, blue eyes and fair skin. She says my name, and I do a double take.

“Don’t you recognize me because I’m not tan?”

“Oh my god! Haley!”

I come from around the counter and she goes in for a big hug.

“I missed you!”

From mid April until the end of August is our busy season at the salon. We can’t provide the level of service that our customers deserve with only one person on shift at night. So Achilles usually will bring on a second person at night to ease the flow of clients. Haley had been working every summer at the salon since she was 16 years old.

Haley has a sister Elisa that’s a year younger that she is. She comes into tan but never worked here. Elisa’s cute, but Haley’s beautiful. There’s a difference.

Haley was also a straight A student last year in her senior year. Beauty and brains. A deadly combination. She wants to eventually go to medical school to become a doctor!

So Achilles brought her back again last summer to help out at night. I wondered how that was going to go. Me, a middle-aged man working with a senior in high school.

Well I’ll tell you how it went. It went fantastic! Working with Haley from day one was glorious. She’d been doing the job for two years prior, so she knew everything about the salon. We ran the place like a well oiled machine. I’m driving in the sales. Haley picks up on how I ask every customer if they need lotion or protective eyewear. She starts pitching it to every client thereafter. She’s like lightning when she works. Super fast and really efficient. She knows exactly when to put the laundry in the washer and stays on top of the time when to get it into the dryer. (I love her South Philly accent. Instead of saying “towels”, she pronounces it “tales”. It is to adorable!

“I’m so sick of these tales! I hate the color and they’re too hard to fold and they don’t fit under the counter right!” she would say.

Working with Haley was a total riot. We would take care of the clients but had a lot of fun working together.

On time this weirdo douchebag guy comes in to tan. Haley asks him what kind of bed he wants to tan in. (Stand up unit, or lay down)

He says: “How about a four-poster.”

Haley is silent but I look at him with a hard eye and say: “Dick. She’s in High School.”

Shut that fucker right down.

I see Haley like a daughter or a niece. Gotta protect the young ladies around us.

I told Achilles about the incident and he also gave them his own personal warning to the guy. I don’t know what he said or did, but we never had a problem with this asshole again.

One day told her that out of everyone I knew, she and my daughter Lorelei, are the only people I know who don’t use profanity, which I find very refreshing. Haley responded by saying that she doesn’t curse around parents. (Apparently this is the same story with my kid.) I like that!

Speaking of her parents, she said her dad is a bit of a curmudgeon, but her mom is a total sweetheart. Her mother would always drive up to the salon at closing in her truck with their dog and pick up little Haley. Her mom is kind of hot. But I love that she would always come and get Haley and make sure her daughter got home safe!

Haley went down the shore after graduating from high school with honors and went to work as a server at Mack’s Pizza in Wildwood, NJ for the summer. She told me they originally want her to work a bunch of hours but she told them she was down the shore to have fun, relax and enjoy her summer. She was still making around $800 a week slinging slices to the hungry tourists.

“It’s the most money I ever made at a job in my life!” she squealed to me today.

Currently she is in college and working part time at an Italian restaurant in South Philly.

Now with what I’m describing you’d think that this young lady is a perfect little angel.

Quite the contrary.

Sure, she’s a great student and is a really well-behaved kid. But technology is much better than when I was a teenager. She has a fake ID that looks exactly like a DMV issued drivers license that says she’s 21. She showed it to me and it looks better than anything I’ve ever seen. That’s so she can get served and go into bars and nightclubs.

She’s a good girl and has a nice guy she is seeing, and she behaves herself. They play it cool and are careful when she and her friends go out. They mostly just like to hang out somewhere and drink beer like teenagers have done for decades.

I love the paradox of the brilliant, beautiful student that has a touch of. I can trust that in a woman.

I remember she would bring her laptop into work and do her homework sometimes. The customers didn’t know what she was doing, and could care less. They just want to hop into an available bed and get their tanning session, and get on with their day. But I know Achilles doesn’t like any of his employees focusing on anything but the clients and what’s going on in the salon. I get it. It’s his business and the salon is his livelihood. But Haley is such a good student with high aspirations, and I never said anything because she’d been working there off and on for three years. So I didn’t care what she was doing because at the time I didn’t know what his arrangement was with Haley after all of that time.

