Cherie – Chapter 9 – Misconduct on your Birthday

“You’re hot like coffee, but sweet like chocolate”

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The Wednesday before her 27th birthday arrives. The day before I had called my friend Keila, who is great at all things party and presents. I tell her my dilemma in regard to what I could get Cherie for her birthday. She offers some good suggestions.

I head to Starbucks. I get in line and ask the guy behind me what’s a good dollar amount for a gift card. He says go with $20 because Starbucks is expensive coffee. I get the card and then head to my next destination.  I walk into the shops at Liberty Place. I know Cherie likes milk chocolate so I scope out a little something of that variety. The girl working is very nice and guides me to a little box of six different kinds of truffles. Looks perfect and I know Cherie will love it. Cherie isn’t expecting anything so it’ll make it even better when I surprise her. I ask the girl if she can wrap it up and she says she can put some fancy birthday ribbon on it. I pay for it and she puts it in a fancy Godiva gift bag with some nice tissue paper around it. She asks me if I want a little card and I agree. It’s blank, which I like. I always have to put my words in cards, none of that store-bought nonsense.

I move out to the center of the mall and sit at a quiet table. I have about 30 minutes to kill so I can get things set up. I write a little witty prose in the card and put her name on the envelope. I slide the Starbucks gift card under the ribbon. Now I’ve got a great little gift for my lady.

I head over to Misconduct restaurant at 18th and JFK Blvd. I’m early, and my favorite hostess is there. (See: Mary – Unexpected Table for Two) I tell her what I’m up to and she’s down. She says she’ll hold the gift under the hostess stand next to her purse and we’ll use a code phrase when I want her to bring it to the table. She also reserves my favorite table, #12.

Cherie is texting me that she’s leaving Temple University. I know it’s going to be a nightmare for her to get down here and park. Septa has recently gone on strike again, and that always causes a great deal of major problems for the city and it’s commuters. There’ll be heavier traffic, little parking on the streets, and full parking lots. I recently spoke with an UBER driver, assuming they would be killing it during the strike, but he said no. There are so many more cars on the streets because everybody has to drive in to the city, that they aren’t getting enough fares fast enough to break even. So even the alternative taxi services are screwed when Septa strikes.

Lunch is at 12:30 but I know that Cherie won’t make it until after 1:00pm with all of this nonsense going on. I’m sitting at my table, sipping my water, looking at my phone, and chatting with the staff. I have my little surprise gift hidden and I don’t care how long it takes her to get down here, I’m just happy I’m going to see her.

She’s texting me and getting frustrated. She doesn’t want to be late, but I assure her I understand and to just be safe. She finally finds parking and says she’ll be there shortly. The server jokes that she thinks I’ve been stood up, or this is all just a lie so I could come in and chat with her and the hostess.

“You work for tips, right?”

She laughs.

Cherie arrives. She looks lovely. Custom fit black leather jacket over what appears to be a burgundy top that is low-cut in the front. As she approaches the table, I stand. Her skirt is short and grey. She is wearing black leather ankle boots. That combination showcases her shapely legs. We hug, but avoid the PDA. (Public Display of Affection) She apologizes for being late and compliments me on my patience as always. I really don’t mind waiting for her. I know she comes from a great distance most of the time. Septa has screwed up the city, and finding parking in center city is brutal. It’s not that she’s recklessly late every time. There are just extenuating circumstances that she’s constantly up against to see me.

So baby gets a pass.

She orders some crazy Cowboy Burger that I’ve never ordered and I get my usual Chicken tenders and a little bowl of mac and cheese to share.

Lunch is lovely, and the conversation and laughter are lively. The staff is on point, and the food is great as always. We get the check, and I give them my card. When the server brings it back for me to sign, I give them the code phrase. “Can you tell me when tea time is?” I didn’t come up with this line, the hostess did. She comes over and places the Godiva bag down on the table. Cherie seems really surprised.

“Happy Birthday, Cher. I know you said you didn’t want anything but me for your birthday, but I had to get you a little something.”

