Michelle – Chapter 3 – Ignition

I never wonder how history can get to be blurred over time. Details are lost. Words forgotten. Deeds bent and twisted by time and sometimes other factors. The story of Michelle and I only lived in two places. In both of our heads. That’s it. Nowhere else in the world. There is her version. There is my version and somewhere in between there is the truth. But I will do my best to tell this compelling tale.

Michelle was still trying to get acclimated to the job and was coming along. We had been getting pretty close as pals. There was lots of laughs in our department and Michelle fit right in with our band of idiots. Like the rest of the company, everyone liked and respected her.

In our building we had our on lunchroom. Like the watering hole on the savannah, it would not be uncommon to see salespeople, writers, reporters, production people and even management all eating in the same place. Obviously they would all sit in their little cliques together like high school.

One day I asked Michelle if she’d like to join me for lunch up there. She agreed, which I was thrilled about. I could never have imagined in this moment how this day would ultimately end. We’d be moving to our new, modern workspace downtown, so this could be one of the last time anyone of us would be using this lunchroom.

Lunch was nice and people said hello as they passed. I was still relatively new to the company so many people didn’t know who the hell I was but everybody knew Michelle. I don’t remember what we even talked about and it doesn’t even matter. I was just happy to be out of our tiny office and sitting enjoying a simple meal together in public.

After lunch we went back to work as usual. The details are a little fuzzy because this was 8 years ago, but Michelle and several other staff members were all going across the street to a local go-to bar after work for a few drinks. I do remember it was a Thursday, because the next day was Friday and there were moving all of our stuff to the new space. We were to start at the new location the next Monday. I’ll never turn down the offer to have a drink, so when Michelle asked if I was going I said that I’d check it out. I had been there before but only with a co-worker for lunch.

I finished up my work and packed up the last of my stuff. It was probably around 5:30 when I walked over to the parking garage and dropped my computer bag into the trunk of my car. I walked across the street, and entered the establishment. Michelle was sitting at the bar chatting with this young, short jewish guy named Seth who worked in local digital sales. I knew him only in passing because we sold different products than his group. The local sales team were a young, hip, good-looking bunch that always appeared to have it better than the rest of us. I will say this, I liked him. He was hungry and a good sales guy. So he had my respect. I took a seat next to him and Michelle was on the other side of him.

I ordered a glass of wine and we all chatted. Talking about the move to downtown and just regular corporate stuff that happens at every happy hour around the world. At some point Michelle got up to chat with some ladies she was friends with by the jukebox. Seth and I continued to talk. Business, goals, women, bosses, etc. At one point I asked him how his love life was going. He said he had started dating a nice girl and it seemed to be going well. He asked me and I told him I had just moved back from New York and wasn’t seeing anyone. I asked him if he could have any woman who would it be. He looked me right in the eye and with a serious tone said; “Michelle.” I was like, “Really?” He said, “yea, I love her. She’s amazing.” I suppose I would get that answer from any short Jewish guy. A pretty tall blonde on his arm.

Time went by and everyone was throwing back their drinks. People drink a lot in the advertising and financial world. It’s just part of the business. We were all pretty buzzed and everyone was laughing and the place was getting loud. Seth said he had to leave soon, and it looked like Michelle and I were going to stick around a little longer. I thought I’d shake the place up and see if I could get everyone’s attention and maybe annoy them at the same time. It was my turn to feed the jukebox, so I had a plan. I played something popular that everyone liked and then I programmed in Dio’s Holy Diver being performed by Killswitch Engage. I love heavy metal and I’m sure nobody ever places that kind of music in a place like that. But then I programmed a bunch of other songs that were part of my plan.

Seth says his goodbye’s and now it’s just Michelle and I and we’re chatting away and slugging our cheap wine. Frank Sinatra comes on the jukebox. Michelle exclaims that she likes his music and asks if I played those songs. I told her it was indeed me. She smiled.

We continued to talk and tell stories, I told her I  lived in Pennsauken, NJ and how I would ultimately find a place in the city . I always felt like the type of person that should live in a metropolis. I had spent most of my life living in the suburbs wherever I was and hated it. But after getting a taste of city life while in NY I knew where I belonged. Michelle lived in a high-rise apartment building in Fairmount. It was only about six blocks away so she liked walking to work. She had a roommate, who she used to model with a few year ago and they had remained friends and decided to get a place.  She said the apartment had a great southern view of the city.

Then she asked me if I wanted to check out her view. We had been drinking for a couple of hours and were both “tipsy”. I’m being gentle here. It’s like when the police say: “Tipsy driving is still drunk driving.” That’s how tipsy we were.

We literally were outside and she was having a cigarette and we had our wine glasses in our hands, and the next thing I knew we were walking towards her house still caring our glasses of wine and drinking from them. She whips out her iPod, (I had only seen one before in my life. I still had a flip phone back then!) She puts one ear bud in my ear and the other in hers and she’s playing songs for me. It was the first of many surreal episodes I would encounter with Michelle. I asked her wouldn’t the bar be angry if people walked out with full glasses and took them? She said it happened all the time. At that point I didn’t give a shit, I was just happy to be with her. Lunch and then drinks in the same day was a big deal to me. I did notice that if you don’t have both ear buds in your ears the sound quality just isn’t there. But the music was chill and sort of dreamy.