Besides she was always all business when it came to being on point in the salon every night. She made my life easier and I absolutely loved working with this lovely, lively girl. She’s so full of life and apparently I’m good at making her laugh.

When she worked the Saturday shift, (Which is from 11am to 6pm) sometimes her  classmate, Lia would come in and hang on the couch and keep her company. I get it. It’s a 7 hour shift and teenagers get bored easily. She’s a pretty black girl and she’d sit on the sofa and hang with Haley, bring her coffee and snacks to pass the time because weekends are slower than nights during the week. I mean, I’ve had friends come and hang at the salon and chat with me while I’m working. On any given night, Church will swing in and hang for an hour until we go to the bar after I close up shop. (See: Church – 2012 to Present – Brand Ambassador)

But Achilles found out this black girl was hanging out on Saturdays and wasn’t happy with it. Again… it’s a business and his livelihood and didn’t want a bunch of kids hanging around in his salon not doing anything. I get it. He’s right, but I went in once on a Saturday to make sure everything was cool, and to tan. (I like to tan on days I don’t work. It just feels better) I had the pleasure of meeting Lia. She’s a lovely young woman who has been accepted to Yale!

Yes. I said Yale. You don’t get into Yale being a crazy reckless youth. This girl is going to go on to do great things in her life. She’s sweet, charming, and obviously very intelligent and focused on her future.

So my girl Haley surrounds herself with great people and I’m really proud of her. She gives me hope for the future youth of America!

Oh, and she has the exact same birthday as my daughter, Lorelei! Haley is 11/17/97 and Lor is 11/17/96. Two  Scorpios. Don’t mess with my girls or you’ll get stung!

I was so happy to see my former co-worker today. It made my 10 hour shift on my feet running around on a very rainy day just a bit sunnier. Haley is a ray of light that I am happy to have had the opportunity to work with and have in my life.

Oh… one more thing. Haley isn’t on ANY social media. Just doesn’t see the point of it. Hope!

Seeing her today inspired me to write about her, and I am now going to publish another piece about our adventures at the tanning salon. I’ll give you a little hint: While we were working together we came up with official rules for the salon, based on some of the stuff Achilles would lay on me about how to run the salon. We also created lists of clients we loved and hated. But the funniest list we made was the “Things that Annoy Us.” You may not get all of them, and I will explain what they mean in this future post. But if you’ve worked in retail or the service industry, you should be able to relate.

I love Haley, and didn’t realize how much I missed her smile and laughter until today!

 

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

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Phicklephilly – Night of the Huntress – 2017

The lady is sitting at her table sipping her drink, and giving me and Church the eye. Church pegs her for an “entrepreneur.” That’s what he calls escorts and hookers.

I was having a good evening at the salon. All of the sunbeds were working, we even got the washer and dryer up and running. Some of my favorite ladies came in to tan and I could feel that things were starting to fall into place at the new address. Achilles even stopped in with Sharon, so he could do a few things and she could go tanning.

I had gotten a text from my friend Alice, (See: Alice – 2011 to Present – The Cute Recruiter) saying she wanted to meet up for a drink. I was already meeting with my buddy Church (See: Church – 2012 to Present – Brand Ambassador) so I told her to meet me at Sofitel after 8pm.

I close up the salon and head to Sofitel. When I get there she’s already at the bar having drinks with her friend Bob. I’ve met him before he’s a really nice guy. Works in IT, makes good money, but no game when it comes to the ladies. I find out Alice’s company, which will find you a job and a date completely hooked him up with some dates, and number three girl was the charm. It sounds like Bob sort of has a girlfriend now.

Things are going well at Alice’s company. if you’ve been reading this blog you’ll know that her friend Keila has left the company after a year or so to pursue other interests. Alice and Bob are hungry and ask if I am too. I’m not that hungry but she says she’s starving and putting it all on her corporate card. So I tell her I’m famished if she insists.

