Tammy – 2017 – Crazy Baby

“You know you want to have a baby with me…”

Here’s an interesting short one that I connected with on the online dating site, Clover. I connect with many women on these dating sites, but rarely do we actually meet up. I could press and make it happen, but most of the time I’ve found that it’s a waste of time. The majority of women on these sites are just boring people that I end up buying drinks for. If they were better and more interesting people, they’d be in a meaningful relationship by now. (What does that say about me?) That or they would’ve simply given up and settled into grinding mediocrity like most people I know.

But occasionally one comes along on one of these sites that seems so nuts I have to showcase her insanity for your entertainment.

Alright. Let’s start with her profile.

Tammy

26 / Female / Straight

Stockton, NJ

Serious Relationships Only, Fitness Singles, 90’s Babies

 

That’s it. That’s all her profile says. There are 3 pics and nothing more. We matched because I just swipe right on everyone on Clover to hopefully meet some quality people.

Here is the conversation that ensued after we matched. It went on over the course of several days.

Tammy: “Hi, You have kids?”

Me: “1 daughter, 20.”

Tammy: “Wow. Where is her mom?”

Me: “She lives in New Jersey. Daughter lives with me.”

Tammy: “Wow. What happened to her mom?”

Me: “We divorced back in 2001 and once my daughter turned 18 she was out of that hell too.”

Tammy: “Well. She still see her mom? You want more kids?”

Me: “She does occasionally and no I don’t want anymore children.”

Tammy: Why? You don’t want to have any with me? I know you want one with me.”

Me: “What makes you say that?”

Tammy: “I know you want one with me, you hide it.”

Me: “Really? Well tell me a little more about yourself, Tammy.”

Tammy: “I’m a 26 year old female. 5’4″ tall. 120 lbs. I am working at TJ Maxx processing shoes.”

Me: “What do you like to do in your free time?”

Tammy: Play Wii on TV, do puzzles and watch movies and walking and shopping and cooking.”

Me: “You seem nice. What prompted you to swipe right on my profile?”

Tammy: “I want a long time relationship and to have kids.”

Me: Have you ever been married?”

Tammy: “No. I want to be married to you.”

A day goes by…

Tammy: “Why aren’t you talking to me?”

Me: “Because I’m at work.”

Tammy: “Oh, ok.”

Me: “Have you been on many dates on this site?”

Tammy: “Ok. I want to be with you.”

Me: “We should meet up and go on a date then.”

Tammy: “I will tell you when I’m free.”

 

And I never heard from her again. She also blocked me for some reason. I hope you can all imagine how heartbroken I was to find out I would never have the opportunity to marry and have children with this mentally challenged stranger that lives 80 miles away from me in New Jersey.

 

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Daphne – 2014 to Present – Lovely Hostess – Part Two

“Drop the Clutch and Go!”

I know a server over at Misconduct on JFK Blvd, named Brianna. She’s a sweet baby with raven curls, caramel skin and slender legs. One day I’m lunching over there with my buddy, Rocco. I see Brianna giving her phone number to a guy that appeared to be in his sixties. I’m astounded. I call her over and ask her what’s going on. “If you just gave that old dude your phone number and you’re going to meet him for coffee, I want to go shake that man’s hand, on a solid close.”

She says she knows him from another bar, and he’s really nice. He looks lonely. He also comes into Misconduct to see her. (Hell, I did the same thing when Maria worked there) He asked her to meet him for coffee.

“And you’re going to go have coffee with him?”

“Of course not. I get hit on all of the time in here. But he’s nice and I didn’t want to be rude.”

“I really respect this man’s initiative at his age. But what happens when this guy texts you to set up a time to have coffee?

“Nothing. I just never get back to him.”

So I get it now. No matter how nice they are to you and even if they give you their phone number they will simply ghost you.

I was a little miffed, but understood. The odd thing was, Daphne knew me as a regular. I would hang with Carly and Church there all of the time. I get the hook up from Roman the bartender. I know basically everyone that works there and she doesn’t even have to get back to me even as a common courtesy.

But what right do I have to her? None. She’s young and beautiful and holds all of the power. There is truly nothing I can do about it. Fucking crickets.

So a few weeks pass and I don’t see her. I figure maybe she went on another of her global trips or was busy with school. Then one night I was sitting at the end of the bar with Church, and I see her. She’s chatting close by with a few of her coworkers. I tell Church what happened. (Rather, what didn’t happen!) I tell him I’m going to say something to her. Church at this point thinks I am trying to get her to sleep with me, and he says, “Pump the brakes.”