I don’t remember entering her building, nor do I remember going up in the elevator, or entering her apartment. Apparently her roommate was away for the weekend. All I remember is kissing her and her saying my breath was bad. I don’t know why she said that or even why  I remember that, but it didn’t stop me from drunkenly making out with her. I remember some other things happening, but we did not have sex that night. I can’t remember anything else or where  I even slept that night or when the night ended.

I woke up I think on the floor the next morning and was pretty hung over. The beautiful thing was we didn’t have to go into work that day, which was clutch. I remember looking everywhere for my glasses. For the life of me I was looking all over for them and just couldn’t find them. It’s even harder to find your glasses when you’re not wearing your glasses! I did finally locate them. They were under a chair out on her balcony. It had rained during the night and they were all wet but thankfully, undamaged. No idea…

We awkwardly pulled ourselves together, and I’m sure she was probably feeling bad about what transpired, especially because she was working hard to get back together with Delaware Dave. I think we agreed that it was just a case of drunken slipsies (That’s what my Dad calls it) I apologized for the infraction but deep down didn’t regret having it happen.

We said our awkward goodbyes and I told her I would talk to her later. She said she had to go into the office and pick up a few things but that was all. So I did my first Philadelphia walk of shame back to the parking garage under cloudy skies. When I got home I realized I had forgotten to pack the AC adapter to my computer. It was still plugged in the wall under my cubical at the old office. I called Michelle and asked if she could get it for me. She was pretty hung over and she agreed to slip in and out, and get her stuff and grab my adapter for me. Well at least she doesn’t hate me, I thought.

I was so tired and banged up from the events of the night before, I just drove back to Jersey and took a nap at home. It was officially the weekend, and we would all be reporting to the new location Monday morning. I had a lot to think about, but only time would tell what the coming days would bring for us all.

 

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.

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Sarika – River of Betrayal

I was down at Harbor Park down on the Delaware River, two summers ago. I remember I was stumbling about with one of my bartender pals, Myles. We her drunk and stoned and just grooving on the lights and checking out the ladies.

I remember looking off to my two o’ clock and seeing this stunning Indian beauty in a blue and white striped shirt with white slacks. She really struck me because she was so lovely. Just an ethereal, exotic beauty. She was with a group of girls, so we just kept walking. Myles had a girlfriend at the time and I wasn’t in the market, so we just browsed.

I never really thought of that Eastern beauty again, until I was chatting with my friend, Keila. She was showing me some of her friends in her phone, and I was suddenly like, “Wait a second! Back up! Who is that?” “Oh, my friend, Sarika?”

I told her how I saw her at Harbor Park and was immediately taken by her beauty. “Can you introduce me to her?” I squeaked.

So a few weeks later I was at an event with Keila, and she had her squad with her. Sarika was there. Keila knows everybody and has tons of contacts so it stands to reason she’d be friends with hot Sarika. She introduces me, and I proceed to tell her the story of how I had noticed her at Harbor Park weeks before.

I became friends with Sarika. We would meet up for drinks, and I was just happy to be seen in public with such a deadly beauty. I would take her to fashion shows and she would be hotter than the models on stage. I kid you not.

I learned that Sarika was a nerd. As hard to believe as that may seem, it’s true. She worked as an engineer. She would rather go to the Franklin Institute after hours with me than sit in a bar or go to a club. I found that incredibly hot. Because most nerds aren’t hot. I mean my friend Trish is hot, but not “Sarika” hot. We would hang out quite a bit. I started to realize that she didn’t have many female friends. She was seeing this pretty boy type, but I think he wasn’t that into her. Which I didn’t understand. How could you not be interested in someone who lovely? The more time I spent with Sarika, the more I started to see that she was vacuous and really self-absorbed. She would say things negative about herself only so you’d say, “Oh no you’re not. You look great.” Why would she need that?

Then I heard a story from my dear friend Alice. She was in New York with Sarika, and Alice was visiting some people and one of them was an ex that she was still friends with. Alice stressed to everyone that she still had some feelings for him. Which if you were a normal person you would be careful about what you said or did around them. So they’re in a taxi, and Sarika starts flirting with Alice’s ex right in front of her. Then goes so far as to laugh and make fun of Alice. I hear this story later, and I find it hard to believe, because Sarika has never done anything to me. But I’m not a girl.

Then I hear another story about how Sarika was flirting with Keila’s then boyfriend. She would do it right in front of her. Keila knew this was breaking the code. You don’t pull that shit on your friends. Granted, at the time she was dating this rich guy that looked like Woody Harrelson’s brother with down syndrome and the HIV. I didn’t understand that mess.

So what was up with Sarika? Was she really a Black Widow? My female friends would ask me why I still hung around with that shrew, and my answer was always the same. “She’s never done anything to me.”

New Years 2016 rolls around. I have tickets at the Pyramid Club for a $70 a plate event. Who do I want to be seen with in all the pictures on New Years eve at the Pyramid Club? Exactly. I don’t even have to say her name.

