Annabelle – Chapter 1 – Nice to Meet You

I get the bill. “The second one was on me.”

Advertisements

The title for the Annabelle series was going to be: “The Final Elegant Arc” but in light of what I’ve learned in the last year, I can no longer call it that. So I’m not going to call it anything.

My life has its moments of elegance and moments of pain, but it is far from final.

I was meeting ex-girlfriend Michelle (See: Michelle – 2007 to Present – Nice to Meet You) for brunch on a Saturday. She was getting her hair done in the morning and then we would do our usual Saturday ritual. I was early as usual and her hair appointment was running long. (That kind of amazing beauty takes time. Just happy we’re still friends!)

I stepped into one of the shittiest hotel bars I’ve ever been in. Just because it was a block from the hair salon. The Warwick Hotel is a beautiful place on 17th and Locust. They have a restaurant a coffee shop and a bar connected to the hotel. Prime Rib is a nice spot on Locust and Tavern 17 is at 17th and Chancellor. I’ve been to this bar many times before when friends would visit the city and stay at the Warwick. The drinks suck, the service blows, the management turns over on a semi-annual basis and the way the place is laid out is in a way where you can’t see anything. There are all of these large pillars or supports that are everywhere through the bar area, and you can’t see what’s going on at the bar. The bartender may not see you and you’ll have to wait.  You can’t find your friend, etc. It’s just a suck bar.

But I thought the number 17 would bring me luck. 17 is my family’s lucky recurring number. It is very prevelant in my father’s life and I thought there could be something there. Recently my friend Trish (See: Trish – 2011 to Present – The She Wolf) asked what my birthday was. I told her 8/9/62. She said,  “What’s 8 plus 9?” I responded…17.

I walk in a little hung over from the night before. The website I worked for at the time had a huge party the night before and we were all a little shattered from it. I walk in Tavern 17 around 1pm on that fateful Saturday. It’s empty and dark. Which for once I was happy about. Behind the bar was a very tall, fresh faced, slender blonde working the bar.

I swagger up to the bar and ask for a Corona. I introduced myself and run my usual program on her. “What’s your name, what do you like to do when you’re not working here?” She tells me her name, and says she’s a photographer as her full-time gig. The Corona is crisp and deliciously ice-cold. It’s actually just what I needed.

Something tall and golden that is no longer Michelle.

Annabelle seems nice and I’m making her laugh with my fatal charm. She’s 5’ll”. Taller and leaner than Michelle. We exchange business cards. I tell her I’ll check out her website. (Michelle is still way prettier though! Michelle reads this blog!)

I text Michelle and let her know where I am. I’m having a beer and she can just come here when she’s finished.

I crush the first Corona just to knock the edge off the day. Annabelle pops the cap from another and places it front of me. It’s just as good as the first. There is no one else in this shitty bar at this time of day, and she’s happy to have someone with which to chat.

She says she does a lot of head shots for local actors in the city. Annabelle is very connected with the local theater community here in Philly. She also does some wedding work as well. I’m assuming that pays pretty good. I can’t put and age on her but she looks to be about 24 or 25.

I’m feeling better now. Chatting with this tall blonde is good and the cold beer has reactivated the alcohol still in my system, giving me a gentle but effervescent buzz.

The door squeaks and the sunny afternoon light pours into the bar. Michelle enters the bar. “Oh, and here comes another charming and lovely blonde.” I say on cue. I introduce the two ladies and we have a laugh. “Your hair looks great, Michelle”

I get the bill. “The second one was on me.”

“Thank you, Annabelle!” I tip up to what the bill would have been and gather my stuff. We say goodbye to Annabelle and head out of Tavern 17 into the afternoon to have some delicious brunch and drinks.

Then we’d probably head back to my apartment and watch Netflix, sip wine, and smoke cigarettes. I’d be in my chair and she’d recline on my sofa.

I later checked out Annabelle’s website and reached out to her on Facebook, but nothing ever came of it. I didn’t ask her out on a date or anything. I may have asked if she ever wanted to meet for lunch or something. My usual gentle M.O.

But like I said, crickets.

When you meet someone like that, and it’s brief, there is a good chance they will quickly fade from your memory. I met tons of people back in 2012. I had a job that was 50% socializing. I didn’t forget Annabelle, but I wouldn’t see her again until a year later in 2013.

And it would be a whole new ballgame.

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly

 

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…

 

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.

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly

 

Lida – 8/2016 – Innocent Exile

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

This is going to sound like it’s not true but it is. A couple of months ago during the Democratic Convention, I met Lida. I was coming out of the Rite Aid at 17th and Chestnut. This petite woman who appeared Indian or Middle Eastern in origin came up to me on the street.  Late twenties or early thirties, caramel skin, black hair, and dark brown eyes. She asked if she had seen me yesterday out here with my wife and our dog.