I am who I am, and have become the person I am by doing the very opposite. If you tell me I can’t have something, I will find a way to have it. If you tell me it can’t be done, I will find a way to do it. My father used to say, that if I didn’t apply myself and get an education, I’d never amount to anything. I’d end up like the homeless guys in the Subway. He even once said that if I had a woman, he would be able to take her away from me, because I was nothing. He also said, “(My Name) always takes the path of least resistance.” I was older by then, and tired of taking his shit so I said, “You know what else always takes the path of least resistance?”

“What?” he says.

“Water. Water always finds the path of least resistance. You know that thing where all life on this Earth has emerged. You’ve seen the Grand Canyon, right Pop?”

He didn’t say anything after that. He just glared at me. It wasn’t worth continuing the conversation. I just had to consider the source. So if I’m thinking something, or wanting to do something that I believe in, don’t ever fucking tell me to “Pump the brakes.”

It’s a matter of principle now. I’m going to “Drop the clutch and go.”

Daphne approaches. “Hey…” she says using my name in that honey contralto. “What’s happening?”

I tell her the story about my friend at Misconduct, and tell her it’s okay, and I realize now that’s how it’s done in this business.  When a gentleman asks to meet with you, you simply ghost him.  She’s like… “What?”

I remind her about the text I sent her and how we were going to try to meet up on that Sunday. She pulls out her phone and holds it up to show me. “See the last text is from me, thanking you for bringing me the cough drops when I was sick a couple of months ago. I don’t know what Daphne you sent the text to, but it wasn’t me.”

I feel like a jackass, but an extremely happy jackass. We have a laugh about it and she tells me to try again. She has finals coming up and the holidays are busy, but we should try to get together.

I text her a few days later and wait. An hour or two later I have a response from Daphne. So we’ll see what happens.

 

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Daphne – 2014 to Present – Lovely Hostess – Part One

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

Daphne is a hostess at one of my favorite restaurants in the city. I have known her for a couple of years now. She is a slender blonde that is all of 23 years old. I love her face and figure, and especially her low buttery voice.

Obviously, I am not after Daphne. But she is a classic example of the type of girl who Phicklephilly falls in love with everyday. Kind of like how I loved Maria in the very first blog post. They just give off a certain energy that’s like catnip to me.

I would go to this place pretty regularly, and Daphne always seemed to be in a sour mood. Just all business with a pout on her face. She’s so beautiful, but she always was a sourpuss. I liked her but I stayed away from her. I figured a girl like her pretty much got hit on all the time. Probably every shift she worked . That has to get tiring. Maybe she had that attitude because if she’s too nice, these guys try to engage her and ask her out on dates. It’s hard when you’re the prettiest baby in the joint and you have to work the front line as a hostess. It’s like being in the infantry.

Maybe she was dealing with a health problem. Maybe just coming off a painful break up. Could be anything. But everybody was aware of her sullen attitude.

So I for the most did the opposite of what everybody else did. I paid attention to everyone on staff but Daphne. I was hoping she would start to wonder why out of all of the men that came into that place, I was the really friendly guy that talked to everyone but her. It’s just reverse psychology. My dad taught me how to run that program.

Then one day, Daphne disappeared. After a week or so of going there I simply stopped seeing her at the hostess stand. I asked my buddy Roman behind the bar what had happened. He said she went to Brazil for a few months to study abroad. So that was that.

When she returned, Daphne was a changed woman. I don’t know what happened while she was down there, but whatever it was, it worked. She was smiling, friendly and talkative. She would stop and say hello when I was at the bar. It was like she had been infused with a happy spirit. My father used to say that travel was very broadening. I have traveled some and have to agree. The world is a much bigger package than your little piece of real estate. She even gave me her number in case there was some cool event happening I could take her. What a turn around!

It appears she’s doing more than just hostessing now that she has returned. Serving and working as a bar back are also some of her duties now. She always smiles and says hello to me when I come in. We chat about what’s happening in our lives, but it’s always brief because she’s working. I like when she says my name in that lovely, low voice.

One night she was working and I stopped to say hello. She said she was sick. I back away and we both laugh. I told her she didn’t seem her usual effervescent self. I asked her the symptoms and she said throat was sore. We chatted a bit more and I told her that I hoped she felt better and went back to join my friends at the bar. But now I had an idea.

Later, when I went out to catch a smoke, I ran up to news stand up the street. I picked up another pack of smokes and a little something else.

