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 4 – Cypress and the Oak

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

It had been a while since I had heard from Rebecca. She certainly made an amazing impression upon me on our first date. It didn’t make sense that she “ghosted” me after our very first meeting. It felt like it had been a couple of months, and all I heard was the deafening sound of crickets. I did text her twice in that time to meet up for a drink and just never heard back. This has happened before. I know this other little hottie that is always saying she wants to meet me for drink, but can never pull it together.

But then out of the blue she texted me. “Sooo sorry for being off the grid. Can we meet up for a drink soon?” I told her I could do Monday or Wednesday. She picked Monday. I liked that because it was sooner. I asked her if she had any preference. She said for me to pick the place. I wanted somewhere that was nice, but not some place where we’d stick out like a sore thumb. I had a few days to figure it out. I have to come up with a place where they knew me, but I’d have some privacy. I decide to meet her at 1 Tippling Place at 6:30 the next Monday. “Great! I always wanted to check that place out!” was her reply.

1 Tippling Place is a really cool, living room style cocktail bar. It’s located at 20th and Chestnut streets. The outside is really nondescript. Just a glass and steel door, next to a large window. If you blinked or sneezed while walking by you’d miss it. But inside there is all kinds of neat comfy furniture and coffee tables. The artwork is eclectic and the room as a whole is nicely appointed with interesting artifacts. The cocktails are first-rate. They really don’t serve any food. I mean they have some little hors d’oeuvre, but that’s about it. You go there for the quality drinks and the atmosphere. I also enjoy the snarky attitude of the lead bartender. When you first meet him you think he might be gay. Then in walks his smoking hot girlfriend. It’s one of my favorite bars in the city because it’s an original that has real character.

I arrive early. I always like to get to a place early to scope out the scene and get the lay of the land. I chat with the owner. She’s awesome. Normally she’s in and out during the day, and then leaves around 7pm. We’re pretty tight. I’ve even walked her home on occasion. I normally don’t order off the cocktail menu. I just tell the bartender that I want something dark and spirit forward. They make it and I drink it. It’s always good. I will say that the place is a little expensive. Most of the drinks cost between $12 and $14.

I look at my watch. 6:20. Hope she isn’t late.

Hope she shows up.

Five minutes later the door opens. It was like one of those moments in those 80’s teen comedies, when everything moves in slow motion and they play some cool song. Rebecca enters the bar. I take a deep breath. Her dark hair is up, which always looks so sexy on the right woman. Her ripe lips an exquisite pout. She is wearing a burgundy cocktail dress. It comes to mid-thigh. She is wearing black sheer stockings and elegant black high heels. She looks amazing. I’m blinking my eyes trying to focus on this vision.

I immediately stand to greet her. She hugs me, and I am more intoxicated by her beauty and lovely fragrance than any cocktail that could be crafted at this bar. “Rebecca,” is all I could say. “Shall we get a table?” she replies. I nod, and guide her to a quiet table in the corner so we can chat. “You look lovely. I feel under dressed ” I say. “Well I haven’t seen you in a while and I like to dress up.” she responds.

We order a round of drinks. I have my usual dark power, and she goes with something equally strong. Interesting. That’s either a good thing or a bad thing. Maybe she likes a heady drink or maybe she needs a bit of courage. We chat about what we’ve been up to and she’s telling me about work, and some of the challenges she obviously faces in the medical industry. Then she says, “I suppose you’re wondering why you haven’t heard back from me in a while, and I am sorry about that.” I tell her it’s okay and I’m just happy that she is here tonight.

“Remember how I told you that I went out with that man who was older than me and I didn’t feel any chemistry after four dates?” “Didn’t that guy get married? He didn’t try to…?” “No…no. Nothing like that. I just wanted to preface what I was about to tell you, that it doesn’t feel that way with you.” she says. Now I’m getting a little worried and a little confused. “Do you mean you do feel chemistry with me or you don’t?” I ask, feeling a slight searing heat in my heart. This could go be a short date.  She smiles and takes my hand. “I do like you. It feels different just being around you. You’re not like anybody else I know.” I visually sigh in relief and she reads my expression. I need to be cool. “Don’t worry, I’ve thought a lot about where my life is and it sometimes can be confusing.” I reassure her that whatever she is concerned about I understand, and will listen.