“What’s this? You’re so sweet!” She exclaims.  She’s looking at the candy and Starbucks card, but then goes for the little card with her name on it. Opening it quickly she reads it, and starts smiling. It reads:

“Cherie, You’re hot like coffee, but sweet like chocolate” Love, Me XO”

“Thank you so much. You didn’t have to do this.” She’s holding the little card. “I like this…”

We leave the restaurant. We’ve been there for about two hours. Her car is parked all the way down at 20th and Bainbridge. A little bit of a hike from Misconduct. She made better time than I thought. We get to the Saab and hop in. Her skirt is riding up a little. Her thighs are tantalizing. Some kissing ensues. But like I said, it’s still light out, and people are walking by, some with strollers. Her window is open, so if I’m smooching her, and I see someone with kids or a stroller approaching in the rearview mirror, I start talking about church or some bible reference. Hoping they see that we are just good christians having a heartfelt conversation about God. But once they are past, I’m back at her.

We both realize, this whole making out in the car is an invitation to the C-Blockers. We know where this relationship is heading like a speeding train. It’s inevitable. Then I get an idea. I tell her to drive. We go a few blocks east and I have her hang a left.

“When you see a parking spot anywhere up here just hop in it.” We find one right in front of a restaurant. Perfect.

“Where are we going?”

“You’ll see. Trust me. You’ll like it.”

It’s getting dark now. I take her to the tanning salon. We walk up the stairs, but instead of going in, we throw a left and open a door to the space in the front of the building that’s unlocked and un-rented This is the spot where Achilles and I were going to open our spin bike gym. It should have been open for three months by now, but the owner decided to sell the building. That put everything on hold. Sadly, the space still remains empty. The one whole wall is glass from floor to ceiling. Great view of the night street below. People are bustling by and the street is filled with angry motorists, blowing their horns and gridlocked because of the Septa strike. The space is quiet and if feels safe above the street. I kill the ceiling fans, and throw the switch to turn off the overhead lights. Now the space is dark. There’s a leather love seat by the window. I push it across the hardwood floor to the back corner. There’s no way anyone can see us from the street. I text my co-worker and friend, Trish, (See: Trish – The She Wolf) who is next door working at the salon that I am in the empty space out front. I decide it’s better if I stop over with Cherie, and make an appearance.

We go next door. Trish is happy to see us. I introduce Cherie to Trish, and I can see they are hitting it off. I tell Trish that we don’t want to sit in a bar somewhere, so we’re just going to be next door enjoying the view and chilling. We go back to our leather love seat next door. I lock the door behind us. So no one can see us coming to the salon and no one can see us from the street.

The romance ensues. It’s such a great space. if someone said to me a year ago, that I’d be not only working at this salon, but I’d be next door in the space where I was supposed to open a spin bike gym, making out with a beautiful young woman, I’d think they were nuts. But here we were. It all felt so illicit. I knew we weren’t doing anything wrong. The space is empty, it’s 7pm at night, no one can see us, and my buddy Trish knows we’re there.

I have vowed to try to keep these stories PG-13, but the limits are slowly being pushed into R rated territory. I don’t know how I can continue to write this story about Cherie, without including some sort of 18+ warning. But maybe I can share a few things that were said over the next hour or so. (Or I will at least embellish so you get it.)

Cherie: “I like your new jeans. Have you tested the zipper enough?”

Me: What? Ohhhhh…. Who are you, Monica Lewinski?

Me: “Okay, so the top you’re wearing is just a one piece jumpsuit? Do you have to take the whole thing down to use the restroom?”

Cherie: “No. There are two snaps right here at the bottom, see?” *Snap! *Snap!

Me: “So from the eyebrows down…no hair?”

Cherie: “Oh my God… You’re incredible. That feels amazing!

You get the picture. It was just a little preview for the coming days, so to speak. It was like we had been shopping for a car for the last few dates. We took a couple out for a little test drive that night, and were ready to make a purchase the next time we we’re together. It was simply inevitable. We literally couldn’t take it anymore. The great thing was. She’s not much of a drinker, so after all of our dates, I have never had one drop of alcohol or smoked a cigarette around her. I don’t mind, because when I’m with Cherie, I want for nothing but her and her alone. It feels great.

So after that bit of third base activity, we decide to get out of there. I walk her to her car and kiss her goodnight. I’m only a few blocks from my house so I head home. It feels nice to walk in the cool October night and reflect on our passion. Cherie said she wants me for her birthday and I want to grant her wish. I just need to figure where and how I can make that happen.