Church arrives and as promised and he makes delivery on another bottle he promised me. A bottle of the Macallan 17-year-old scotch. It’s a fantastic bottle, and 17 is my family’s reoccurring lucky number. They don’t even make this scotch anymore. It’s a $250 bottle of scotch. Did I mention that I love Church?

We’ve been coming to Sofitel more lately and Church is friends with the bartender, Liam and we’re getting the hook up on drinks. To explain what the “hook up” is, it’s when you have a bunch of cocktails and you get the bill and it’s $11. Then you just tip the bartender handsomely with cash. So instead of getting a bill that’s up to $40,  you only spend around $25 and the bartender gets a better tip. You can’t abuse it but you have to get to know them and become a regular, and you get the hook up all over town.

Alice and Bob have to get to another gig, so after devouring cheese steak tacos and fries and cocktails, she says they have to bolt. She pays for everything and off they go. That was awesome. Free round of drinks and dinner and now I can focus on my time with Church.

So this younger guy wearing a wool hat comes into the lounge and takes a seat at a table by himself. He appears to be waiting for someone. We assume a blind or Tinder date.

In a little while this attractive woman in her thirties glides into the room. She walks over to the gentleman sitting at the table. We assume that his date has arrived. But something just doesn’t feel right. Turns out that those two are not together, and after a brief exchange, she moves to a table adjacent to the bar. I’m on the end closest to her, and Church is to my left.

The lady is sitting at her table sipping her drink, and giving me and Church the eye. Church pegs her for an “entrepreneur.” That’s what he calls escorts and hookers. This chill black guy enters the bar and sort of just hangs back behind us. He obviously works there at the hotel. He’s definitely security. So we start joking with him about hooker patrol. We don’t look over at her while we’re doing this because we don’t want to make it obvious that we’re on to her.

Hat guy’s date shows up and joins him at his table. I look over. Not bad. Decent legs, curly black hair. After a drink or two, they pay their bill and leave. The entrepreneur, keeps smiling at me and making eyes. We’re still all talking about her at the bar, Liam and one of theservers have her pegged for a pro.

I’m ready to go out and have a smoke. We leave our coats on our chairs and the bag containing the $250 bottle of scotch. We’re just outside the building. Within a minute the lady comes running out to tell us we forgot our coats. I tell her we’re coming right back after I smoke. I thank her for her concern and she goes back in.

We head back in, and I’m chatting up the hot server Laura. We’re talking about scratch offs and she’s telling me how she’s trying to break up with the doctor she’s currently dating because she feels she should be dating someone her own age. She’s only 25 and this guy is into his 40’s.  She’s keeping her options open and he keeps buying her stuff, because that’s what guys with money do for younger hot women they like sleeping with.

The assumed hooker hasn’t paid her bill yet and Laura is getting nervous because she’s her guest. Laura thinks she’s going to run out on her bill, because now she’s moved to a table by the exit. But then the lady comes up to the bar to pay her tab. I’m sure at this point the only reason she did that is she thought one of us may strike up a conversation.

We’re all holding our breath to see if the card clears. It goes through okay, and as she’s leaving, she leans in to me, touches my arm and whispers, “I think you are very cute!”

We’re a little stunned, as she is walking out she turns and says that she’ll be back in a little bit. After she’s gone we all have a good laugh about the whole show that just unfolded before us.

A little while later, I’m well into my 3rd chardonnay, the entrepreneur returns. She starts giving me the eye again and I’m wondering where she’s been. I decide to go upstairs to the restroom and pray I’m not followed. Church texts me that she has attached herself to some Archie Andrews/Beeker  type from the Muppet Show guy at the bar. He’s eating this enormous club sandwich at the bar so he looks like an easy target to her.

Then this skater boy type comes walking up to me, singing a song about how he can’t find his waitress. He hands me his credit card. “You seem to have an honest face. I have to pay for my brother and my drink.” I’m surprised and sing back to him that I’ll make every effort to find his server.