I don’t have a dog, and I certainly ain’t got no wife! So I was a little taken aback. Philly is full of nuts. But she was very sweet. I told her maybe she saw me with my neighbor and her dog because we were out together with her dog a few days ago. She then asked me where the T-Mobile store was. I told her. She said she was from Northeast Philly. That she was staying with a friend here in center city for the Democratic Convention. She had taken a 2 week temporary volunteer position to help out with the influx of people. She said she didn’t know her way around Philly and asked if I could show her where the T-Mobile store was. I had nothing to do and she was very sweet, so I said yes.

So we’re walking over to the store and I’m staring to realize there is something off about this woman. She is asking me a lot of questions about my life. Am I married? Do I have a girlfriend? Do I ever want to get married? Stuff like that. Like I said, she was very sweet but seemed to lack some social skills. She almost seemed a little immature in her thinking. So we get to T-Mobile and she talks to one of the staff. She needs a charger or something. She asks me to hold her bags and I go have a seat.

After some time, she has what she needs and we leave. She says she has to go to Rite Aid and pick up a few things. She begins to tell me that she normally lives with her parents up in the Northeast. That she was bitten by a deer tick like nine years ago, and got a bad case of Lyme Disease. Bad enough that she has been on disability for the last 9 years. She has never been married. The more I listen to her the more it seems that she has somehow been locked away.

Lida takes my hand. She wants to hold hands. I love holding hands. I haven’t held hands with anyone since 2014. I did it but it felt awkward. I just met this woman.  She tells me how she found this temporary roommate through Craigslist. I needed details. She said he was man in his sixties and was letting her stay at his apartment here in center city so she could do her job.

First thing I’m thinking is, how is this young woman who seems like she has been locked in a tower since the theatrical release of the Little Mermaid know any thing about going onto Craigslist to find stuff?

Then she wants to sit in a park. So I comply. I can feel that this woman is lonely. We’re facing each other on a bench, and out of nowhere she says; “Do you want to kiss me? Because it looks like you do.” It was surreal. Nobody does that. But… If I search back through my whole history and everybody I ever dated…yes, this has probably happened before. But we didn’t kiss. I think I was so taken aback by her statement. Odd thing was, I could feel that she wanted me to kiss her. I would have but it just seemed weird. She says she has to go to the store and pick up some things. I wanted to see how this whole thing was going to play out so I agreed to join her.

She seemed simple, but like I said she was so sweet. It’s as if she had little experience connecting with people. Especially the opposite sex.

We go to Rite aid and she hands me a list. A list?  She tells me she has to get these things for the house. It’s part of the agreement. I ask her if she is fooling around with this guy in exchange for free room and board. She said she was not having sex with him and he is often out-of-town. I enjoy a challenge so I grabbed a basket and the list.

I ran a round the store getting all this stuff while she looked at mascara. I returned to her and she was very pleased at all of the stuff I got. But I think she was more pleased that she  had a guy to do domestic stuff with. Frankly dear readers, I was bored at T-Mobile, and doing this was kind of annoying, and all the questions about life and love and hand holding were actually starting to get on my nerves.

So now we’re walking back to her apartment and I’m carrying a bunch of bags. She asks me what my plans are for the rest of the day. I’m thinking, she’s nuts and I don’t really want to be around this head case much longer. I tell her I have to be at a meeting at 2pm. Which was a bold-faced lie. I had to see a friend of mine at 3pm but I wanted to get away from her sooner. If she hadn’t been insane I would have worked something out with my friend. Because she was a nice looking little chick.

We get to the building that she’s staying in. There is a security guard at the front desk. She tells him that she just has to drop all of these bags upstairs at the apartment. He says fine, but I have to wait here in the lobby. I don’t care, maybe I should just bolt while she’s upstairs and cut this nut job loose. But she seems lonely and she is really sweet. And based on past experience when I was in a band, sweet crazy can be a lot of fun. She gets on her T-Mobile phone and calls the old guy who owns the apartment. She explains to him that she got all of the stuff he wanted her to get on the list at the store, but she needs me to help her carry all the bags upstairs. She explains to him that I am her friend and not just someone she just met. She’s really selling it. I’m acting casual and looking at my phone as if uninterested. Because I kind of am! At this point I’m assuming that the guy asked to speak to the security guard. She hands her cell to him and he’s listening, says a few words that I can’t hear and then hands her back to the phone. I’m assuming he instructed the guard to time how long we’re up there in his house. Lida thanks him and says goodbye. The guard waves me through and we head to the elevator.

We arrive on her floor, and this place is nice. There’s a full gym on this floor. We walk to the end of the hall and she opens the door to the apartment. It’s nicely appointed. I put down the bags and we start putting things where they belong. She excuses herself to the bathroom. I look around. The place has no view. It faces a wall of another building. The apartment doesn’t look lived in so I figure the old guy often travels.