A half an hour later me and my pals were leaving. Carly back to Manayunk, and Church back to King of Prussia. As I walked by Daphne sniffling at the hostess stand, I place a roll of sore throat lozenges on it. I smiled and said goodnight.

A month or so later, (like I said, I’m not really after little Daphne) I was sitting with some friends at the bar. She was at her hostess stand, and I look over and she smiles, and puts up her hands as if saying, “What’s up?”

I walk over to her and ask her if she’d like to meet me for a drink or lunch one day. She says, “Sure, text me.”

So I tell her, “How about Sunday after 4pm?”

“Text me.”

So I think it’s on if I can nail down a day and time. Which with her work and school schedule, will probably be impossible. I tell her I’ll text her this week.

I send her a text that Friday, and ask her if she’d like to meet me for a drink at Gran caffè L’Aquila, on Chestnut Street. It’s a really nice Italian restaurant that has been there for about three years. I figured she hadn’t been there, and I’d be happy to take her someplace a little fancy.

I never hear anything from her but the deafening sound of crickets.

 

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Phicklephilly – 1962 to Present

I’m 55 today!

I was going to post Part 3 of the move to the new space for our tanning salon today. It’s 10:25pm on Tuesday and I publish tomorrow at 8am. You all know that. Normally I write pretty far ahead in the future but decided to write something tonight for tomorrow and just drop it.

I can push Part 3 to tomorrow or next week and that would be great. (It’s a slow week at phicklephilly (Summer in Philly)

So I’ll write for tomorrow August 9th, which as you read this, is right now.

Today is my birthday.

I’ve never been happier in my life. This vessel still has all of its original parts but a few are missing. The car is a little banged up from the journey, but based on recent reviews by the fairer sex , it still runs great.

It’s still on the road and I’m happy that the old Pontiac GTO still turns over each morning. We’ve had many challenges in the last year, but life is still beautiful every day.

I still fall in love everyday, and my health is good. I feel good and am happy to be alive for another year.

Thanks to everyone around for me for that.

Like my parents before me, I’m not big on birthdays or Father’s Day. Birthdays are for kids and I never want my daughter to be beholden to me in any way. I never want my love to ever say the words, “Wait, I have to get a card for my dad.” I know she loves me and I love her forever. We know that’s a reality without words, cards or gifts.

Of course I’ll always hook her up on her Bday because she’s my little girl, but she’s already given me the greatest gift anyone could ever give me. She’s growing into a smart. decent woman in this world. Tomorrow belongs to her, not me. Because I’ll be gone someday.

(I just hope she doesn’t hold me to sending her and her friends to see Britney Spears in Vegas on her 21st birthday! That shit’s expensive!)

She’s happy, healthy, and in a good relationship with a boy I like and respect. I’m always proud of her and her choices. She lives with me and I’m always glad to see her but her life is her own. We have are time together and it’s always meaningful.

I left a failing publication selling advertising last year. I don’t want to sit in a cubicle under flourescent lights anymore and go to three meetings a week and work for fools that know less about themselves, the job, and life itself than I do.

I started working part-time at a tanning salon. The owner and I became close and built a partnership. Now we’re going into business together. Where in the hell would I ever have an opportunity like this in Philly? Be an equity partner in a fitness center in Rittenhouse on Walnut street? It’s like a dream come true.

I started this blog last year and it’ll be a year old in September. I began with one post every Monday. Then added Wednesdays. Then Tuesdays. Then Fridays. In 2018 I’ll publish five days a week.

This year I’ve written Phicklephilly, the book. I’m editing it now, and it should be available on Amazon by Christmas. I’ll begin work on the TV series in the Fall and look forward to pitching it to Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and YoutubeRed in 2018. (Or anyone that will listen!)

I buried my parents this year. Thanks to my beloved sisters for holding it all together. Especially Janice.

My dear friends Church and Carly are planning a birthday party today for me at the Ritz Carlton tonight. It won’t start until 8:30 because I’ll be jacked up at the salon/gym until then. (Ugh! Day 17 in a row!)

He put a big invite out there on Facebook. I’m not big on social media anymore, but it’s the thought that Church wanted to do something to celebrate my day that means the most to me. I mean, it would be nice if all of my followers on WordPress showed up but I’ll have you all there in spirit. I’ve always craved creation. I love making things. Art, music, stories. I have so many more things to tell.

It gives me great joy each day to know that I’m writing again after a dozen years of creative darkness. Phicklephilly is my outlet to tell my story and create again. I’m so grateful to my family, friends, dates, (lovers and ex-lovers!) for inspiring me to write again.