Well, it’s like the day before and I get a call from her and she says, “I’m trying to get Jim a ticket but it looks like it’s sold out.”

Ok. I know she has been seeing Jim off and on for a while now. First that smacked ass wouldn’t commit to her, because he probably was still banging his ex that he said he was ‘still ung up on.’ Maybe he didn’t want to commit to a brown-skinned girl.  i don’t know. But if you are my first choice to go to an exclusive event, and you agree, I don’t expect you to bring a date. It’s just rude. I didn’t expect to be kissing Sarika at midnight. i just wanted her to go with me. Sure i would have loved to have been with her, but i knew that wasn’t happening. She was just a friend, and the best darn bit of arm candy i knew.

I jus got really pissed at the infraction and sort of cut her off. I ended up taking some other loser chick that I could get to go with me last minute. I shouldn’t call her a loser. She’s clearly not but it just wasn’t the same. It was however one of the most sober new years eves I’ve ever had.

I started to think about some other times I was out with Sarika with some other women friends there. Sarika would sometimes make fun of the other girls. It’s kind of bizarre. Here is this tragically beautiful girl, who knows she’s gorgeous and smart as a whip, and she’s kind of an asshole to those around her. But I will tell you this. In the time I’ve known her, she’s never once been in a stable loving relationship. So there’s that.

My father used to say, you should be able to be friends with men and women. It’s a good balance. He also once said, “Go through this life and hurt as little people as possible.”

So watch out for karma, Sarika.

Update: It’s been over a year but I recently ran into Sarika and we have made some amends. I am supposed to meet up with her this month, so we’ll see what’s up. Sure she’s probably still a self-absorbed asshole.

But God, she is beautiful…

Phicklephilly!

 

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.

June – Runs with Scissors – Midtown Fall Festival Too!

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

So technically, I said I’d probably not go out with June again. But desperate times call for desperate measures. Is it a 2nd date? It kinda is. I can’t wiggle out of that. I may regret it, but I want what I want and it’ll make for good prose. As you may have read in my last chapter, (Valerie – Date 4) My buddy Johnny wasn’t coming down because he had stuff to do.  We thought it was going to rain but it didn’t, and I really wanted to go to the Midtown Street Festival!

I set it up the date the night before with June. Who I know likes to drink and even though she’s no box of chocolates, she’s fun to be with. So a few days before my morning date with Valerie, I told June about the street festival and how I’d like to go and I’d like her to join me after 2pm if she was available. She agreed and it was on.

I get there, and text her, and within a few minutes we’re together. We hug and agree that we should get a drink. She says, “I’ll get the first round.” ( I am nearly aroused by that statement based on how things have been going on these dates lately.) So I am back at the festival. It’s in full swing now. I ran into a couple of people, but not my friend with the baby son. How funny would it be if he saw me with Valerie at 1pm and June at 3pm?

The drinks were flowing and the festival was great. June is fun to be wit, but again, I’m not feeling the energy. The amazing light is not there. I’m glad that I’m doing all of this and I’m meeting some new people, but the quest will continue. We stopped on Chestnut in front of a whiskey and jazz bar called Time.  There is a good band playing and we’re chatting with some folks around us. I was telling June about a new opportunity in which I’m about to embark. I am telling her about how part of the package is a membership to the Pyramid Club. The Pyramid Club is a private members only club on the 51st floor of the BNY Mellon Center at 18th and Market. It has amazing views and is a great place to take clients. I’m telling her all about it and the last time I was there. A co-worker at my last job had tickets to a New Years Party there, and gave them to me because she was going to something else that night. I reached out to one of the most beautiful women I know to go with me as arm candy. Her name is Sarika. She is Indian and incredibly beautiful and smart. But she is a vacuous, mean-spirited wench that women hate. All of my female friends have warned me about her and my opinion has always been: “She hasn’t done anything to me, so…” But she is trouble. I invited her and she agreed. Normally I hate New Years and any shitshow that involves amateur night, greatest hits drunk people. But it was a nice event and I wanted to look good bringing her with me, and being seen with a beautiful woman. The pictures would have been fabulous. But apparently there was some “confusion” and she “thought” it was some sort of event I could bring a bunch of people to, and she invited some asshole she’s been seeing. I’ve heard all of the stories in regard to this “relationship.” I think he’s enjoying the sex and novelty of being with her but it’s not a match. His family will never accept her. As smart as she is, she’s socially awkward and kind of nerd. Which normally I would find hot. A pretty girl who likes Sci Fi? It should work but it doesn’t. I’ll expand on her when I write her chapter, but I got pissed that she wanted to bring a date to my $80 a plate event. She’s smart, and I was thinking everything that everyone has said about her is true. She’s awful.