Lida returns from the bathroom and comes at me like a pit adder. She throws herself into my arms and pushing her body against me, kisses me deeply. I return her attack. I do nothing to resist her advances. She stops for a moment. Her lips are only an inch from mine. “I’m so horny all of time.” she hisses, producing a small square packet from her hand. She looks me dead in the eye. “Put this on. You have to be quick.” She leads me to her room and we quickly disrobe each other in a tangle of limbs and garments. I push her down onto the bed and suit up with the prophylactic.

Normally, I like this sort of thing to last for a long time. But time is of the essence. My window of time for this to work is closing, and her thighs are opening. The fear of getting caught or being found out only heightens our arousal. (insert jack hammer sound effects here)

I don’t know if it was seven minutes or five. Probably five. Felt like three.

Panting and sweating, we quickly dress. I tie off the end of the condom and take the evidence with me. (Always a good idea fellas when you hook up with some strange in another man’s house.) We jump into the elevator and get out of the building. My mind is reeling. I play it cool as I stride by the security guard and out the door. It’s a little bit before 1pm, so what just happened is technically a nooner.

Lida is giggling and holding my hand and says she wants to go and sit by the water feature over at City Hall. I’m still a bit stunned from the event so I just go with her. She asked me if I liked it and did I get what I wanted and was I satisfied and do I think she’s pretty. etc. And I’m saying yes, yes, yes Yes! We sit down in front of a bunch of little kids playing in the fountains. It’s funny. The kids are laughing and playing and having a grand time in the water. It’s funny that as long as I’m sitting here with a woman everything is cool, but remove her from the situation and…awkward!

So of course she starts going on about kids and marriage and all of the other stuff. How she wants to get married and wants kids. I feel emotional. I’ve already done all of that and don’t want to do it again.I start feeling sorry for her. Because after the Democratic Convention leaves, she’s going back to her parents house in Northeast Philly. She tells me that tonight City Hall shows movies for free outside. She asks me if I would like to see whatever is playing tonight. I’m like…sure.  Then she asks me to bring a blanket and make a picnic basket and all. How we’re going to go on dates and go to dinner while she’s here. I’m like, “Tell you what, I have to go to my meeting soon. Let me take down your number and I’ll text or call you when I’m done. I don’t know how long it will be.” She gives me her number. I ask her what she’s going to do with the rest of her afternoon and this was her response: “I’m just going to go back to the apartment and play with myself.” Really? I ask. “Yea, I told you I’m always horny. I’m just going to masturbate and think about having sex with you all afternoon.” I kind of liked that she used the words “Play with myself.” It’s such a juvenile term that sounds like something a parent would tell their child not to do, or to stop doing and somehow it made it dirtier. I liked that. I liked the idea of her just sitting back in that apartment and just going to town on herself for hours. Just ruining the upholstery throughout the house. That almost makes me want to see her again.

Almost.

I walked her back to her building. We hugged and kissed and I told her I had to go. I walked down Chancellor at 15th which is basically a filthy alley. Tears began to run down my face.

I never spoke to or saw Lida ever again.

 

 

 

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 Non-Dating related characters, such as male and female friends, on Wednesdays at 9am EST.

Lizzie – 4/2016 – The Girl in the Elevator

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

I worked in one of the high rises in center city Philly. I’ve been in sales for over 30 years and I can think on my feet and have mad game. Hell… Sheena Parveen gave me her cell at a Ashton Cigar bar one night.

One day I’m coming back into my building from lunch with my usual lunch date, the guy that works in the cubicle next to mine! I’m walking to the elevator in the back and the door is closing as we get in and I hear the light patter of shoes scampering to catch the elevator. I quickly jam my hand between the door and the wall and the elevator pops open. In walks a very lovely slender Asian girl. Fair skin, black hair and a very slender frame. Like a fragile eastern bird. She’s somewhere on the right side of 25.

Our office was on the 9th floor and she was going to 7. She was very sweet and thanked me for holding the door for her. She said she wouldn’t have made it without me. She was happy there were still some chivalry left in this world. I then did something right then that I refer to as “running the program.” That’s where I work a pitch as fast as I can to make contact with someone. Now this is very difficult to do but I have perfected it to the point where it almost feels like I’m giving them a push. We’re chatting and she’s giggling and  by the time she gets off on the 7th floor, She has my business card, I know her name and what she does. She even says that she would like to chat more with me sometime.

So when we got off on 9, my colleague, Rocco smiles and is like, “Dude, you are something else.”

So we had a good laugh about me running my little program. But it may the fastest I’ve ever worked. I had a solid connection in 7 floors in an elevator. That’s got to be some kind of record.  Anyway, I didn’t think anything more about it. It was just a fun exercise which I think was more about showing off my charming prowess if nothing else.