I have so much to be thankful for in life. This has been an incredible year and a time of great flux for all of us. I’m going to continue to work hard on my family, friends, business and my art. I want you all to know I’m still here for all of you in your time of need. My ears and heart are always open 24/7.

There is a peace and balance in my life now that I’ve never felt before.

Thank you one and all for your love, friendship, guidance and support.

The party is tonight, so I guess there may be a Part Two to this post if I’m not to hung over!

XXOO

Phicklephilly

P.S. Layne Staley, Kurt Cobain, Chris Cornell, and most of all Jeff Buckley are gone, but I’m still missing you guys here on Earth so I’m going to keep living as long as I can.

But you’re all still alive in me!

 

 

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Sun Stories – 2016 to Present – The Move

I just start grabbing anything that’s not tied down and tossing it into boxes or bags.

Five guys tearing apart a business and breaking down huge, complex tanning beds and moving them to another location was so brutal, Achilles says he’ll never move again. I can’t agree more. We’re going to a better location and the new salon will be beautiful… eventually. I couldn’t think of a good image to show what a mess the salon is now so I’m sticking with “hot chick in a sunbed.”

I closed on a Friday, and that night the crew came in with Achilles and started dismantling the sunbeds. Great thing was, I didn’t have to sweep or mop the place, because we would never be open for business again at this address.

I went back in Saturday morning around 10am and the crew was in full swing. Achilles, his brother Zues, and two other big strong dudes. They’re all taking things apart and carrying them down the back steps to the alley outside. The beds are huge and have tons of parts.

I just start grabbing anything that’s not tied down and tossing it into boxes or bags. I carry them by hand and walk the three blocks down to walnut street. I carry them up the 30 stairs, unload, and walk back to the old salon. I do this over and over until 4pm.

My whole body hurts when I get home. It’s that moment when you finally sit down for a bit and then have to get up to get more ice for your drink or something. Once on your feet the pain and stiffness kicks in and I groan like an old man.

And the worst part? I have to go do it all again tomorrow. This move has been brutal!

 

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Annabelle – 2013 to 2014 – Chapter 8 – What’s Cookin’ Good Lookin’?

“It’s not the kill. It’s the thrill of the chase.”

So I was scheduled to go over to Annabelle’s house to read her my screenplay. I remember her saying: “Bring your appetite because baby’s cooking!” This made me happy because:

  1. She’s cooking me dinner which makes this some next level shit.
  2. She referred to herself as ‘baby’ which makes me feel like she’s sort of my girl already.

I was at work and came up with the idea to bring a few things. It was August and very humid here in Philly. I stopped at the liquor store and picked up some wine and then decided to go to the florist around the corner. I picked up a bouquet of flowers. I hailed a cab and was on my way to her neighborhood in Northern Liberties. The cab ride was hot. I rarely take a cab now because of UBER and Lyft. Someday maybe even taxis will be a nostalgia service. We get to her building and I clamber out of the car with my stuff.

I go into the lobby and just as I’m coming in a couple is coming out. They see a gentleman with a bouquet of flowers and decide I’m not a menace and hold the door for me. Now that I have bypassed the security system I can surprise her at her door. I pop into the elevator and I’m on my way. It’s a big old building that appears to have once been some sort of factory that’s been converted into lofts. I walk down the hallway and get to her door. My heart is beating fast, and I can’t believe this is happening. I may actually be dating this girl and we are falling for each other.

I knock on her door, I have the bag with the wine and the screenplay in the left hand and the flowers in my right hand off to the side. Annabelle opens the door, and I say: “I brought the wine and the screenplay, oh and these are for you!” and whip out the bouquet of flowers from behind the door. She’s very surprised and happy.

“These flowers are beautiful! No one’s ever given me flowers before!”

I find that hard to believe, but I suppose anything’s possible. I really don’t know much about this girl. I ask for a pair of scissors and a vase. I cut the end of the stems on an angle and put them in the vase. They look awesome. I love giving girls flowers. It’s such a classic romantic gesture.

Her apartment is sparse and looks more like a photographer’s studio than a residence. I sit in a chair while she continues to prepare dinner. She’s wearing a pair of silky looking shorts that almost appear to be like lingerie. I admire her long slender legs.