So I’m telling June this story and to another two ladies we were hanging with. I finish the story, and within five minutes, this beautiful woman walks by and June says; “I like your jacket” and I look over and it’s Sarika! It was such an uncanny moment that I could never have imagined. June had just gone to the truck next to us to get us drinks and Sarika starts talking to me. I’m half in the bag and she’s says: “What happened New Years?” I just tell her I was in a bad place and it was all a misunderstanding because I’ve had 8 drinks and she looks great as usual. I can’t disrespect June no matter what I feel or where I am in the day. It was a surreal moment. Of all people to show up at that moment. I wish I had been talking about lottery numbers or my last girlfriend and maybe I would summon them all up. June passes me my drink and is on the other side of the table with the other girls. Sarika asks me if  I tried to contact her because she has a new number, and I tell her I haven’t. (which I loved saying)  She asks if she can give me her new number so we can catch up and like the idiot I am, I relinquish my phone. It was weird because even before the story that summoned up this siren, I thought of Sarika earlier that same day, when I went on Facebook. You know how now they show that you have memories with certain people on that day a year ago? Well it came up that I was at a fashion show with Sarika a year ago and it made me think of her. I thought she had moved to another city for her work and Philly was rid of this witch. But no. She’s still here to wreak more havoc and crush the spirits of the people around her. But my mind went one place. This work. Any contact with her will feed this story. And at this moment, my art takes precedence over everything.

I tell her I’m glad we’re cool and that we’ll catch up before the end of the month. I will meet with her, but I will write about her and be truthful about who Sarika really is.  So she moves on and goes back to whoever the hell she’s hanging out with currently at some other table. I explain it away to June and the other girls and they laugh at the mad irony of this moment. I did notice that after that incident June stuck really close to me. She said I should have kissed her in front of Sarika, and I would have done that had I been into her. Which sadly I’m not, and Sarika wouldn’t have given a shit, and would have probably texted me later saying: ” Who was that woman you were with?” Not in jealousy but in: “What were you doing with that old lady?” Like I said, Sarika is a rotten person. And technically sometimes so am I.

June had cooked up a bunch of food the night before, and had to go to some event that night so shehad to get her back home. We said goodbye to the girls we had been chatting with, and walked back down through the festival, drinking our way through it of course.

She lives in Washington Square West. It’s a beautiful neighborhood, and she lives on a really great street. We get to her house and we’re out front saying our goodbyes. We’re hugging and kissing. Actually we’re making out. There is some physical activity but it’s her street and I don’t want to disgust her neighbors. However I did enjoy it. I think in that moment, that all of these women may all have a place in my life right now. None of them are “the one” but their sum total keeps me amused and busy. For some reason I find that interesting.

Anyway, I can drink. I can handle myself when it comes to the bottle. I’ve only been sipping IPA’s all afternoon and it would take a lot more than that to bang me up. But, I’m saying goodbye and I’m backing up, and I lose my footing when I step onto this ring of cobblestones that border this tree out front of her house. I fall backward. There is this little metal fence about two feet high around the tree. I destroy that wire fence as gravity takes me back to earth. I don’t technically fall, more like sit back on the fence, crush it, and slide down the tree into the flowerbed around it. June runs down and helps me get up. I look like a stupid drunk. But I swear I’m not. I know what you’re thinking… yea, you are, but I really did just lose my footing and tripped backwards. I’m back on my feet, thanks to June, and we’re trying to bend the little fence back into shape, but it’s ruined. We’re laughing and I dust myself off and assure her I’m not a fall down drunk and I’m really okay. She says: ” You need to text me when you get home safe.”

I walk down to the corner and summon an UBER. I normally wear jeans that are a 32 waist, but they were in the laundry and I had on a dark blue pair of 34 waist jeans. So I have to wear a belt. But the belt I pulled out of my closet, was a really old weathered belt I’ve owned for over 15 years. Well, when I get to the corner I realize that my pants are really loose, because in the fall I have blown out the old buckle on the belt. It’s still attached to the belt but it has released from its connecting piece. So my drawers are super loose and I have to hold them up like some homeless bum. But a very well dressed bum with a lovely french scarf and blazer. I grasp my pants and get into the UBER. I get home in one piece and text her that I’m fine, and everything is good, and that I had a great time with her.

I’m up or maybe 2 hours and realize I am exhausted from all of the walking and drinking of the day and go to bed. I slept for at least 10 hours. When I awakened to go work at the spa I was completely refreshed. I worked the day and felt great. I met with my friend Johnny after 4pm and he and I went to our usual go to: McGincheys. (Which is our beloved home) It’s a filthy dive that has $2.60 wines and $4 bud bottles that Johnny loves. We exchange stories and I tell him all about my weekend and he says he envies my life. We drink, and smoke cigarettes (Yes one of the few bars you can still smoke in here in Philly!) we take turns playing songs on the jukebox and it is the perfect end to an adventurous weekend. He’s a good friend and a decent man despite his love of vice. I tell him what June is like and he says he would love a girl like that. I know June would be wild if I would crack the seal on that one. He says based on what I’ve said I should probably have a good time with her and take her to places like McGlinchey’s. I think he’s right. He says she may even be down for a threesome. We laugh and order another round.

 

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

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

Katsumi – Update

I got a text from Katsumi out of the blue last night. It said: “Getting rid of Tinder… So if you don’t see me, that’s why.”

I told her I was dropping it as well. (Bold faced lie) Then I asked her if she had any interest in seeing me again. Her reply was: I am not sure if it logistically makes sense. I pretty much have only 1 free Saturday every 2 weeks. I have kids all the other days. When I have kids, I can leave them home for an hour or two but I can’t go far. So how are we going to date? It is close to impossible unless it is someone closer. Know what I mean?”