A couple of days later I get an email from Lizzie and at work. She said how it was so nice to meet me and that if I’d like to meet her one day for coffee that would be great. So I waited a few hours. (You have to! You can’t seem too available or desperate, even if you are!) I wrote back to her and gave her some times we could meet. The next Tuesday we met at Horn & Hardart’s in One Penn Center above Suburban Station. She looked lovely and cute. We chatted about just some general things. She wanted to learn more about what I did and I wondered what her deal was. She is from China. She’s an only child. She was working for a non-profit in the building that helps immigrants learn about their legal rights. So as young as she was she was pretty much a lawyer. But for whatever reason you can’t be a lawyer in China and just walk over here to the good old U S of A and think you can practice law here. So she wasn’t making much money. But she was very sweet and I liked her.

I waited a week and again my colleague Rocco came through in the clutch with yet another pair of tickets. This time it was to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat. Now I love the arts and normally enjoy most of the stuff I see. There is nothing better than watching live performance art. I really have to hand it to the people who do it for a living. But in the arts that’s extremely hard to do. So I reached out to Lizzie and asked her if she’d like to go. She said yes!   She said she would read about what it was about and meet me at the theater Sunday. I tried to squeeze a dinner before out of her but she had something to do that afternoon. So Sunday rolls around, I text her and we meet. She’s on time and looks adorable. She is wearing a little skirt and has a bow in her hair. It almost seemed a little juvenile, but like I said, she is young.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a musical or operetta with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber The story is based on the “Coat of many colors” story of Joseph from the Bible’s Book of Genesis. This was the first Lloyd Webber and Rice musical to be performed publicly (the first,The likes of us.) written in 1965, was not performed until 2005).The show has little spoken dialogue; it is completely sung-through It’s family friendly storyline, universal themes and catchy music have resulted in numerous productions of the show according to the Really Useful Group, by 2008 more than 20,000 schools and amateur theatre groups had successfully put on productions.

Joseph gets kicked out of his family, falls down a hill, gets the dream coat, meets a bunch of people, gets locked up and then made into a king. It’s a fun romp and is nothing like the badass awesomeness of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Well needless to say Lizzie LOVED IT. She was laughing and cheering like a little kid. She said she had never seen anything like it. You know, I think w take it for granted in this country that we’re all so hip and jaded that it’s hard to get American’s worked up about something. It has to be groundbreaking and new. This musical was created back in the sixties. We don’t realize that people from other countries see something like that and go fucking wild. It’s all relative.

It was a nice evening, she lives close to the theater but I walked her to her door anyway. It was a fun exchange and the best part I guess for me was that thanks to my colleague Rocco, the whole night only cost me $1.00 for a bottle of water that Lizzie wanted. (Unlike the sledgehammer $130 lunch tab I got crushed with at Devon with Maria!)

I ran into her a few more times in the building but wasn’t really feeling it anymore. When she would talk she just seemed so juvenile and also kind of the way she dressed too. Like a skinny Asian Minnie Mouse.  But I had a nice time with her that night and I know she loved the show so that’s all that matters.

I know this wasn’t my usual epic tale, but it was one that needed to be told. The lesson here is, you never know when your going to meet someone new, and sometimes that can come from a simple act of kindness.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please follow, like, and comment on this and future posts. All feedback is greatly appreciated. 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.

Michelle – Chapter 2 – Getting to Know You

I know these initial chapters are  short and I’m sure the real Michelle reading them will feel the same. But Just know that this is the beginning of me knowing her. There isn’t much data, because not much was happening in the beginning. But just know these stories will expand and be rich in history once I get to know her. Stay with the story. It gets better.

Michelle began work as an account representative in my department. At first it was kind of weird having her there. We were all a bunch of misfits and she was this really pretty woman who seemed perfect. Why would she want to work with a bunch of miscreants like us? But everyone made her feel welcome. Of course I would chat with her because she was a total babe and I couldn’t help it.

Michelle, is basically an easy-going girl. For someone as tall and beautiful as she is, she doesn’t have analoof  attitude. She’s very approachable and friendly. I have always described her as, “The nicest, beautiful girl, I’ve ever met.” That statement stands true to this day. Many think beauty equals kindness. That is usually not the case. Physically beautiful people get preferential treatment every day.

Beauty is not subjective. Contrary to popular belief, men and women generally agree on who is and who is not physically attractive, even across other cultures.What makes someone enjoyable to look at? High cheekbones, fuller lips, big eyes, and a thin chin are associated with sexiness in women, whereas a big jaw and broad chin are preferred in men. Smooth skin, shiny hair, and facial symmetry are also key aspects of beauty. According to various studies, these provide measures of health, good genes, intelligence, and success. More often than not, the world rewards beauty. Beautiful people are viewed as healthier.