Cherie and I have reached critical mass and something has to be done.

 

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

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Annabelle – Chapter 14 – I Can’t Quit You Baby

Adults speak to one another and close the relationship. It’s wrong to put a person on a shelf like they are some sort of toy, and then think you can take them down and play with them whenever you’re confused or lonely. It’s just shitty behavior. The person you’re doing that to is a human being with feelings. You’re a rotten person if you think that sort of behavior is okay.

This is the most painful chapter I have ever written on phicklphilly. The pain and sadness Annabelle has caused me is immeasurable. But the saddest thing is she doesn’t even know it because she is so lost as a person. Just a fool running errands for others that are making fools art.

Annabelle had officially dumped me on Thursday, April 17th, 2014. She texted me a day after that, and we made arrangements for me to get what little stuff I had at her apartment. She was nice enough to tell me that she’d bring it down to me. It was just shirts and stuff so I was fine with it. I was happy I didn’t have to drag myself out to Northern Liberties to go get my shit because I hated going out there.

It was a sunny Saturday morning when she showed up and handed me a bag.  I thanked her and asked her how she was doing. She said a little sad and depressed. I told her I was too. (A bold-faced lie)

She asked me if I was hungry. I told her I was. She asked if I wanted to get something to eat. I told her I did.

It was an odd moment. She had broken up with me a few days ago and now here she was wanting to hang out with me. I didn’t mind. I eventually had a friendship with my ex before her and remain friends to this day. (See: Michelle – 2007 – Present – A Brand New Day)

It was a nice day in Spring so we walked up to DiBruno Brothers on 18th and Chestnut Streets. It’s a really nice food market and eatery. We both got some sort of salads and went upstairs to the dining room. There weren’t many people up there. Maybe just two other couples. I don’t remember what we talked about, but it was probably whatever shoot she was going on or what play she was working on.

When we were finished eating, she moved to the chair closest to me at the table. She started to kiss up on me. It was really nice. Normally we never did public displays of affection. But it was sexy and hot. It’s weird. Something’s not right about that.

But it felt good, and a day later we were eating at an Indian restaurant near my hospital and then went back to my apartment and made love. The sex was good like always and I actually said to her: “If this is what you breaking up with me feels like, you should break up with me every week!”

Be careful what you wish for. We’ve all heard that old adage. But I liked the new Annabelle. It was all the stuff I liked about her. Food, sex and spending a little time with a pretty young woman. But at that time back in the Spring of 2014, I didn’t know that I didn’t love Annabelle. I didn’t even like her. I just was in love with the idea of being in love with her. I had no idea what was happening to me at the time. Now I had the drug almost on my terms. I wouldn’t have to “put my time in at her shitty apartment”, or put up with the grinding frustration and disappointment of being in a relationship with her. All the responsibility was gone.

But if you go into a new love, (It had been 2 years since Michelle) you must go into that new relationship for the right reason. That’s why I always warn people not to “have sex on the 3rd date” and ask themselves, do they really have much in common with their partner. Like the same things, activities, shared some of the same friends, work and religious values can also come into play.

But your old pal Phicklephilly, plowed right into this relationship with this woman  25 years his junior, not thinking any of this through. All I wanted was to be romantic with a young woman and feel the rush of new love. I didn’t realize it but I had gotten hooked on a drug I had nothing in common with. The only thing Annabelle and I had was a common attraction to each other. She’d never been in love before and didn’t know how to love or what to do with her feelings. Me, I meet a friendly, tall, young blond bartender and I’m ready to go head over heels.

What a fool I was.

A week or so later, I met her at a bus station near 30th Street just to give her moral support for trip to New York to buy some lenses for camera she owned. I just wanted to make her feel calm before her trip, and it worked. You might think why wouldn’t you go with her, and spend the day?

Here’s the thing, if we could have just hooked up sexually and I didn’t have to do any grinding boring stuff I had zero interest in, the relationship could have worked. So there’s no way I wanted to go anywhere with her.

On another occasion, I met her at 30th Street Station for a quick-lunch, and I put her on a train to somewhere for a shoot. I remember her saying, “Let’s have sex tonight!”