My response: “I think it comes down to is if you are interested. I am interested in you and I am attracted to you. I enjoyed my time with you. Even if I could only see you sometimes at your convenience I would be happy.” (Bold faced lie)

Katsumi: “Thank you! I would like to stay friends right now if you are interested.”

Me: That’s fine. I think you have a lovely spirit.” (Yes… another Bold faced lie)

I have plenty of friends. Clearly Katsumi is still married, and it appears that even though her older son is 16 (the one with autism) he can’t be left unsupervised around his brother or in the house for long. At 51 her life still seems kinda crappy. Her husband is still on the deed and still pays all the bills, and currently Katsumi is unemployed. So she needs to get her affairs and life in order before she starts dating again.

So this one is a fail. I’m not going to reach out to her again.

But if at some point she straightens out her shit and wants to see me again… I will strike like a cobra.

 

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

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

Rebecca – Chapter 3 – Dark Wings of Destiny

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

Rebecca was right next to me. I could feel the energy. I felt really close to her. “The city is so beautiful” she said. She turned to me. “You are” I replied.

And that’s when our lips met. My Lord. I’m too old for this. Wait…no I’m not. I kissed her. Her lips were soft as she yielded to me. She folded into me like an old friend. It was just like I just stepped off stage at the Troubadour in Los Angeles and she loved the song that I had written about her. I was ageless in that moment. Overcome. Beautiful. This can’t be happening but it is. Her lips are sweet and a little sticky. Minty. Human.

Her pupils were so big, it’s like her eyes were black instead of green. Her cheeks flushed and she giggled. I gently brushed her dark hair from her face and behind her ear. She slipped from me and cocked her head. It was as if she were trying to see me in a different way. “Let’s go look at some more stuff” she said, smiling. All I could hear was Midnight Moses playing in my head by the Dead Daisies. 

We continued to wander though the museum. Just going from room to room. I was making her laugh a lot about some things because that’s what I do. I think at this point it was more nerves than game. I was smitten. I’m like a child at this point. I really am. I’m just amazed to be alive at this moment.  But this is the old me. The new, old me. I shouldn’t follow this path.

We went into this one room and the whole room is art in architecture. Glorious big rooms that are incredible and opulent. We are looking around the room and I’m behind her and she just leans back into me, and she is again in my arms. Is it the art? Is it me? It can’t be me. This is nuts, but the euphoria is glorious. I love this. This is my favorite part of everything. The beginning. Ignition. I’ve always been this way, much to the disappointment of the women in my life. But for right now I am living in this moment. None of this makes any sense but I am mainlining this feeling. She turns in my arms and nuzzles her lips and nose to mine. Her eyes are smokey and dark. Lashes flash and she smiles. She looks deeply into my eyes. Rebecca pulls me into her world and kisses me again.

And again…

There was a moment when we were sitting in one of the galleries and she was so excited by a work of art she grabbed my hand. She clasped it tightly in both of her hands as she described her passion for the work.  It was one of my favorites as well. The couple coming home from the carnival. I feel her soft hand clasp mine. She’s holding my hand in her lap. Dopamine drops and I am blind. The work was beautiful. But, I could no longer see it. It was gone. As was I. All I could feel in that moment was the back of my hand against Rebecca’s warm thigh.

I think we were at the PMA for 3 maybe 4 hours. I have no sense of time at this point with Rebecca. If I never hear from her again, I’m okay. This was a special sacred moment that I can wrap myself up in tonight. It’ll be just like waking up from a beautiful dream.

Obviously we did get around to inquiries. Being overwhelmed by beauty and art only lasts so long. I asked he why she is on Tinder. She said that she wanted to meet someone good. Someone that understood her and liked the things she liked. She told me at her age her friends aren’t really friends at all. They are just a bunch of young fools that smoke a bunch of weed and get drunk all of the time. She has ambition and wants to make something of herself. (she did seem really mature while we were texting) She told me she kind of went on Tinder to try. She gave me an example of a conversation she had with a boy her age recently. They were chatting and she asked him what he was looking for and he said he’d like to have some fun. When she asked him to define “fun” he sent her a photo of his genitals. That is some sad textbook shit right there. She explained to me that as an emergency room nurse, she gets her fill of seeing plenty of junk on a regular basis. “I don’t want to see his dick. I saw 5 dicks today and I had to put a catheter in and 85-year-old dick today”

My unblinking response: Okay…..okay…

She said she met another guy. She loved his mind and political views and he was just a really smart guy. She thought maybe her love of his mind and heart would translate into sex but she just wasn’t lit when they kissed. Women know. It’s either on in their minds and bodies or it’s not. Sadly boys, men do not have this ability. She said she went on 4 dates with him and it was done. He was divorced and really into his kids, I think she said they were 16 and 19. He wanted to have her over and they were going to have dinner with the gang, and it all seemed weird because the teens were a little uncomfortable with their 54-year-old father bringing over a girl who was only 4 years older than the 19-year-old son.

