Michelle – Chapter 16 – Epilogue – Part 1

“Every man dies. Not every man lives.” – HCW

Michelle and I have kept in touch since she moved to San Francisco to live with Dave. She found a good job and has even been promoted. She’s doing really well in her career. It seems pretty fast paced so she’s a busy lady. I met Michelle when she was 27. She is now 37 years old. We’ve known each other for over a decade now, but somehow it seems a lot longer. I suppose having a rich history together helps.

Michelle and Dave have lived out in San Fran for over three years now. They finally got married in 2016. He still works at the same job, and like I said she’s killing it in her job. We keep in touch through texting and sometimes use face time on our phones. Our friendship has transcended time and space.

They have no children yet, and I don’t know what their plan is in that department. We all know that the deal breaker between Michelle and I was that I didn’t want marriage and kids so she was out. I’m sure like every white couple in their thirties that have known each other for 20 years, they’re “trying.”

I never understand that about people. If you really want kids, throw the switch and make it happen. It’ll all work out. It’s easy. You can’t build a computer in an elevator but you can make a kid! Just get on with it! That’s what you wanted. The American Dream.

I did it and it worked out and I didn’t even want it. I love my Lorelei. She is a shaft of golden light through the darkness of my marriage and my life.

The housing market in San Francisco is some of the most expensive property in the country. Although Michelle and Dave are doing well, they are slowly being priced out of the market due to rising real estate prices and gentrification. So they may have to return to the east coast in the next year or so.

So there’s that little twist to the story. (Stop it. Not going to anything.)

Since she moved out West, Michelle has had to hide her friendship with me from Dave. He wouldn’t approve. I get it. Would I want my wife talking to her ex-boyfriend? Probably not. I’m pretty secure in myself though. It’s not like I’m talking to her to get her back. That’s simply not the case. Michelle and I have been friends longer than we were ever lovers. Our romantic relationship only lasted about two and a half years, but our friendship has lasted ten years! So in reality, she’s just keeping in touch with her friend back in Philly. She does that with all of her other friends back here so I’m just one of them. But I’m sure Dave wouldn’t see it like that, so she keeps me a secret. Dave thinks I’m ancient history for over five years now. (I still love that my pimp hand is strong nationwide. Kidding!)

Michelle lives a pretty clean and healthy life out there in the land of fruits and nuts. But whenever Dave has to go out-of-town she is usually drinking wine, smoking cigarettes and face timing with me. It’s like the kids in catholic school when I was growing up. They are held down so strictly, and when they’d got loose, they’d go crazy. Sometimes I think it’s that way for Michelle. But in the long run, living a healthier life will extend her life and she’ll feel better, and think more clearly. But not being able to be who you really are can create some long-term problems. But people are very adaptable. People evolve and change. A healthy clean life for Michelle may be her simply growing up.

I really believe that.

I’ve gotten the advice from some of my friends that what we’re doing is wrong. But based on what I know about those friends lives, I’d never listen to what they think I should do. They’ve made plenty of bad choices, and I’ll do what I want. It ends when Michelle says so, and not before. She’s the boss of that. No one knows what my life is, or was with Michelle and neither do you.

That belongs to us, and only us.

Michelle makes the final call on us and nobody else.

She’s been back to Philly a few times since she moved out west. Normally she swings by the city around the holidays. In 2014 she was around one evening. It was a lovely but bittersweet encounter. She was overcome with emotion. She had been spending the afternoon with several of her old friends, and I was the last stop. (Deal with it) We went to 1 Tippling Place for a drink before stopping at Crow and the Pitcher for another. She was supposed to go to her friend Gloria’s house and sleep over and then they were to have breakfast, but it didn’t quite play out that way.

She ended up sleeping on my sofa. Nothing happened, but she was pretty hung over the next morning. She got up and took an UBER down to Gloria’s the next morning for breakfast. Gloria was a little miffed, but Michelle’s time was limited. I later met up with her at 30th Street Station. She was going to take the train down to Delaware to see what I’m assuming was her family. She was a nervous wreck. So we sat at the Bridgewater Cafe and threw back a few chardonnays to take the edge off.

I put her on the train and off she went.

In 2015 she visited again around the holidays. She was unsure what time she’d be in the city. I was at McGlinchey’s drinking with Johnny R. She rolled in at one point and we all sat at a table by the door. It was nice. Johnny and I took turns playing songs on the jukebox, and we were all drinking and smoking cigarettes. It was just like old times. I played “Fly Me To The Moon,” and Michelle and I got up and danced in the aisle next to the bar. (Which was a sweet moment I get to wrap myself up in like a warm blanket.) Here we are in the shittiest bar in Philly and we bring the elegance and power just like always.