Women don’t want men to solve their problems. Men are all about solutions. They like to fix things. Women are more about their feelings. That’s why men define themselves on what they do, and women define themselves on who they know. The way to a woman’s heart is really quite simple. Don’t tell her what she should do, or how she should do. Just listen. I’m just happy at that moment that I am the one who is present to listen to whatever it is she needs to get off her chest.  I just hope she can’t hear my heart beating.

Rebecca takes a sip from her drink, not breaking her gaze with me. Looking into me with those brilliant emeralds. “Two years ago I met this guy on Tinder named Derrick. He was around my age. As you know guys my age basically suck for the most part. They don’t know what they want or who they are yet. But he ‘Super Liked’ me on Tinder. And… I did the same on his profile so I thought it was kismet. I know now I only did that because he was really cute and not much else. Isn’t that why most people swipe right for the most part anyway?”

“I suppose. But I’d like to think that some of us are more thoughtful when it comes to matters of the heart.” I reply. (Bold faced lie.) She seemed smart in her profile, but I know I swiped right because she was smoking hot.

“I know right?” she exclaims. “Thank you! But I guess I was dumb and just being superficial. So we exchanged numbers. It all happened so fast. We met up, and it was fun. He seemed kind of full of himself and his band. But he was good really good-looking. He invited me to come out and see his band play and we’d hang out after their set. So I get dressed up and go to the bar where their playing. Derrick was the lead singer. I was kind of hoping he’d take me on a proper date, but I thought that would happen after we got to know each other. I suppose it’s not a bad way to meet someone for the first time. You’re in a bar surrounded with people so it’s not like you’re meeting a stranger in some isolated place. I also prepared myself for the fact that he was the singer in the band and usually they are surrounded by willing girls. I mean, you told me you used to play guitar in a band in L.A. Weren’t you always around a bunch of girls?”

“Sure. There were a lot of girls and guys at our shows. We played hard rock, so our audience skewed more male than female. But I had a steady girlfriend at the time. I was committed to my relationship with her.” (Bold faced lie)

“Well you’re one of the rare ones.” (I wonder if she can see the devil horns sticking out of my head?) Anyway, so I’m at the their show. I didn’t want to go to a bar alone, so I took my roommate Amber with me. We had an agreement that if things went well with Derrick she’d either hook up with someone there or UBER it home. I mean it wasn’t a real date so I don’t think there was anything wrong with bringing my friend with me as backup.”

“What kind of music did they play?” I ask, hoping to get insight about the boy through his musical tastes.

“It wasn’t emo, but it sort of sounded like that. I guess it was more post hardcore.”

This guy already sounds like a douche, I thought. She takes another sip and this time her eyes are down. I can see this is hard for her. “Okay. Please go on. I’m listening.”

“So they end their set and we’re hanging out. Me, my friend Amber, Derrick, and his lead guitarist, Simon. We’re drinking and laughing and having a good time. We’re at this table all the way off to the back. I’m sitting next to Derrick and Amber is across from me with Simon in a booth. Amber likes to party. Simon is ordering shots and beers and we’re all getting pretty buzzed. I feel like I’m really liking Derrick. He’s going about how important the music is and all of that stuff, but I don’t care I just think he’s hot. Next thing I know Amber is all over Simon. I look at Derrick and he’s on me. We’re just making out like crazy. Normally I’m not like that but I think it was the drinking that made it easy. Plus I wanted him cause he was so good-looking. It was fun.”

At this point I’m wondering where all of this is going. We order another round.

“So we decide we want to go someplace else. We leave the bar and start walking. Simon pulls out a couple of joints and we’re all smoking. Just smoking weed walking down the street. We didn’t care. We’re all giggling and Derrick has his arm around me. We end up some really dark bar. I don’t even remember where it was. We’re drinking and we’re all pretty messed up. The place is full of people. We’re in the back. Derrick is like, Do you ever go skiing? and I’m like, yea, I have been but I’m not that great at it, but I have good balance. Then he pulls out this little bag with white powder in it. I assume it’s cocaine. I go, Oh… skiing. I had never done coke before, but I know Amber has and she says it’s great. So they look around all paranoid and shit, and literally start spooning it out. Derrick does a hit and then offers me a bump. I just do it. I don’t know why. Amber’s like, “gimme some!” Then she and Simon do some. I couldn’t believe it. Doing coke in a bar? It felt cold in my nose, and I could feel this clear euphoria. It almost felt sobering to do it. But different. Higher. Intense. I can see why people love it so much. You were in a band in California. You must have done it right?”