Facial symmetry, considered the beacon of beauty, can be perceived as good health, even if it is not related to actual health. In an Australian study, researchers morphed photographs of young adults so that their faces were perfectly symmetrical. In general, the symmetric version of each face — both male and female — received higher health ratings than the normal image. Individuals with asymmetric faces were perceived as unhealthy.

It’s easier for beautiful people to find mates. Men seek attractive women as mates because good looks signal youth, health, and reproductive fitness. Beautiful people are more persuasive. Good-looking people can use their sex appeal and good looks to be more persuasive, say in a job interview or when asking for a promotion. Attractive people are more persuasive, in part, because they also possess or develop key personality traits — like intelligence and strong social skills — that make them more effective communicators. Researchers also found that compared to unattractive speakers, attractive speakers were much more fluent talkers.

Beautiful people are perceived as more likeable and trustworthy. Beautiful people are typically treated better by others. In a study from Harvard University, researchers found that wearing makeup, shown to enhance a woman’s attractiveness,boosted people’s perception of the subject’s competence, likability, attractiveness, and trustworthiness.

All of that said, when I met Michelle she was just coming into her own. She was breaking internal barriers, emotionally and physically. She had a hard shell that she wore like a suit of armor every day. Not a hard exterior or an attitude, just a barrier to protect her fragile, developing, inner self. She was a confused twenty-seven year old woman. Just trying to figure it all out like every other girl her age. She liked novelty, but loved adventure, sometimes in the fast lane.

Michelle is kind. Like I said, she is a very nice lady. She is also mostly conservative, but liberal in her beliefs. She always comes across as authentic. She doesn’t like bullshit, or those who spew it. She had a strong dislike for fake people or gossips. She does not have the time nor the tolerance to put up with a lot of nonsense, or “give people a lot of chances.” She’s very civic-minded and volunteered at several foundations.

Michelle does love to laugh, drink and smoke cigarettes. She loves to listen to her music. Michelle is always down to party any day of the week. Who doesn’t love a chick that’s willing to take a few chances?

She had told me she had won a trip for two to Greece through the company. Sadly, she had to come up with the money for the hotel or the airfare or something. So it wasn’t really a prize. I don’t know what it was. I asked her who she was going with and she said her ex-boyfriend. They had been together since they were 15 and broke up when she moved to the city a few years ago. (See: Michelle – Chapter 1) I think she had been with him for so long, (I’m sure he was the first one to punch her V-Card, so there’s that.) When you’re with someone like that when you are so young and you’re together for years, that person sort of becomes like family. They were trying to get back together when I met Michelle. She had dated a few guys since coming to Philly, and even had a relationship with a guy that worked at the company for a while. I’ve met him and he’s dumb as a post. He never treated her well simply because he didn’t know how. He liked acquiring her but he couldn’t relate to her and was never compassionate to her. He just didn’t have it in him. He liked hanging at the club with his boys surrounded by bitches and hos. Are you getting the picture? They were like O.J. and Nicole but without the murder. There you go.

So that was a fail. When you fail you go back to the familiar. Michelle migrated back to Delaware Dave. That’s what I’ll call him. But Dave was in Delaware and didn’t like being around crowds, or going out in the city or anything. Me, on the other hand was there in the office with her everyday. I had been away from Philly for many years and loved going out and exploring the city. Actually, back then I was living in a little apartment in Pennsauken NJ. I would commute in every morning. I had not yet become the Dark Lord of the City of Brotherly Love yet in 2008.

One night our department went out to dinner at the Continental on 18th street. I remember me and the retarded guy making room for Michelle to sit next to our boss because it was so obvious he liked her. The dinner was great and the drinks flowed. Michelle had to go and Herbert was super concerned about Michelle’s safety walking home. A little too much. This guy was weak. He was smart and well-educated but when it came to matters of the heart he couldn’t handle himself properly. It felt awkward. So he’s had a few drinks and we’re walking with him and he says: “Guys, I think I’m falling in love with my employee.” This wouldn’t be the first time for family man Herbert. We found out that he once worked for a competitor and had an affair with one of his employees. It didn’t go well and I saw the long scratch from a key down the side of his white 300 series Mercedes. What an idiot. So he ended up leaving that company and coming here. I wonder how he explained that gouge to his wife. Probably blamed it on vandals.

There were days when I would take a seat next to Michelle by her work station and chat with her. She began to open up to me about some aspects of her life. She suffered from some health problems that many don’t understand. Nothing life threatening but troublesome in regard to quality of daily life. I gathered some info from a specialist and passed it along to her. I would sometimes leave her a granola bar as a breakfast snack some mornings. I also bought her lotion because her hands would get dry in the cold weather. Sometimes in the afternoons we would watch funny videos on her computer. She admitted that when she saw clips of people falling down accidentally or from doing stupid activities it really tickled her. So our work friendship was developing. I was just honored to be around this lovely lady.

