Annabelle – Chapter 9 -Matyson

“I’m like twenty-six, and you’re fifty-one.”

I noticed something strange when I looked at Annabelle’s Facebook. It suddenly said that she was in a relationship with some guy. I looked at the guy’s Facebook and the only photo was just a pair of weird hands holding a cat. I remember not being upset about it, because the dude seemed like some kind of weirdo. But I did need to find out what was going on before I invested anymore time into this girl.

There was a restaurant that I used to love at 20th and Chestnut called Matyson. I went there years ago with my ex, Michelle. (See Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day) Normally I don’t want to go to a restaurant that doesn’t serve drinks, but Matyson has exceptional food, and that’s where the focus lies. When I brought Michelle there I just brought a bottle of wine.

After my wonderful experience at Matyson with Michelle, I always associated the place with love. So having recently fallen for Annabelle, I figured I had to take her there for dinner. She’s a pescatarian, and they have some amazing seafood dishes. She loves to eat and I knew she would love it.

I made the reservation, and asked for a quiet table. I cruised by the place and they weren’t open yet. I headed to the liquor store to pick up some wine. I got a white and a red, just in case she wanted either. I return to the restaurant and Annabelle is already there. I tell her it’s a BYOB and that’s why I have the wine. We go in and the hostess seats us in the back. I had asked for a quiet table on my reservation and that’s what I got. It’s early and the place will probably fill up and get noisy, but until then, we’re good.

We’re chatting and they open the wine as we’re looking at the menu. I don’t remember what she ordered but I know I got the swordfish and it was terrific. Every time I’ve eaten at Matyson the food was always amazing. You could always find something exotic on the menu as well. Sweet breads, escargot, etc.

So the dinner goes well, and we’re done. I can’t remember if we had dessert, but we probably did, because Annabelle likes treats. I suggest we do a picture for posterity. When really all I want it for is to document us together and put it on Facebook. Back then I loved to show off all the places I went and all of the people I was hanging out with. I realize now that most people’s social media is just the greatest hits of their lives. I think if you could see the day in and day out it would be pretty boring. But back then I was just happy that I was going on dates with this younger woman and wanted the world to know. It all seems so silly to me now.

So she comes from around her side of the table and sits next to me.

“Ooh… This is where I want to be!” she exclaims.

I’m actually surprised. For some reason I just couldn’t get a good read on this one. With my last girlfriend Michelle, I knew she liked me because we were always getting drunk and attacking each other. With Annabelle it’s been a long slow promise. I mean, I know these younger girls aren’t very sure of themselves, but it’s taking a bit of time. They take the picture and I’m happy with the result.

“This is really great Annabelle.”

“Yea, it is. (sighs) You’re a tough one.”

“Tough? I’m not tough.”

“I REALLY like you.”

“I really like you too, Annabelle.”

“I’m like twenty-six, and you’re like fifty-one.”

“You’re twenty-seven now, and age is but a number my dear.” (I didn’t say that, but something like that.)

“I’m kinda seeing someone.”

That’s when I literally felt this searing pain spread from my heart outward. It was actually like a fire that suddenly flashed across my chest. “Oh….” I think she could sense my pain. Maybe she was afraid to hurt me, but didn’t know what she wanted.

We left the restaurant and were walking towards Rittenhouse square. She started to say she didn’t really like this guy and feels that it will end soon. I had to seize the moment and show my alpha dominance.

“Well normally, when I have a presence in a woman’s life, those sort of problems just work themselves out.”

“Yea, you’re probably right. I don’t really like him”

I don’t know who this clown is, and frankly I don’t care. But I want this girl, and I will win. I’ve won before. (Even if it was only temporary!)

But in hindsight as I write this, I should bear in mind a word of caution. Is this what Annabelle does? Does she like most girl in their twenties, simply leap from guy to guy? By doing that, you never fully experience the loss of a lover. You simply discard him when you’re tired of him or have discovered a new place in which to land. It’s a wicked cycle. I could someday be on the receiving end of what’s about to happen this other guy.

We’re walking down 18th street and I ask her if she’d like to see the batcave. She agrees. It’s only around the corner. I take her in and the first thing she sees is the mini lights I have strung around the french doors that lead to my veranda. I have them on a timer and it looks really cool and illuminates the living room just enough. We sit on the couch and I ask her if she wants some wine. I pour her a glass and fix myself a vodka and tonic. I put on some chill music and we just hang out.

“Is that a working fireplace?”

“Absolutely, and it’s awesome on cold winter nights here.”

There’s some smooching and light making out. I think I’m all good here. I don’t have to worry about a thing. She really likes me, and hasn’t felt this way before and is a little confused. It’ll be fine.

Eventually, she actually falls asleep in my arms. I just remain still and sip my drink listening to the music.

I’m happy. Annabelle is with me at my house. Things are moving forward. I’m falling in love with her if I haven’t already.

She wakes up about twenty minutes later.

“Was I asleep?”

“Yes, dear.”

“Wow. That’s never happened before.”

“Sure, you’ve fallen asleep plenty of times!”

“No I mean, I’ve never been on a date with a guy and I’m so comfortable early on that I can just fall asleep next to him.”

“Get used to it.”

She smiles, “I should probably get going, I have an early shoot tomorrow. Can I use your restroom?”

“Absolutely. Through there and then make a right. I’ll call a car for you.”

“You’re funny.”