“I saw what drugs did to my peers. I was more of a beer and whiskey guy. I smoked weed occasionally but never really liked it. A little drugs an alcohol can loosen the mind to create, but I knew people who did loads of drugs and it literally sledgehammered their talent and destroyed them. So no. I steered clear of coke.” (White lie) Get it?

“Oh well that’s good. But anyway, I know I’ve been blabbing on about this. Long story short, these guys come back to our place and we end up fooling around with them. It was crazy. I guess we were all just caught up in the moment. I think we stayed up most of the night. Well, Derrick and I ended up being boyfriend and girlfriend after that. It felt like he really loved me. I loved him.” She takes a sip and a deep breath, looking off into the distance, as if trying to visualize a faded past. An image that vanished in her rearview mirror long ago.

“What happened?” I say, concerned.

“We went out for about a year. It was intense. We moved in with each other. Amber had gone off to school anyway so it was perfect timing. Things were great at first. But they always are in the beginning. We always did things together and went places together and partied together like a really great couple. I know he was focused on his music and really wanting to make it. But there were a lot of times when he wasn’t around. Times I wouldn’t hear from him and couldn’t get in touch with him. A girl starts to wonder what’s going on. I even started spying on him. Going to places they were playing. He wouldn’t see me, but I wanted to know what he was up to. I wanted to trust him, but you know when you get that weird feeling in your gut that something’s wrong. Well, his behavior had become more and more erratic. I know he was doing drugs but I just wasn’t into it like he was. We just weren’t connecting like we did in the beginning. Like maybe he was just tired of me.”

“Sometimes he would even get really mad about things that didn’t make any sense. Well, one night I followed him after he left me to do a show, and I saw him making out with this redhead at a bar. He wasn’t even playing with his band that night.  She was like all emo or whatever with tattoos and shit. I was devastated. I just jumped on the train and went home.”

“I’m sorry I’m telling you all of this.”

I could see that her eyes were wet with the beginnings of tears. “It’s okay. You can tell me. I’m here.” I took her dainty hands in mine. She sniffed and nodded, holding back the tears.

“That night he had the gall to come home and try to do it with me. I pushed him away. He got all mad at me and I told him what I saw. He denied it at first, but I told him I followed him and saw him. He got really mad and started throwing stuff around. He broke this little snow globe he gave me in the beginning. At that moment I didn’t even care about the globe. He had already broken something far more precious than that stupid thing.”

Okay, now I was getting upset. “My God, Rebecca. I’m so sorry.” Tears rolled down her cheeks. She took a healthy sip of her drink. I wiped the tears from her face with my thumb. She hugged me. “It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s not your fault, Rebecca. You didn’t do anything wrong.”

She sniffed and I offered her a cocktail napkin. (Note to self: Start carrying a clean handkerchief in your lapel pocket.) She wiped her face, and her nose. ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”

My bartender showed up at the table. “Is everything okay?” he asked. “Yes…yes. She’s just suffering a loss.” I replied. “I’ll bring you another round, yes?” I glance at her. “She smiles and blinking her eyes, nods in affirmation. He quickly returned. “These are on me guys.”

My man at Tippling is always on point.

“Okay, so that was over a year ago, right?”

“Yes. He took his stuff and left me. I was crushed. Destroyed. I cried for months. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I drank so I could get some sleep. When I would wake up in the morning, I’d  just go to the bathroom and dry heave over the sink.”

I could see she was struggling. “So did something happen recently?”

Heavy sigh. “Yes. He reached out to me on social media. I had blocked him from Facebook and in my phone, but I was on Instagram and he got to me that way. I had a panic attack when I saw his name.”

“Let me guess. This happened sometime after you and I went to the Museum.”