Fuck.  I’m jaded as hell and I hate that story. But it really came down to the fact that there was no chemistry. And that’s critical because I have made that kind of lightening strike twice in the same place in the last decade. But what I noticed was she liked him but just wasn’t feeling the intimacy when they kissed. It just wasn’t there. She said she really liked him as a man and tried to keep the friendship going but he realized there was no fire so he withdrew. He has since moved on and even recently married.

So is this chick into older men? I suppose so because she is so bright and mature in her head. She’s got the brain of Emily Dickenson and the body of Vanessa Hudgens.

What am I supposed to do with that?  I never saw any of this coming when I started this blog. I thought I would be just writing about my experiences with women here in Philly over the last 10 years and this curve ball blindsided me.

She told me her dad is a big guy who is from New York and he’s a caricature of a New Yorker. Works for the railroad. Her uncle travels the world and sounds like a cool guy that works and makes enough money and then moves to the Philippines and lives like a king for a year and then does it again somewhere else. That sounds awesome. I don’t have the freedom to do that but if I did you know I’d be there in Thailand risking arrest every year until I die. But I digress…

We wander back to the first floor and are nearing the exit. She validates her parking because apparently she is a member of the museum which I find super cool. We walk out the door and go to the elevator to the parking garage. I didn’t know the PMA had this. It must be new.  I walk her to her car. It’s dusty and blue. We do the perfunctory statement. I like you. I want to see you again. But those words are hollow. I think I may never see her again. This all seems so unreal. I have not felt this in years. Please don’t let this happen again. But I want the drug of love. Not love. Just the drug. I feel like a helpless addict.

She looks up at me under the flourescent lights of the stark concrete shapeless parking garage. Her green eyes flash in the light like pale emeralds. She runs her hands through her thick mane of dark hair. I watch as it tumbles back to her shoulders through her fingers. Her neatly manicured fingernails. The lean muscles in her arms. She smiles. Sort of a sly, half-smile. Like she knows something about me that I haven’t revealed. I think she senses it in my eyes. I smile and try to clear that. But she sees me. It’s unsettling. She places her petite hands together likes she’s praying, and then spreads them and reaches for me. Her hands hit my shoulders and pull me toward her. She kisses me. The kiss is deep and wet. Her tongue swirls. I am lost in this sensous moment.

But just for a moment.

Rebecca: “I like you. The Fringe Festival is happening soon. Can we go to something?”

You all know my answer.

She places her foot against the door and adjusts her shoe. I steal a glance at her well turned leg. She lingers on the laces of her sneaker. It’s taking too long. It’s as if she wants to remind me of what I like. She knows. She’s reading me. Come on. Nobody can do that. Maybe it’s all in my head, but her legs are exquisite and she knows she has touched the beyond.

She drives away and I am back on the street behind the museum. No fish fell from the sky. I order an UBER. He arrives in 8 minutes and I am on my way back to Rittenhouse. I am sitting in the back of the Toyota Avalon and my mind is reeling. I need to hold it together. He’s lost for some reason and I have to guide the driver home. I get out and realize I haven’t eaten in over 8 hours. I stop at my local corner shop and order a slice to go. I get back to the bat cave and text her.

“Home safe. Had a lovely evening with you.”

Crickets.

Panic.

“I was just about to text you the same thing! See you soon! XOXO- Rebecca”

We’ll just have to see how this one plays out. I’m not going to get my hopes up, but if it goes well,  I will be getting airbags installed in the headboard of my bed.

Old habits die hard.

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly

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

Rebecca – Chapter 2 – Dark Wings of Destiny

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

In the last episode our hero was preparing for his big date with Rebecca. let’s see how it plays out.

The Date

I jumped into an Uber out front of my house and went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The PMA is an amazing part of this city. I have been going there since I was a child. I remember going as a kid with my family. My father always exposed us to the arts. Dad introduced us to art, music, literature and everything else. I should probably do a blog about him at some point, but I’ll cover this stuff for now. I think I could see this blog metamorphosing into who I really am and that idea is unsettling. But somehow, I know that it will. It almost has to change. How long can I write about all of these lovely creatures that come in and out of my life? I know down deep I will run out stories and the real me will come forward. I think that’s when this memoir will become what it truly needs to be.

Anyway I had to say that because I see it, and I know it’s coming for me.

I arrive on time and Santos was a good driver. He brings me to the back of the museum. It’s just easier. I’m not up for doing the Rocky run out front. It’s just too hot today. I think this is the last 90 degree day of the summer here in Philly. I think as a city we’re all tired of the heat. 2013 was a hot summer but people forget. 2013 was “The summer of me” but that will be described in a future blog; Annabel Lee.

One of the beautiful and most elegant things about the PMA is that it never changes. Sure, they have new installations coming in and out all of the time, but you can never change the core of the place. There are just certain pieces that are constant and they fill my heart with wonder, memory and love. The place is simply amazing. If you haven’t gone in a while, please go and feel the magic energy of these wonderful, brilliant artists that make the place what it is. When you walk through the halls of the PMA you can really feel that Homo sapiens are good and make beautiful things, and all of the terrible things we have done as a species melt away after a few hours in there.