I was fine with that at the time. We had dinner that night. It was like being back at the beginning when things were good. Then back to my apartment for passionate fun.

Here’s the problem with that. I was getting exactly what I wanted from her. I was getting the thing I liked about our relationship so for me it was perfect. I didn’t have to see her all the time and I was still being delivered the euphoric dopamine that I so craved. I had no idea how damaging this is to one’s psyche.

Then it started to become less and less. That’s when the withdrawal kicks in. I went from someone who was relieved when she ended it, and now I was really missing her. I was losing her for real now. But it wasn’t her I was losing, I just wasn’t getting my “fix” anymore. Normally I’m not like that, and I vow to never let that happen again. But I never realized the relationship was sick from the start and doomed from day one.

A month went by, and I was on that tour boat on the Delaware river with my colleague when she texted me that she wanted to meet up for dinner. I really wanted to see her, but had to do that, “don’t get right back to her” move. But when I did she got right back to me and we set it up. She wanted to go to dinner and then stop and Chris’ Jazz club after. I was down for that. Of course I wanted to see her.

We planned to meet over at Pennsylvania 6, which was a French and Southern fusion type place. I knew she’d like it.

I was actually sipping a Ketel One vodka martini straight up with a twist as I waited for her at the bar. My hands were shaking I was so nervous. Yes, this was happening to the experienced old lion. She came in and noticed it. I don’t know what I said to cover.

We had a lovely dinner and were very sweet to one another. When the meal was over, I asked her if she was still down for Chris’ Jazz. She stated that she was tired from the wine and could we just go back to my place and relax on the couch and chill in the AC. I was fine with that because I didn’t feel like hanging out at the Chris’ Jazz anyway.

We went straight to my bedroom and had sex, and she spent the night.

The dopamine drops again. We took a selfie in bed together the next morning. We went to breakfast and then I put her in a cab and off she went. She asked that I send her the selfies from earlier and I did. (It was just our two faces on the pillow. Nothing racy)

A few weeks went by.

Her Uncle came to visit one week and they were at Chris’ Jazz and I was at some food and booze festival half in the bag and she texted that she was missing me. I jumped in an UBER and hung out with them for a bit, then he left and I went back to her place. The usual acts ensued. I was so drunk that night, if she had asked me to come rob a bank with her I would have gone.

This sort of nonsense went on through the summer. But the in between times were the worst. Because she stopped planning things with me that led to sex, it was just random, drunken hook ups. The relationship was slowly being picked apart. It was like I’d get a little better hang with another chick, and then Annabelle could just swoop in whenever the mood struck her and she’d rip open the sutures of my healing love junkie heart.

All of my friends were telling me it was wrong and that I should cut her off. But I just couldn’t get off the smack.

One time I ended up drunk with her in Northern Liberties and we ended up taking a selfie of just our shadows on the ground. Ironic now how that was really all that was left of us. We both just fell into her bed and went to sleep.

The next morning I wanted to get frisky with her and when I tried to she said, “I can’t. I’ve been with someone, and I found out they were having sex with someone else. So if I have something I don’t want to give it to you.”

Well that was nice of her, but I still wish I could have had sex with her that morning as hungover as I was. I love morning sex. It just makes the rest of your day better. But you can see how reckless her life decisions are.

So I was a safe rebound after whoever she had been seeing cheated on her. I left and did the long walk of shame back to Rittenhouse.

We did meet for a really nice seafood dinner out at Doc MacGrogan’s in University City that September. I took a bus down to Old City, and then called an UBER and went to her apartment in Northern Libs. Picked her up and then had the UBER take us to the restaurant. She was once again exposed to what it’s like to be treated like a lady by a gentleman.

The dinner was nice and they were my client at the time, so I got the hookup. During dinner we talked about us. She said she missed me. I asked her if she wanted to try again. She said that she did but wanted to go slowly. I would have been okay with that with how turned around in my head I was at the time. But after I wrote it all down in these 15 chapters did I realize how wrong all of this behavior was. Adults don’t do that to each other.