Laura pops out from the back and I tell her what’s up, and the guy will be right back, he had to give his brother directions to the hotel. She looks surprised, but takes his card and runs it. The skater returns and she gives him his bill and off he goes.

We move down to the other end of the bar, and then this odd-looking older fellow comes in. He’s wearing what appears to be a red racing jacket with matching shoes and driving gloves.

Church says to me: “Welcome… to Fantasy Island.”

The guy orders some weird drink with some sort of Whiskey, B & B and some olives. I’ve never seen or heard of it before. We don’t talk to the guy. He just seems too weird and eccentric. It’s been a bizarre and fun night.

Or as Church and I call it, “Wednesday 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.

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Sun Stories – Lara – 2016 to Present- Tinderella

How did I match up with a 19-year-old girl?

Here’s a little tale about a hot baby that comes into the salon. She’s got long raven hair, light eyes, and a slamming little body on her. She’s 19 years of age and goes to Temple University. She always wears black, but it just makes her look darker and more mysterious.

She comes in pretty regularly before Spring Break. She wants to get her base tan built up so when she goes away she won’t burn.

She’s attractive and sweet, and sometimes looks a little stoned when she comes in, but that somehow makes her lovely eyes more limpid. I chat with her regularly, and last year I saw her quite often.

But one day she comes in and we’re chatting, and I feel like I know her from somewhere else. But I can’t quite figure out where. Facebook? Instagram? Maybe. We’re not friends, and don’t have any friends in common so that’s not a thing.

I search my memory to try to remember where I know her or have seen her before, but I can’t think of anything. Maybe I’m just in love with her soft beauty and I’m creating all of this in my mind.

That weekend, I’m lying in bed, looking at all of my past contacts on Tinder to see if I can resurrect a lost connection and get a date. Then I suddenly come upon a woman I matched with named Lara. Oh God, It’s her! How did I match up with a 19-year-old girl? Why would she swipe right? I’m obviously too old for her. She’s younger than my daughter! On Tinder she says she’s 22. It doesn’t make sense. I swipe right on everybody that comes up, just for the sheer numbers and stories.

The next time Lara comes in I decide to take a chance. One of our rules is no dating the customers. I will never break that rule, and there is no way Lara wants me. I mean, she may be looking for a sugar daddy, and for that I would almost pay to sleep with her, but I digress.

But I have to find out.

When she comes out from the room, she comes by the counter and asks if she has any tans left. I tell her she’s out. Lara’s fine with that because she tells me she’s going on Spring Break anyway Friday. I whip out my phone and pull up Tinder and start swiping through her pictures.

“Now we’ve all made mistakes, and swiped right when we obviously should have swiped left. I’ve done it myself, Lara. But is that you?”

I turn the phone to her and swipe through her pics on Tinder.

She’s alarmed but not upset. (Probably too stoned)

“Don’t be embarrassed, we all make mistakes, Lara.”

“I have a weird thing. Age doesn’t matter to me.”

Her words shocked me, and I thought she has to be a sugar baby and worlds are colliding right now.

“Don’t worry about it, Lara.”

I don’t know why I just didn’t ask her if she made “arrangements.” She had to go and before she left, she asked, “What’s your name again?”

I told her. I’m sure she wants to go look for my profile on Tinder to see what’s up. She’ll probably unmatch and delete me out of sheer embarrassment.

Later I go into Tinder and text her the following message: “Hello, Lara. Please don’t be embarrassed, it’s (my name) from the salon. If you’d like to chat, that would be fine. No expectations.”

Crickets.

————————————————————-

So a year goes by and it’s March and Spring Break is once again upon us. We’ve moved the salon and people are beginning to trickle in. But, because we just got here, there are only 3 beds currently operating. One stand up unit, and the two premium beds.

When sweet baby Lara comes in and wants to tan, I remember her name of course and chat with her a bit. I thank her for returning to us for her tan. She is surprised I remember her name after all of this time, but I tell her she must have made a favorable impression on me.

“That and we have a little history.” she says.

I know she’s eluding to the Tinder match! So exciting!

“And we share the same birthday, Lara. August 9th!” (NOT a bold-faced lie for once!)