I walk in, and like I said it’s pay what you want Wednesdays which based on my last few dates will run me a total of $10. The brilliance continues. Rebecca texts me and says she’s running 15 minutes late which is actually perfect. Normally as you know I hate that. But she’s new and young so I am forgiving. I hit the first floor back balcony and get a glass of wine and wait. I look over the balcony and across the room downstairs. There is a bevy of young women all together sitting on the seats on the other side of the room. Chatting, giggling and looking at their phones.

I’m sipping my Barefoot Chardonnay (basically urine) that cost $9.00, and I get a text. Rebecca has also arrived through the back door of the museum. I tell her I’m upstairs waiting. I see her appear at the top of the stairs, and she fiddles with her phone. I’m going to go ahead right here and tell you she is 30 years younger than me. I know. But I met her on Tinder and this is Phickle Philly and she likes art and is a nurse. Maybe she’s okay. Maybe it’ll be different this time. Maybe I keep doing the same thing over and over with my fatal charm hoping for a different result. But that is madness. Am I mad? She’ll be okay. She won’t be crazy or immature, or 9 months into our relationship tell me that she wants to get married and have kids and I’m too old, and don’t ever want that again. I am what I am and I guess I have followed through with this for a reason. Maybe it will all be okay. ear grips me. I am doing the same thing, over and over again.

Well, she is more than okay. She is exquisite. I have said this before but I literally sucked my breath in when she appeared. Out of all of the photos I’ve posted here to illustrate what these women look like, the one here is really close to what this delightful girl looks like. I kid you not, dear readers. How is this happening again? What am I doing here? How many times have I said this to myself?

Her hair is dark brown. Her eyes are green. Her skin is a light caramel. Her lips are like ripe cherries. She is wearing a red and white cotton top, nothing fancy, with a pair of cutoff jean shorts. Her legs are supple, tan pillars of lean muscle and sinew. She’s wearing white keds. It doesn’t matter, she’s perfect.

My God. She’s beautiful. Is she going to look upon me and run? Will she apologize and say there has been some sort of cosmic mistake? Will I hand her $300 to ” help with school?” Will security come and just throw me off the balcony to finally finish me off on the cold marble floor below me so that I know that this is a dream?

None of that happened. I could see she was texting me so I texted her ” I’m here on the balcony. Come hither”  She looks at her phone and then glances the room. She sees me and smiles. Kill me now. She bounds toward me and I stand. She goes up on her tip toes and hugs me tightly. “I’ve really been looking forward to meeting you!” she exclaims. I can smell her hair. Soft fleece brushes against my face like ribbons of chocolate. The fragrance is soft cocoa. In that moment in her arms, it’s as if she has just revealed a secret to me. She clutches me tightly and then slips away.

She looks me straight in the eyes, and says: “Let’s go share some art!” I swallow the last mouthful of my shitty wine and toss the cup in the trash. I’m locked and loaded. (not really loaded) She asked if I had a map, and I told her that I did. She said “Keep it if you want but I’d rather you toss it in the trash and we just wander together.”

Am I dreaming? Is she going to invoice me for $300 to hang with this lovely doll? But none of that happened either. We simply went downstairs and wandered through the halls. The great thing was that we both had pieces of art we loved and stories behind them. I forgot how connected I was to the PMA. Not as a resident of the city but in my heart.

We came upon a painting called the Moorish Priest. Google it. It’s beautiful and powerful. She stopped and I told her that it was my late Mother’s favorite painting in the whole museum. She loved it so much that my father bought her a framed print of it and it hung in our shore house at the top of the stairs for 30 years. She seemed moved by its beauty and the story. I asked her what her thoughts were and she said; “As a nurse I can see he has a good vein in his hand and in his forearm and I could get an IV in that no problem.” Well she is an emergency room nurse and that’s a legit answer for someone who is always looking for a vein to save a life. The family connection and the irony struck me as funny and nostalgic.

We wandered around for a while rediscovering so many works we both loved. We agreed on so many, for all of the same reasons!  We were on the second floor and there is a huge window that looks down the Ben Franklin Parkway right to City Hall. I told her I remember coming to this very spot as a child and taking a photo of the city through this window with my little plastic Kodak Instamatic camera that I had won in a contest at a shoe store. We looked out at our city. The skyline. It was dusk. The last time I was here was years ago with a group of co-workers on a Friday night during a lightning storm. It was Art After Five on a Friday and we were all plowed on cheap poorly made cocktails. Rebecca was right next to me. I could feel the energy. I felt really close to her. “The city is so beautiful” she said. She turned to me. “You are” I replied.

Tune in tomorrow to see the thrilling conclusion to this story!

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly

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

Carol – There’s No Fun in Dysfunction – Part II

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

When we last left out hero, he was hanging out in his office, with Carol. Sh’e about to drop an atomic bomb on him.

So we’re at the office and she has to call her mom and go around and around with her about it for a while and I’m like, “what am I doing here? This is painful.” So I just plow the vodka into me and after a while I’m chill and can deal with her. So eventually she calmed down after talking to her mom. I know there was some talk about her and her mom making some other ring out of something and Carol getting some kind of tattoo. To me…all a waste of time but her, it’s not my family. So at one point out of the blue she says to me the following words:

“Do you think I’m fat?”