I thought after dinner it would be back to the batcave for some frolicking and frivolity. I didn’t even get to ask if she wanted to come over. She feigned a headache and I got dropped off at my apartment and she went on home. She always pulled the “fake headache” move whenever she decided she didn’t want to do something. Lame, juvenile behavior.

After that she simply “ghosted” me. For those of you reading this that don’t know what that means, it’s when someone in your life simply vanishes. They don’t call or text. It all suddenly stops. Nothing. Just gone. This went on for months. I wasn’t going to contact her. She did this. I needed to heal. Adults speak to one another and close the relationship. It’s wrong to put a person on a shelf like they are just some sort of toy, and then think you can take them down and play with them whenever you’re confused or lonely. It’s just shitty behavior. The person you’re doing that to is a human being with feelings.  You’re a rotten person if you think that sort of behavior is okay.

It was a lonely, vacuous, depressing time for me, heading into winter. The darkness of depression closed around me like a black cloak.

Months passed, and I was at a toy drive to help kids in the hospital during the holidays. Me and my buddy Church do it every year for Children’s Hospital.

I get a text from Annabelle out of the blue. It sent a shock wave of anxiety searing throughout my mind and body.

After months of silence, I get this text:

“Hey! I’m in New Orleans and I’ve been thinking about you everyday. I even had a dream about you!”

Searing pain and fear. I’m trying to move on with my life.

“I’m working a Toy Drive for the holidays. Can I call you when I get home?”

“Sure!”

I proceeded to try to numb the pain of this reopening of the wound by plowing Cutty Sark Prohibition based cocktails down my gullet. Church calls it “The Babymaker” because it’s 100 proof and makes you do crazy shit.

Maybe it was just the fuel I needed that cold winter’s eve.

Later when I got home, I called her I chatted as nicely as I could and then told her that I couldn’t keep doing this. I couldn’t live like this.

“So we’re not dating anymore?”

“No, Annabelle. We’re done. We’re done. I can’t keep talking about this. It’s all too painful to go on.”

I wrapped up the conversation quietly, and hung up. Then I proceeded to unfriend and block her on my Facebook, Instagram and finally block this selfish person in my phone.

That was the end of it.

 

You too, Michelle….

 

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

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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.”

 

 

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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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.

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Rebecca – Chapter 6 – Cypress and the Oak

Another tale of one man’s journey through the dating scene in Philadelphia, searching for true love.

In our last episode we left our hero right here:

“I’ve had a wonderful night with you.” She says, taking my hands in hers. She looks up at me. Her eyes are dark but full of light. I don’t question what is happening. “Thank you so much for your time tonight. I can’t thank you enough. I feel like you fixed me. I have been wearing armor my whole life and when I take it off I always get hurt. I feel like I’m safe when I’m with you.” She lifts her hands slowly and gently touches my cheeks and kisses me gently. Her kisses are soft and sincere.

I’m blown away by her words. Normally the work is being done and the results just come. They never realize until later. But she seems to feel it in the moment. I have not encountered a girl like this before. She’s so mature. I am captivated by her beauty and honesty. Just when you think you can’t feel that magic again, you do. The key, I think is not to look for it. Just let it happen. It is happening. She wants to see me again and is sure about that. But deeds are stronger than words. Young people get distracted. It’s so easy now. I am already prepared for disappointment. I am just happy that tonight happened even if I never see her again. This one is different. But I can’t put my finger on it. I actually like that. The unexpected is so exciting. That is my favorite part of the game.

We sit for a moment at 20th and Market. “I love Philly in the Fall.” she says.

She looks down Market street. Billy Penn has his back to the city at Broad street. “Why is his back to the city?”

“He’s not turning his back on Philly. He’s welcoming the world to come here, Rebecca.”

When I came here 8 years ago I was clueless about the city but now I am a pro at all things Philly.

There is this moment where we are just sitting there. I’ve just had this incredible night with my future second ex-wife. (kidding!) The city is moving all around us. The lights, the cabs, the people, the energy and the night. There is a moment when we are just sitting there silently looking into each others eyes. My God she is exquisite. What curse is this that has been cast upon me? Where I fall in love with this lovely maiden only to be shattered again. I’m not afraid. I love the drug. I hear the hiss of her stockings as she crosses her legs. We kiss again. I am once again 18. It is new and magical. The city vanishes behind her lips.