This was so much better than scuttling down the hallway after her to the billing department.

 

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.

Michelle – Chapter 1 – A Brand New Day

I think this is why I started this blog. I have been wanting to write this story for a very long time, but just have not had the will or energy to write anything. But since I’ve made some changes in my life, the art has returned to me and it’s flourishing. I have two friends that I socialize with. One of them is a brilliant artist who smokes too much weed and drinks too much coffee just to function all of the time. Her name is Trish. She’s not doing anything with her talent. Soon she’ll be 30 and will have smoked her youth away. The other one is always saying he needs to start writing a blog again. My friend Johnny R. His would be brilliant. I even went so far as to tell him that I would pay him $20 in beers if he would just publish four blog posts. But what’s his problem? Complacency and vice. He has been with the same girlfriend for the last 8 years. She’s older than he is, she owns the house they live in, and her family owns the shore house they stay in during the summer. He loves adderal, Budweiser, tobacco, cocaine, gambling and hookers. That’s a lot of vice. The secret to moving forward in life? Forgive everyone. Including yourself. If you have resentment for anything in your life, you have to constantly maintain those thoughts in your head. You only have to forgive ONCE. Let go of the bars that are keeping you in your rusted cage and take a step forward. Just one step. In any direction. Just one step. But these people have it all in their heads and they just never do it. Don’t get me wrong, I like both of these people very much, but it’s just sad they can’t grow as people.

I am determined to move forward and tell these stories. My stories.

I had just returned from New York. I was working at a consulting firm and they laid off a bunch of us because business was slow. I was kind of tired of Manhattan anyway. I took a job selling advertising for a news agency in Philadelphia. It was the Fall of 2007.

It was a big company, but out of all of the women that worked there, only two were absolutely beautiful. One was blonde and one was a brunette. I met the brunette in my department and loved her immediately and would always try to talk to her. She had some loser boyfriend who would play video games every night and ignore her while she sat on the couch and knit. Pretty pathetic, right? I once told her if I she were at my house sitting on the sofa, I’d throw the X Box out the window. Because that chick had to be way more fun than any video game.

But the other beauty was the blonde. Michelle.  This chick had hit the genetic lottery. 27 years old. 5’11”.  Model pretty. Slamming body, and great legs. As a matter of fact she was a former print and runway model and a National Champion swimmer. Swam with Olympian Amanda Beard. She was much younger than me and everybody wanted her and loved her. The thing about her was that she was very nice. She worked in billing and although I thought she was attractive, I really didn’t ever consider her as a romantic target. She was just too amazing and hot for me to bother.

Or so I thought.

She had moved to Philly a few years before from Delaware. Who wants to live in Delaware? She had broken up with her boyfriend that she had been with since she was 15. I know right? He was a house painter who smoked weed and seemed the type that couldn’t “work for the man.” She grew weary of his immaturity and they broke up.

Michelle was also friends with this little weasel that worked somewhere in our department. I never understood that relationship. He was in love with her like Dudley Moore was in love with Susan Anton. (google it youngsters) Like I said, she worked in billing and was growing tired of it. Michelle was making decent money but thought she could make more in ad sales. Advertising sounds sexy, but it is a grinding 9 to 5 job filled with rejection and despair. So her weasel friend warned her against it. But she went and spoke to my then boss, Herbert. Herbert was married and had a good degree. Married, a few kids, the usual drill. But he had eyes for Michelle as well. But like I said, she was light years out of these clown’s league.

Herbert wanted to bring her onto our little team. Our crew consisted of me, some young guy who seemed semi-retarded and mushy, a plain woman who had most of the accounts and hardly ever came in, and this Jersey Shore type guy who was greek, handsome, fit, tan, and had an I.Q around room temperature. He hardly came in either. He had been assigned some accounts and his stuff just rolled in. On any given day, the retard, the mom, and Jersey Shore would all be there. Retard would be making his calls, Mom would be working on her stuff and then leaving early and Jersey Shore would be playing online blackjack on his computer. You’ve seen his the type, in the club. Like a pack of four or five of them in their striped shirts and red bull cocktails, and pockets full of rohypnol. I’m half kidding. I got a kick out of Jersey Shore guy. I would make fun of him to his face and he liked it.

So Herbert wants to bring her aboard.  She’s never sold anything in her life but I know she could do well. Just show up and talk about the product and the guy will probably buy from her just so Michelle comes in his store again. Herbert wants her so he can see her everyday and be close to her. Michelle denies this to this day, but I know people. Hey, if I were Herbert in his domestic existence I would have done the same thing. But at that time I was no one in that company. Just the oldest dude on the team but with the most experience in sales. That was all that was needed.