Guys… fair warning here. I’m about to tell you what to do in this situation if it ever happens to you. Because this one is a biggie. Great thing is if you are a dog owner or a pet owner of any kind, just remember, your pet will never ask you shit like this. I’m really good at navigating the treacherous waters of the emotions of the fairer sex.

Okay. This is important. Here’s what we know:

You realize there’s no way I can possibly answer this and not have her upset one way or the other. If you think you look fat but don’t look fat, and I say you don’t, you’ll think I’m lying. If you don’t think you look fat but don’t look fat, and I say you don’t, you’ll think I’m just flattering you. If you do think you look fat and you are fat, and I say you don’t, you’ll know I’m lying. If, regardless of circumstances I say you look fat, you’ll be hurt and insulted. It’s nearly an unwinnable game that no man should have the misfortune to ever have to play.

Here are some options:

“Do you think I’m fat?”

  1. Carol you are a beautiful woman and perfect just the way you are.
  2. No! (be adamant)  I think you’re gorgeous.
  3. Here’s a bracelet. (Then run away really fast)

Unfortunately… I did none of the above. Normally I’m deadly with words and deeds and diplomacy when it comes to girls but I don’t know if it was the booze, the exhaustion, or the ringing in my ears from her last tirade, or a lethal combination of all three, but I said the following:

“I suppose we all could be in a little better shape.”

Cut to: Atomic bomb exploding.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have spoken to several of my friends about this incident and everyone agrees that my answer was wrong. Dead wrong. Again, I don’t know why I said it, but it came out. If I could have somehow reached out with my hands and pulled the words back and shoved them into my stupid gaping maw, I would have. But it was too late. Well Carol got very angry and stormed out of my office and left the building in a huff. On my way home I received the following drunken text from her:

“Home… About to exercise and diet and make myself throw up to be thin. I can’t wait to have an eating disorder so I look attractive to you. By the way, I am amazed at your 6 pack and your figure, you are fit amazingly attractive God!!! You are so fit and built. Noooo extra belly fat on you! Night. Hope I lose weight so someone like you finds me attractive… But I can only hope since I’m so fat.”

That is some angry volatile shit right there.

Realizing there were several factors that came together to cause this cataclysmic explosion of rage, I decided to not respond and just let her cool off. Besides, she’s not my girlfriend. Sure I fucked up. I broke the code. It happens. But did I deserve such a wicked verbal attack? Maybe not so much. I just decided to let the cards fall where they would. A week later, I got a big apology text from her. I kind of would have liked it in person, followed by some passionate kissing but in the long run. Apology accepted. So it was business as usual with us. The occasional Saturday bar hop. She had recently secured a job out in Plymouth Meeting at a recruitment firm. Recruitment is a tough job. I know people who do it and it’s tough. They are really hard workers and understand how the employer vs employee dynamic works and locking down the talent. It isn’t much money at first but if you work your ass off and keep at it the rewards can be great, but it is a grind that takes time. Like anything with high reward.

So I knew I’d be seeing less of her and it would be a struggle based on her history to get up at the alarm every morning and drive to work and be on time everyday. Stuff I take for granted that’s easy for me is sometimes really difficult for others. But these are basic functions to stay in step with humanity. get up, go to work and do your job. Repeat. So I hope she makes it.

She had been going to my friend’s tanning salon every Sunday because I had secured a deal there for her. But the deal ran out and she stopped coming. She said she found a cheaper place on her way home from work out in Rockledge or something. No sunburned skin off my nose.  I knew I would hear less and less from her because she was busy with her work and hanging on there and probably sleeping on the weekends because believe you me getting her going before 2pm on the weekends is normally a miracle. Which brings me to the latest incident.

She reached out to me on August 23rd of last week in a text and said:

Carol: “I miss hanging out. Can we hang soon?”

Me: “I’m available Saturday.”

Carol: Ok. We should do a Carol and (My Name) Day. I called you (My Name) which I never do.”

Me: “I’m fine with that. I’ll mark my calendar.”

Carol: “But not too early.”

Me: “Of course. Mid afternoonish is cool.”

Carol: “Ok. Let’s do it. I’ll set a reminder for myself.”

Me: 🙂

Last Saturday arrived and I figured I’d get a text around 3pm and then she may make it out sometime after that. I know it sucks. It’s like the whole day is wasted instead of me and Carol. I went to visit a friend of mine at her work and chatted awhile about it. Earlier in the week some people had done the perfunctory, ” Any plans for this weekend?” and I’d say I’m going to hang with Carol. But Saturday the hands of time went round and round without a word from Carol. My friend who I had been chatting with that day said, “When that happens to me I just assume they are really hung over or dead.” That’s great, I said but I don’t like being stood up. And when I really look at my life I really don’t have time for a handful like Carol. You may start to see a trend as I go forward with this blog, but it will all make sense in the near future why this sort of nonsense happens with these women.

So I went home, fixed myself a vodka and tonic, lit a cig and continued watching the Netflix exclusive series, Stranger Things. (Great show! Check it out.)

I went to Carol’s name in my phone and blocked her.  I need to make sure I only surround myself with people who value me. I have also recently blocked her on Instagram and Facebook. So I’m done with her.

Fucking Crickets!

 

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

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