Of course her birth year is ’97 and mine is ’62.

“Oh my god, we’re both Leos! I can’t believe it.” she exclaims.

She doesn’t know that we’re putting everybody in any bed available just to maintain a level of service. No matter if they have the basic, all access, or premium package, we’re just tanning them in anything we can. So when I put Lara in the best unit in the house, she thinks I’m doing something special for her because I like her.

I do like her but she doesn’t need to know that everybody’s getting what she’s getting. She doesn’t know where to throw her little towel that we’ve provided so she just hands it to me. But before she does, she wipes her nose with it. I don’t say anything and simply toss it into the small hamper behind me.

She thanks me for the best tanning experience and off she goes.

——————————————————————

The next time she came in was the day before she was to fly to Florida for Spring Break. She was literally my last client of the night. But when I go to send her into a bed to tan I see that her package has run out. She’s out of tanning sessions!

Lara gets upset and asks how much it is for one tan. I tell her $17 and she’s shocked. She then asks if there is anything I can do.

Now at this point I know that some of you may be thinking and this story will take a dark turn.

“How much cash do you have?”

Digs through her purse. “Seven bucks.”

I make a face.

“I’ll give you two cigarettes.”

“Four.”

“Okay, Four. Here. Now can I tan?”

“Yes. Go back to room 6.”

I watch her as she strolls back to the tanning booth and closes the door behind her. I put the four cigarettes into my pack. I then pull out my wallet, and grab a ten-dollar bill and ring up the $17.00 single session. I put the money in the drawer. Legitimate sale completed. (You didn’t think I was going to barter a tan for sex did you?)

Then I hear her call my name.

“Yes Lara?”

“My phone is nearly dead. Can I hand it out to you so you can charge it for me, please?”

“Sure. Put it into airplane mode so it’ll charge twice as fast, Lara.”

I walk back to the room and she opens the door. She has her forearm and hand across her bare breasts covering herself. She looks me right in the eyes. Then with her other hand she passed the phone and charger out to me. She smiles and closes the door. That little minx!

So a nice little glimpse that I’m sure was an additional little tip for my service. My heart is pounding as I walk back to the counter and plug-in her phone. I grab a little cloth and wipe off the phone and clean it up nice for her.

When her tanning session is complete, she emerges from the room looking radiant.

“Thank you sooo much for everything you’ve done for me!”

I give her the phone and we even laugh about the Tinder incident.

“I’m not embarrassed about anything” she says.

She seems high. She hands me her sweaty towel like last time instead of dropping it in the hamper.

“Oh… sorry. Is that gross?” she says looking at the spent towel in my hand.

“No, Lara. It’s not gross. What’s gross is when you first wiped your nose off with it before handing it to me last time.”

She looks mortified. “Oh my god. Did I do that? I’m so sorry.”

“I’m just kidding, Lara. That didn’t happen.”

She cracks up and we have a nice laugh about it.

“Okay, well I’m headed to Florida tomorrow. I’ll see you in a couple of weeks.”

She leans in and gives me a hug and a kiss, I hug her back and somehow my lips end up kissing her hair. She smells lovely and I’m feeling giddy.

She heads downstairs, and I watch as she disappears out the door into the 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.

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Annabelle – 2013 to 2014 – Chapter 12 -Emotional Bankruptcy

I don’t think Annabelle ever really loved me because she doesn’t have the capacity to truly love at all.

There were some good times. We exchanged the phrase “I love you”. She once told me that she didn’t even “like” her former boyfriends. You can see how dysfunctional her mind is. That’s a person who can’t differentiate from like, love, or sex. That’s fucked up.

The time we went to the zoo. The time we went to the Academy of Natural Sciences. Now you would think someone who lived in Philly for so many years would have gone to these places a dozen times by now, but Annabelle had never been to either.

But she was still swamped with managing her photography business, working on a weird musical about Andy Warhol and working on some other play about a Russian all female musical group. It was all just so grinding and boring to me.

She was sometimes dragging me to these really awful performance pieces that I would rather have driven knitting needles into my eyes than see this crap.

