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 – 2014 to Present – 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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Charlene – 2015 to Present – Spiritual Innocence

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

I was walking down the stairs from my building to Suburban Station. I don’t even remember why. There was a bunch of people coming through and I held the door for a group of ladies that were coming down behind me. This one attractive black woman wearing a hijab and a tunic was very appreciative that I was holding the door for everybody. She thanked me and actually stopped to chat. There seemed to be a very simple instant connection.

Charlene is obviously Muslim. We chatted awhile and I think she felt surprised that we were connecting. But she is very nice and has a pretty smile. I’ve had two girlfriends in the past that were black. I look forward to telling you those stories on here at PhicklePhilly. So we chatted and I exchanged numbers with her. I thought we could meet for lunch and I could get to know her better. I have had almost zero contact with any Muslim women. They simply don’t socialize with anyone outside of their circle. Someone once told me that if you saw a woman walking around in a burka that meant her husband was in jail, because once a black man entered the penal system he usually joined the Muslims that were already in the can. But frankly I think that might be bullshit. If anyone knows the reason, please send me a message or leave a comment.

There was some texting but nothing concrete. Apparently she had been laid off from her job and that’s why I met her at my building. There was some sort of job service, career training agency on the 2nd floor. They had so many people going there everyday, that the building gave them access to their own elevator. Which ironically, when you saw who the majority of people who were going to the job center, it almost felt like segregation.

A few weeks passed and I ran into her again in Suburban Station. We went to the food court at Comcast and had a nice little lunch. It was obviously noisy but we didn’t mind. We were happy just to be sharing a meal.

Charlene seemed fascinated with me in general. She kept asking why a businessman like myself would be interested in her. I told her it didn’t matter. She seemed sweet and nice. She took my hands across the table and looked at them, turning them over to look at my palms and feel them. It was as if this was her first physical contact with a caucasian man. But I kind of liked the attention. We decided to make a date. I asked her if she’d like to see a movie with me on the weekend. She has two daughters, like eight and thirteen. She said if she could get a sitter we’d go out.

This was some groundbreaking stuff for me. All I’d seen of her was her face and her hands. That’s it. The rest of her was completely covered up. I asked her if she was always Muslim and she said the last man she was with was so she got into character. She had expressed that she was debating whether to go back to wearing her regular clothes. But that’ll be her choice. When do you ever see a white guy walking down the street holding hands with a black muslim woman? I’m going to go head and say never! I asked her why she was no longer with that man and she said he was too controlling.

Insecurity is a bitch, guys. Believe in yourself and trust your woman.

So I told her I had to get back to the office and she had to go as well. I walked her up the steps and into the vestibule on 16th street to say goodbye. That’s when I took her face in my hands and kissed her on her soft full lips. She seemed surprised but I saw a green light, so I went for it. She smiled and I could tell it was all okay. I told her I’d be thinking about her and that I’d see her soon. It was a pretty bold move to kiss a black Muslim woman on the lips in public.

But fortune favors the bold.

That Saturday I set up where we were to meet. We were going to see “Meet the Patels.” A wonderful film by the way. See it. It was playing at the Ritz theater in society hill on Walnut Street. I love the Ritz theaters because they always show quality films and it’s quiet and full of responsible adults. Plus the seats are really comfy.

Charlene was driving in, and she seemed to be really struggling to find her way into the city. I was on the phone with her and it was very stressful for both of us. I’m a stickler for being on time when I go to anything related to the arts in any way. And when I say “on time” I mean 15 minutes early. Anyway,  we finally got her there and made it into the movie.  We got some popcorn and settled in the back of the theater and watched the film.

It was a bit of a chilly day. Overcast I remember. After the film we walked around Society Hill a bit. She was a little chilly so I put my coat around her. I was still wearing my signature blazer so I was fine. Normally I’m impervious to the cold so no worries there. We sat down on a little bench and chatted. There was some kissing and cuddling but she was getting cold and it was late so we headed back to her car. More kissing and grabbing ensued. She even said things like “when we have sex” and great things like that. So this was all very exciting to me. She was kind enough to drop me off in Rittenhouse.

There is something simple and sweet about Charlene. She isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but I would rather spend time with someone who is genuinely a nice person than some one that is smart but not a nice person. I’ve met plenty of those assholes. We all have. But there is something to say about the simplicity of Charlene. She’s really happy to spend time with me. There are many things she doesn’t know or understand, but she doesn’t really need to know all of that stuff. She works at her job, and takes care of her house and her two daughters. (Whom I have not yet met.) I kind of like that she seems proud that I’m interested in her. She also seems a bit submissive which is refreshing. Sometimes it’s nice to just spend time with someone who never says shit like “My kind of crazy…” or “I’m a raging feminist.” I think Charlene is the kind of girl who is just happy not to be controlled by some insecure man. She really feels special when you take her out and is very appreciative. It makes a man feel good that he’s with her. That’s rare these days.

So I kept in touch with her but schedules were off so I didn’t see her for a while. I don’t know if I reached out to her or if she to me but I remember speaking with her on the phone. She seemed upset. When I inquired what was wrong she said that they were somewhere and somehow her thirteen year old had gotten in her car and started it and smashed into something. Her kid was fine but that is some alarming shit. She said that she couldn’t deal with her eldest daughter and she wasn’t listening to her anymore. I’m thinking regardless, how did the kid get the keys? I think she wanted me to give her some assistance, but I couldn’t do that at the time. I don’t know if she didn’t have anyone to turn to or what, but I couldn’t do that. I mean, we’d had lunch together. I took her to the movies. I can’t be giving her $500 to fix her front end. I’ve paid out so much in my life, it just didn’t make sense. I like to help people and I’ve been described as a giver, but it was just too early in the game.

I still liked her and was sorry I couldn’t help but that sort of puts you off a person for a bit. But she was still on my mind because she was such a sweet gentle woman and I was attracted to her!  Some months went by and she texted me out of the blue. That was two weeks ago. We’re supposed to meet up for lunch again soon so I’ll continue this saga then. If she doesn’t bail.

Update: She got a job! She had a work conflict so she couldn’t come down. Maybe we’ll go out again sometime.

 

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

I publish new Dating content every Monday at 9am EST. I publish Updates and bios and stories about related characters, such as male and female friends and acquaintances on Wednesdays at 9am EST.