We walk outside and she says that she’ll see if she can get cab. I tell her to wait. She looks puzzled. A black Lincoln pulls up and stops. I tell her to get in and they’ll take her home. This is when UBER was really new in the Philadelphia market. Back in 2013 it was still an exclusive service. They were one of my accounts and I had a $600 credit with them!

The car pulls away and I go back in the house. I’m in my chair sipping a drink and smoking a cig. My phone pings.

“Thank you for a lovely evening, and this limo ride home! I feel SO special!”

“That’s because you ARE special, Annabelle.”

 

 

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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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Michelle – Chapter 10 – Night & Day

A week went by after the Friends of Rittenhouse Ball crashing incident. I figured that we got away with it without incident.

Michelle: “We’re going to get fired.”

Me: “No we’re not. My numbers are good, so are yours and everybody loves you. We’re in the clear.”

But within a few days we were called into the President’s office. He ripped us new ones. Then they sent us over to human resources and we were written up. Those fuckers. I hate them all. As a matter of fact none of them are at that company any longer. The Prez eventually left, our manager the crazy Russian was fired, and the lady from HR left a year ago. So we’re all equal now. We didn’t even care that we got written up. We were both prepared to go work in a restaurant somewhere together if they had really fired us.

Ain’t love grand?

The whole thing blew over and we were all none the worse for any of it. Funny thing was, if anything it emboldened us even more to pull stuff. We were high on love and life and we just wanted to have fun. People would overhear our conversations and buy us drinks. We were a little surprised by that but loved getting free drinks. We were out almost every night. We’d hang out at Twenty Manning and spend our last $20 on wine on Sunday afternoons. Michelle even went as far as taking out a $1000 loan from our credit union just to maintain our lavish lifestyle. We didn’t buy a bunch of things, we just went out and drank and ate all the time. We’d be hungover and go to The Continental Midtown for lunch and our favorite bartender Mike G would hook us up with cool free drinks. He made us these cool drinks called Kate Moss. I think it was champagne, a shot of booze and a sugar cube which represented a lump of cocaine. We’d hang out at Chris’ Jazz Cafe and close the place. It would be two o’ clock in the morning and we’d be sitting at the bar drinking and smoking cigarettes. Speaking of which. I quit smoking cigarettes ten years before when my daughter was born. But sometimes Michelle had trouble lighting her Parliaments in the wind, so I’d do it for her. Next thing you know I would take a little puff. She was worried I’d get re-addicted to tobacco. I told her I’d only be hooked if I started buying them.

I started buying them again. God damn it.

We’d supposed to be out making sales calls and we’d be napping on a blanket in Rittenhouse Park. We’d also pack wine and snacks and go to Concerts in the Park every Wednesday night. We’d go to Devon and destroy an assorted seafood platter. We drank oceans of martinis. We’d be banged up after a crappy day of meetings and sales, and head right over to Mantra (Which is now where Dandelion is located on 18th Street) We would run out of money drinking martinis and the awesome bartender Kevin would just keep bringing them to us. I would always go back the next day and give him money.

Her bitch faced roommate traveled a lot and we’d go to Michelle’s apartment and drink her roommate’s wine. She always drank Clos du Bois chardonnay and we would drink the whole thing. We used to have to keep going to the liquor store to buy replacements for her. She never found out, but we must have replaced her wine at least five times. I still had an apartment in Pennsauken, New Jersey but I was hardly ever there. I practically lived in Michelle’s room. It was insane. We would work all day together, and then hang out every night and sleep together and then do it all over again the next day.

We were out of control and loving every minute of it. One night I just lifted up Michelle’s skirt out front of the Philadelphia Public Library and went down on her right there. Her sitting on the wall and me just going to town on her. Right on the street.

One day while out on four-legged calls, we crashed a private event for Deaf Children at the Rittenhouse Hotel. We drank their booze, and ate their food. Grabbed a couple of gift bags and left. I remember us dumping out the contents on the ground and just grabbing what we wanted. I took the DVD of North by Northwest, Michelle grabbed up the make up. I know all of this is wrong but we just didn’t care. Nobody probably heard us leave anyway.

Hanging out in Alma de Cuba, going anywhere we wanted. Michelle would take me to bars and I wouldn’t even remember having gone there we were so drunk most of the time. Once we decided to go see a psychic. Michelle believed it that stuff back then. I know it’s just a parlor trick, but it’s sometimes fun to do. But the night we went, this woman started bring up all of this stuff about my life and it was freaking me out. I started crying during the reading. Bizarre!

Oh here’s one… One of the local sales reps had just signed a new client. It was the G Lounge. I called it the D Lounge because only a bunch of douchebags went there. But he was all happy about getting them. It was a thirty thousand dollar ad campaign. Somebody came up with the brilliant idea to make a promotional video for them. But they would use Michelle and our boss, (the crazy Russian) as romantic interests in the video. That is wrong on so many levels. They went and shot the video and of course Michelle looked amazing, but after that everyone was drinking and our boss tried to kiss Michelle! Awful!

Michelle always said: “I have so much fun with you, that when the day is over, I wish we could do it all again.”

Oh, and here is the crazy irony of it all. After shooting the video and running it on their website, running banner ads, email blasts and newsletter insertions, G Lounge never paid the thirty thousand dollar bill. Never. Then they went out of business. There is now a place called 1925 in that space. It is equally awful.

 

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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