She loved art and the theater. I remember she went to see my daughter Lorelei in The Sound of Music at her high school play. The kids were all really good. But my daughter played the part of Mother Abbess. That’s the lead soprano role. Lorelei is a four octave soprano. She has natural ability and has an absolutely deadly singing voice. I’m not saying that because I’m her father. I’m saying that because I know what good music sounds like, and Lorelei is really fucking good.

I literally had tears running down my face because she sounded so beautiful, and I was so proud of her performance that I couldn’t help but cry. I couldn’t believe this lovely songbird came to this Earth through me.

But when the play was over. (It was wonderful!) I noticed Annabelle seemed down on the train ride home. She said she had a headache. (She always pulled the headache thing when she wanted to get out of something) But I knew what it was. She resented how talented all of these kids were. She resented the fact that they were little twinkling stars on that little stage in their senior year of high school. About to begin their lives in college or work or wherever. Full of hope and ambition.

I’m sure Annabelle once felt the same way. And after 4 years of attending the University for the Performing Arts at a cost of $100,000 out of her parents wallet, she had nothing to show for it. Just working her ass off slinging beers at a shitty hotel bar and eking out a living doing headshots for her other shitty failed actor friends. If that’s what she could call them. They’re all clinging to each other, but if any one of them have any measure of success off they go never to be heard from again.

She was at a party once and there was some horseplay, (Juvenile. Civilized adults don’t engage in horseplay at gatherings) and she broke her foot. She said no one ever came to visit her in the hospital.

Her “good” friend Amber in NYC is a fat failed actress. She’s fucked over Annabelle over on several occasions. But Annabelle remains friends with this failure and continues to let her use her.

Several years ago, Annabelle was in a destructive relationship. The guy was some piece of shit musician. He used to knock her around when he was angry or frustrated with her. I’m glad I don’t know this pile of breathing garbage. Because any guy that raises his hand to a woman, deserves to get backed over, after you hit him with your car.

And the worst part? She’s still friends with steaming pile of feces!

So being the result of a distant father, never being in a real relationship, maintaining the grinding sadness of failure, Annabelle is a pretty fucked up girl.

It’s hard for a level minded person to be in a relationship with someone like that. But I give people a lot of chances, and I think I’m in love with her. I say “think” because at that time I thought I was in love with her, but I now realize in hindsight that I was in love with the feeling of being in love. So I guess I was a bit fucked up back then as well.

I enjoyed making love to her, cooking her dinner, and going out and doing things together, but beyond that we really had nothing but our common attraction to each other, and I think that was waning. Well, I know it was waning, because we really had nothing in common, had different interests, and had totally different sets of friends. Me: Business people. Her: Weirdo actor carny types.

I had started eating more carbs and she noticed I had put a little weight back on. I remember being in her shitty little cramped apartment, and saying that it was just a little bit of weight and was she calling me fat?

She said she thought that I was a man who cared about his health and was into being fit. I immediately lost all the weight. But I think back on that now, and it was such bullshit. Here’s a chick who never really ate healthy, and here she was telling me how to live. But the drug of love does strange to your mind and I would do whatever she wanted.

None of the above makes for a healthy sustainable relationship. One night I was waiting for her to finish up whatever nonsense she was working on. I wanted to cook her dinner I had bought for us. I just got sick of her being so wrapped up in her work. I started huffing and puffing, and she got pissed off. She told me I could leave if I was unhappy. So I did. I didn’t answer any of her texts for 24 hours. Which is juvenile. But I was 51 and hooked on the drug of love and I was dealing with a 27-year-old woman who had the mind of a teenage girl. If you’ve never worked in commerce and never done the 9 to 5 you never develop the coping and negotiating skills needed to act accordingly around other people.

We made up a day or so later. She apologized and I did as well. It got a little better for a while after that. But I don’t think Annabelle ever really loved me because she doesn’t have the capacity to truly love at all.

I feel bad writing these chapters. I know Annabelle can’t help what she is. I’m going to blame shitty parenting.

 

 

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