That was a glorious moment with my love.

Later, Johnny left and I walked down Chestnut Street towards 17th with Michelle. I think she told her people she was staying at her friend Susan’s house. But in reality she had booked a room at the Club Quarters. We took her bags up to the room. She was supposed to meet Susan for dinner, and said if I was around later we could meet up for a drink.

I went to Wawa and got a sandwich. I was starving, because eating anything from McGlinchey’s is always a health risk. I went back to my office at One Penn Center on JFK Boulevard and ate my sandwich and drank some box wine I kept there. (Cheap ass, but Mad Men style!)

She texted me about and hour and a half later. I met her at Club Quarters. She wanted to get a cocktail somewhere. We stopped in AKitchen on 18th Street. We chatted and enjoyed our drinks, just like we always did. Stories were told, memories refreshed, and cigarettes smoked. She said she should probably go back to her room. I walked her to the entrance of the hotel.

“Wanna come up?”

God Damn it.

So I ended up sleeping over that night. There was some playful moments, but I don’t think Michelle knew what she wanted that night. I probably should have gone home. We had planned on meeting for breakfast the next morning. But when the new day dawned she just wanted to go back to her family. She was feeling guilty about spending too much time with me again. So I guess I was dining alone that day.

I walked her to the parking garage and we went to her car. She pulled out of the lot and I got out. We said our goodbyes and I told her not to worry, and that nothing had happened. Just like I always do.

But nothing really happened.

Once again, my former queen disappeared into the morning light.

I ended up dining alone at Rachael’s alone. (Breakfast is always cheap and glorious despite your circumstances)

 

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Brooke – 2013 to Present – Legs for Days

Brooke was on point with the drinks. She even stuck around and hung out with us.

When I worked for the online start-up, back in 2013, there was a kid that worked in the office who was always playing crazy music. It was mostly all shit. I can’t believe I’m about to say this but it was also played too loud every day. (Yea, I’m getting old)

There were only two artists he ever played that I could stomach. One of them was a band called Tame Impala. I liked them because their singer sounded a bit like John Lennon. They were in town to open for the flaming lips at Festival Pier. So me and the kid decide we want to go. Somehow I got the hookup, probably through Keila when she worked at Live Nation. We were in the VIP section, which is nice because you can see the stage, it’s fenced in, you’re away from the animals, and you have your own clean bathrooms, and your own bar.

We grabbed a bite of over priced food before the show. Actually, the opening act was playing. It was Sean Ono Lennon. How sad is that? Your father is 1/2 of the two greatest composers of modern music in the 20th century. Let that sink in for a moment.

John Lennon is your father. Your half-brother Julian looks and sounds like dad, but your mom is Yoko Ono. No. Sorry. You’re just a filthy rich kid. Your dad was in the Beatles, and your shitty band is opening for the band that is opening for the Flaming Lips at Festival Pier in Philly. Sorry kid. Give up.

So we’re back at VIP and I need some wine. There is a very tall lean brunette that is serving me. She cracks a bottle for me. She fills my cup with ice and then pours the wine in on top of it. This is how I like my chardonnay. So I won’t have to keep coming back to the bar, she says she’ll just keep coming out to me in the section and keep my cup filled. I liked her already  because she was tall, beautiful and charming. Now I’m falling in love.

Tame Impala were good. I dig some of their music. It was a good show. Brooke was on point with the drinks. She even stuck around and hung out with us. I remember telling her about my girlfriend and just raving about how much I loved her. I was telling her about all of the romantic moments I created to celebrate how much I loved her. Brooke loved this and I feel like I made a memorable impression upon her.

I’ve run into her since then at different gatherings. I remember a bunch of us were all sitting around at Rouge. (Not a fan. Rittenhouse douche/snob watering hole) It was me, Keila, Alice, Brooke, a couple other girls and I think one or two guys  I didn’t know. At one point Brooke gets everyone’s attention and says: “(My name) speaks about women the way wish any of the men we know spoke about us when we weren’t around.”

That’s one of the nicest compliments I have ever had the honor of receiving. I’ll be taking her to Keila’s farewell party from the IT recruitment firm this week, So I’ll write more then.

Note: Brooke’s story continues in tomorrow’s post: (Church – Birthday Boy)

 

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