“Ok. So movies or something?” She says in her hopeful girlish voice. And as corny as this sounds I said: “Yes! A thousand times yes!” Rebecca giggled and said: “I’m going to call and UBER.”

“Already done.” I replied. The black Lincoln pulled up to the curb, and stopped. She looked at me. “What?”

“Safe passage, dear.” I smiled.

She attacked me once again time like a Northern Pike hitting the bait. Her arms suddenly around me. Her breasts pressed against my chest like flowers in a memory book. Those full lips against mine. Her tongue swirling with mine. Me…grateful I had popped a piece of Dentyne Ice Peppermint before we left the bar.

“Take her home. She’s precious cargo. I’ve seen your face, Santos,” I joked to the driver.

Rebecca giggled as she got in the car. Her skirt riding up on her thighs. “I’ll text you when I get home safe! Thank you! Movie date!”

I smile and wave. I’m in love. The sedan pulls away. I turn and make my way back to Rittenhouse to the bat cave. I’m feeling sparkling, crackling euphoria. I get a text. “I feel so special you sending me home in a car.”

“Because you are special.”

I am happy, but I wince slightly knowing I have lived a similar scenario like this once before that ended badly. Well they all end badly. What relationship ends well?  It’s super rare. You either get married and have kids or you break up. That’s it. Rarely do people ever find a happy medium. Most of humanity is just predisposed to fall into a couple of buckets of what is right to ensure happiness, and it’s all a lie. These are old laws that were put in place to bring order to the tribes and the colonies. You can’t bang your sister, or your cousin, oh and stay away from your neighbor’s wife or you’ll go to Hell.

That’s the only choices we have as a society. Do they really work? I contemplate this as I walk home, taking a long drag on a glorious cigarette. It feels so good. I’m not going to smoke around this exquisite baby. She’ll never kiss me then. We don’t have many choices here. If you love somebody and it is electric, then you should get married. Live together. get a mortgage. Buy a $1000 dress you’ll wear once. Get piles of gifts and money. Pay $20,000 for a party to make you too guilty to get divorced for at least 5 years. Go on a big expensive vacation. Why? None of it makes any sense. I’ve done it and it’s all just a waste of time. It’s all been created by corporations to make money. The greatest things in life can’t be seen and can only be felt, and are absolutely free. I don’t believe in God, But I swear to God It’s true. Everything else you think you have to do is bullshit. All there is, is your health, your family, (if you choose, unless their assholes, then fuck them) and your own life. All you need is stuff to do, some cool people around you and some stuff to look forward to. But without your health your are totally fucked. So that one erases everything else. Look at that asshole Steve Jobs. That motherfucker was rich as fuck and that cunt never recognized his own daughter. He was super rich and cancer came and took his ass. Almost seems like justice for being a dick, but I digress.

It doesn’t matter what happens after this date with Rebecca. She’s a doll and I like her. I hope to go out with her again. And odds are I will based on this writing. But even if I never see her again, I’ll at least know we shared some great moments. I only have about 20 summers left in me according to Keith Richards. So as Jim Morrison said: “I’m gonna get my kicks before the whole shit house goes up in flames.” Sure the Doors, suck and the Stones rock but you get the point.

I make my way back to Rittenhouse down 20th street. I draw deep on my Parliament 100. It feels good. I’m clear. I walk past the 7 Eleven and Twenty Manning. I get to my door and work the key into the lock. My building is old. 120 years old. But it has character. I like it because it’s like me and it’s where I belong. I’m done. I strip down to my home uniform; T-shirt and shorts. Nothing else. I fix myself a vodka and club soda and flop in my chair. I drop my cell on the table next to me and search Netflix for something short and sweet. 30 Rock works. I take a sip and light another cig. It all tastes good and satisfying because of the nights events. Oh, and that Liz Lemon has fantastic legs.

My phone pings.

“Home safe. Had an amazing night with you. Thank you for everything. Let me know when you’re available to see me again. Looking forward to it! – Rebecca XOXO”

I text her back that I’m home and confirm our amazingness. I tell her I’ll text her tomorrow.

I take a sip from my drink and a drag from my cig. Tonight I welcome the sound of the crickets singing outside my window.

 

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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