One day I had an issue with the billing on the very first account I had brought in. It was Trump Casino in Atlantic City. I was so proud of that account. At the time I had no idea that Trump was slow pay. Sometimes, no pay. This may seem ironic at this moment in time, but it was known for years in Jersey that Trump was bad pay. He put hundreds of hard-working solid people out of work because he has a history of not paying his bills. Not kicking our current presidential candidate, but for this forum, the guy is a well-known deadbeat in Atlantic City, I’m shocked more people haven’t come forward in the last couple of months.

So I had to go down to billing and figure it out. But I was new and I didn’t know where it was. So I went to Michelle and asked her. She seemed annoyed that she had to deal with me. Maybe she was just tired. She starts giving me directions and I’m not getting it. The building was huge. Finally she simply gave up and said;  “I’ll show you.”

So here goes this gorgeous tall goddess walking down the hall. Her calves like upside down bowling pins, and her high heels clicking against the tile floor. Here’s me, scuttling along behind her in my cheap old suit and cheap shoes with rubber soles. The soles squeak with every step, so it’s like seeing Aphrodite being followed by Sponge Bob Squarepants.

Pathetic. We get to the department and she turns and goes back to her office. I felt like a loser.

But that was all was about to change.

The Michelle story is epic. I will publish a new chapter every other week over the next 7 months.

Enjoy!

 

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 – 9/2016 – Runs with Scissors

And here we are with yet another Tinder date. I chatted with June for only a short time before we exchanged numbers. We were texting for a bit and it was going well. She seemed fun and age appropriate. I have been trying to spend time with women in my age range but it’s been a struggle. If you read my last blog post, (Rebecca, Dark Wings of Destiny) you can tell that hasn’t been working all that well.

I was trying to figure out a day we could meet for a drink. I told her I was off on Saturdays so we could meetup then. She said that is usually the day she likes to wander, and I told her I enjoyed the same. She asked if I had a dog, and I told her I did not. She said she’d supply the dog. Whatever. But Saturday came and I didn’t hear anything. I reached out and she said she said she had already wandered and done her errands earlier in the day. In Rittenhouse no less! But I kind of didn’t care anyway. I was happy sipping a drink and watching Netflix at home by then.

We continued texting into the evening until finally she said she wanted to talk on the phone. I haven’t done that with anyone yet on Tinder and was a little apprehensive. Not that I mind talking on the phone, but I didn’t think it was necessary.

My phone rings and I miss the call. I call her right back and we connect. So we’re chatting away. I can tell she’s drinking which is not a bad thing. Loosens up the tongue. During our conversation she begins to tell me about her day. Apparently, she was standing on the edge of her bathtub cleaning the walls. She has one of those shower head attachments that can be removed and are connected to a flexible hose. She’s using the shower head to rinse down the shower walls and everything is getting wet. Well she loses her footing and begins to fall. Now, we have all heard about accidents in the home, and people falling in their bathrooms having bad injuries and even death. So she slips off the tub edge and slams butt first onto or into the toilet. I don’t know what her bathroom layout is but the commode must be in close proximity to the tub. It sort of breaks her fall but when she hit it she broke the tank. Water goes everywhere. The shower head is also still running. The tank immediately evacuates its contents onto the floor. Good thing that’s where the clean water is located! She is in a great deal of pain but thankfully didn’t hit her head. She scrambles to her feet and manages to get the shower turned off and then goes for the wall spigot behind the toilet. She cranks that shut and the water stops. What a mess! But she is okay and escapes with only a bruise on her backside. But it’s a nasty bruise. (She later showed me a pic) The whole thing is a bit funny and harrowing but she is okay. It could have been a lot worse.

So the conversation is going well and I’m really enjoying it. She is smart, and funny. It’s a lively chat. I’ll bear that in mind in the future. June tells me that people can sound great in text and once you get them on the phone they fall flat. Why didn’t I think of this? In this modern world where everyone texts and does loads of social media, people don’t have the conversation skills anymore. But once you get someone on the phone, it’s a great way to screen out the people who can’t hold a solid conversation. Better to find out someone is a dullard before you’re stuck out in public with them on a date. So I may pull this move in the future.

She tells me she wants to meet up that night. I tell her, it’s 9pm and I’m down to a T-shirt and a pair of shorts and I’m not getting back into uniform for anyone. She says: “Oh, you’re a fuddy duddy.”