A Siamese cat pads out of her bedroom and walks toward me. I don’t remember his name but she says he doesn’t like most people. He walks right up to me and rubs his snout on me. I reach down and gently pet him. Seems friendly enough to me. Animals can sense who’s good and who’s not. Their instincts have been honed over thousands of years to sniff out the differences between the assholes and the cool people.  Annabelle tells me he is very old and she has to give him an injection everyday to keep him alive. I’ve never heard of this before. How could you give a cat a needle without him wanting to tear you apart every day? He must realize that it’s the only thing that makes him feel better. Funny thing about cats, once they reach adulthood, they pretty much look the same their whole lives. How great would that be for humans? This cat is fifteen years old. That’s ancient for a cat. He looks great. Can you imagine being seventy years old and looking like you’re in your twenties? Who wouldn’t love that? If I could still perform I could date women in their twenties until the day I die!

But I digress.

She’s cooking up something, but I can’t tell what it is yet. It looks like some sort of vegan dish. I’m sure I’m not going to like it, but I like her so it doesn’t matter. She’s says she’s never cooked for anyone before, and can’t really cook. But it smells good, and I like that she’s making the effort.

We end up sitting on her sofa and dining on a large ottoman that she has in front of it. This seems very untraditional to me, but like I said, happy to be here.

She doesn’t really have much stuff. There is a desk with a computer over in the corner of the room, there is this sofa, the ottoman, a small table off to the right, and not much else. This girl is a former actress and now a photographer. It appears she lives a very bohemian lifestyle. No TV. No stereo. Just some books on a long bookshelf. I get the feeling she has collected them but not read them, but maybe that’s just me.

The food was fine, and I appreciate her efforts. I devour it as best I can, even though it’s not really something I would ever eat or even make. But she’s beautiful to me, and I am already hooked on the drug of love.

After dinner we clean up and return to the couch. I have two copies of my screenplay and tell her that I’ll read all of the male parts and she can read all of the female parts. She agrees and we begin. Every page of a script is equal to a minute of film, so my work is 118 pages so we should be able to blow through this in about two hours.

It goes well and I was happy to revisit my story. She is fascinated by the work, and asks how I was able to conceive of something like that and organize all of my thoughts and characters. I told her it was originally a book that was 541 pages long! The book, Angel with a Broken Wing, has so much more in it that the screenplay. More characters, sex and violence. She hears this and tells me she wants to read it, but I know that’s not going to happen.  Maybe someday I can publish it as a weekly blog. People always say; ‘the book is always better than the movie.’ I would agree with that but for the exception of porn!

When we finish reading the script, I lean in for an awkward kiss. Did you ever notice when you first kiss someone romantically on the lips, it just feels weird? Not every time, but there is that period of adjusting to each other’s lip configuration and facial structure. Did you also ever notice how you instinctively tilt you head to the right? That’s a human thing, right?

I’m just happy that I’m kissing her and she’s okay with it.

So after that I see it’s getting late and I should be going. I thank her for the dinner and the time, and I hug her goodnight.

I get outside and realize it’s pretty late and the area is pretty deserted. I start walking west and sort of don’t know wear I’m going. I have a great sense of direction, but I don’t get to Northern Liberties much let alone at night and on foot. I don’t know why I didn’t call and UBER, but after walking about two block I see a taxi. I wave him down and hop in.

The driver is really nice and I’m telling him about my date, because I’m giddy with joy. It’s a good ride home, and I’m happy that things are moving forward with Annabelle. It’s been a slow ride, but it’s not the kill. It’s the thrill of the chase.

 

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Tales of Rock – Marianne Faithfull Ends Up Homeless

You’ve got to feel for Marianne Faithfull. At the age of 17, she was snapped up by the Rolling Stones’ manager Andrew Loog Oldham merely for being “an angel with big tits” and shoved at the Stones. She churned out some blandly alluring pop records but was most famously Mick Jagger’s girlfriend and muse. When the police raided Keith Richards’ Redlands mansion in 1967 as its occupants concluded an epic acid trip, they claimed they found Faithfull wrapped in nothing but a rug with a candy bar inserted in her vagina (Richards debunked this myth in his 2010 book Life).

She co-wrote the tellingly titled “Sister Morphine,” only to see the Stones wrest control of the song and release it, without crediting her, on their 1971 album Sticky Fingers. By the end of the ’70s she was homeless, living in an abandoned building in London. It was a fate once unthinkable for a woman so beautiful and sexual that still images of her alone created a media sensation and who directly influenced one of the most significant bands of her generation and place.

But Faithfull got the last laugh.

Given the opportunity to cut another album, she turned in the raw, confessional Broken English; an unflinching narrative of what it was like for a glamour model and pop star to find herself an addict living on the street, all backed by understated yet fashionable musical accompaniment. The Stones of this era were singing about “Some Girls,” and this was first person reporting from one they’d cast off.

 

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