If she only knew…

She says she’s been invited to go see some band play at some place on Van Pelt Street at 10pm. Again, I thank her for the invite and tell her I’m not going. Had it been Rebecca, I would already be at Van Pelt waiting for her. I’m such a fickle asshole. She’s drinking more and so am I and it’s really going well. She’s a spitfire and a blast to talk to. I tell her I’m available Sunday after 4pm and we agree to meet for a drink. So the drinking and chatting goes on and on. Now she’s smoking marijuana as well. She decides that she’s rather talk to me on the phone than go see this band on Van Pelt. I’m surprisingly enjoying our conversation and am looking forward to meeting her. She sounds super fun. I learned a lot about her in that conversation. She has two children, a boy and a girl. She was married for many years  and it ended long ago, and was in a relationship for 7 years after that with some man who cheated on her and left. Or so I thought. But as the truth serum she was gulping down took hold, the truth was revealed. Apparently this other woman was someone they invited into their bed for a three-way. I suppose June’s boyfriend took a liking to their little plaything and ran off with her. June described the girl as younger, fat and covered in tattoos. This all sounds gross to me, but who am I to judge the dalliances of others. I can tell June is a very sexual woman, which is fine. At her age she should be over all of her mind and body issues. She’s drunk and horny. I think this gal has led a wild life. But I like that. I have had a very colorful, action packed adventurous life, and I like people who have had the same. It creates a rich history for a person and they are always more interesting. But, at some point well into the call she simply falls asleep on the phone. I’m like; “Hello? June? Are you there?”

Crickets.

I hang up and look at the length of the call on my phone. We were chatting for 4 hours and 30 minutes! I’m stunned. I’ve never been on the phone that long. (That I can remember) I head off to bed.

The Date

Sunday morning around 8:30am I get a text from her that says simply: “Good Morning.” I have a bunch of stuff to do so I don’t respond. Not to be rude, but I have to get ready and I don’t want to start another all day conversation until I have the time. Around 11:00am I respond, with: “Hello.” She responds at 4:45pm with: “What a lovely day!” Of course I go with my main objective: “Are we meeting for a drink?” She says: “You would think after a four-hour call I would retain details.” Well, she did fall asleep at the end. So I go again with: “Are we meeting for a drink?” She says yes and when? I tell her I am available now. She says she has to wait for her daughter to come pick up the dog and asks if after 6pm would work. I tell her that’s fine. (It would be about an hour from now) So I head to Square 1682 and grab a cider and chat with the bartender and servers.

At 6:15 she tells me she is on her way. She rolls in around 6:30. Here’s the thing. She’s 5’2″ and sturdy. I like tall and short women. I prefer tall because it translates to a longer leg factor. But a petite woman can be just as beautiful. It makes no difference to me. But I realize compared to her photos, this woman before me doesn’t measure up. Hands tell a great deal about a person. June rode horses her whole life. Her hands are strong. Stronger than mine. In her Tinder pics you never get a really good clear shot of her face. She looks like there has been quite a bit of mileage on this one. She has a bit of a nose thing happening too. Normally I like a girl with an interesting proboscis, but hers just looks masculine.  Not horrible, but a little rough. Aged. She’s a fun girl but just not attractive enough.

So we hang out and we’re having a good time chatting and drinking and laughing at the bar. She would be a good girl to have as a friend that maybe you occasionally fool around with, but I can’t see me pursuing her. Which kind of sucks. I mean… I’m already struggling to feel energy for Valerie. (Valerie – Love Me Tinder) Maybe June could hang as a friend to drink with at some good dives. She said she liked going to places like that. I would dig that as well.

Okay, so maybe I’ll keep her around and we’ll see what happens. But girlfriend is off the table.

We decide to wrap it up at Square 1682 after a couple of hours. The bill comes and again, the wallet comes out but she never pulls out her card. And forgive me dear readers, but after two incidents like this with Valerie, and the fact that this woman is not really that hot, I say…”Little help?”

I see what appear to be credit cards in the wallet but she goes for cash and it looks like it’s only seven or eight dollars. It’s 2016. Going out and drinking and eating like Gods is very expensive in this town. Even my much younger ex-girlfriend always kicked in unless I insisted I pay. (Future post: Anabelle Lee) So I feel bad and a little suspicious at this point so I take like $5 from her and pay the damn bill. I’m not cheap. I’m a very generous man. But in this day and age we all need to help. But I will give you this little spoiler. The very next night, I had a date with a different lady and I paid for her two drinks and her fare home. Sadly, you’ll see another aspect as to why Phicklephilly really is the perfect name for this column. I’m really learning a lot about myself. Try writing down everything you’re up to. it’s eye-opening, enlightening, and most of all funny.

So we leave the bar and she says she lives down in Washington Square. We walk south to Pine and say goodnight. We kiss. It’s sexual. Not your standard goodnight smooch. Some one who sucks on your tongue on your first date digs you. (It wasn’t me who did that) So I know based on our 4 hour drunken conversation and this vibe, it would be effortless for me to close this bit of work. But as Ian Gillam says in the Deep Purple song, “It’s not the kill… It’s the thrill of the chase.”

And damn it if I don’t love that part. So I may hang again with June again, but it will be in the afternoon at McGlinchey’s drinking $2 wines and smoking cigarettes.

 

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.