“Yea. I know it’s so stupid. He said how he missed me and how he was wrong and had grown so much. And like the idiot, I unblocked him in my phone. We met up and as crazy as it seems I was actually happy to see him. He looked a little older and a little more haggard, but it was still my Derrick. We were at a bar up in Northern Liberties. Things felt different. Time had passed. Too much time. I had grown and healed. But old habits die-hard. I just wanted to take a look at him. He said he was really sorry for what he had done. He said it hadn’t worked out with the redheaded slut. She actually ended up cheating on him with some drummer in a band that opened for them. I was actually kind of glad to hear that. But I’m sure he didn’t feel the loss that I had experienced. I had scar tissue on my heart from what he did to me. But I couldn’t let him tear open the sutures and open my old wounds. I work in a hospital emergency room. That shit hurts!”

Rebecca actually laughed at that moment. It had been the first time the whole night. That sound was like magic to my ears. I smiled a knowing smile. Because she didn’t know that I have been down that road twice in my life, and it’s a nightmare.

Love is a many splintered thing.

“So yea, that was a two months ago. I told him that I’m glad he was doing well, but I had moved on after a year and that I was in a relationship with a really nice guy in financial services.” She laughed again. “I could see he was disappointed, but I couldn’t let myself go through that shit again. It was a small chapter in my life and I had to draw the curtains on that dead body. He had me, and he squandered it. I think in that moment he realized that it was really over for good. It was hard to do, but I told him I had to get home to Cole, my investment banker boyfriend. He hugged me, and I knew I would never smell him again. it was like pulling the plug on a fatally injured patient.”

“So that was it?” I took a sip of my rye infused medicine.

“Yea. I went home and put on and episode of Stranger Things and ate an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s and had a good cry. So… that’s why I disappeared for a while. I just needed to think about some things and move forward with my life. So, I’m glad you met up with me tonight. I’m sure you never expected our second date to be this confessional. I really appreciate you listening to all of that, but it felt really good to get it out. I was like a little tree blowing back and forth in the wind, but now I feel more calm. Like the storm is finally over and I’m safe.”

“Well, I’m glad you trusted me enough after one date to see me again and confide in me, Rebecca. Like my profile says, I’m a good listener.”

“Yea…Thank you.” Taking my hand again in hers. “You’re like a strong tree. Good roots  with unwavering branches.”

“Yea, and my bark is worse than my bite!” I snapped. She cracked up. Rebecca was back.

“You’re awesome.” she said as she again hugged me tightly. Oh, that lovely slender neck and her fragrance was sobering.

We had our intimate moment and then paused.

“Are you hungry?”

“I’m starving!” she laughed.

“There’s a great bar called Mix that is one block from here that has delicious 12 inch brick oven pizzas.”

“That sounds like the greatest idea I have heard all day! Do you think I’m over dressed or pizza?”

“I’m sure you’ll pass they’re rigid dress code, Rebecca.”

And with that she pulled from her hair the thing that was holding it in place, and those rich ribbons of dark chocolate tumbled over her lovely shoulders.

It’s hard to believe that this story could get any better at this point, but it does. The bill came and my guy placed it on the table. I reached for it to access the catastrophic damage to my bank account that 6 drinks at 1 Tippling Place would cost me… plus tip.

But Rebecca was faster, and she grabbed it first. “Uh uh. This is on me.”

I was in shock. My face, a mask of disbelief and mute protest. “Are you sure?” She looked at the bill. “Yep.” She whipped out her credit card and stuck it in the flap, as she nodded to the bartender.

I instinctively reached for my wallet. “Can I at least help with the tip?”

“Put your wallet way.” She said firmly, giving me a wry smile.

“Will you at least let me buy a lady some pizza?”

She ran her fingers through her hair, fluffing her dark locks. “I’ll think about it.”

The bill returned. She signed it and handed it back. ” Come along, Sir. I’m hungry.”

I liked that she called me Sir. I also like that she took my hand, and led me out of there. When we were outside she locked arms with me. I was in heaven. We’re on our way to eat delicious pizza.

 

Tune in for The Return of Rebecca, Part 2 in Two Weeks!

 

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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Sun Stories: Olivia – Flirt – Part I

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

I work part-time at a spa. The spa owner was an advertising client of mine for about nine months. I’d go to his place of business every week to drop off proofs and chat with him. He was always complaining about his staff, which was basically a bunch of irresponsible chuckleheads. Or as I call them teenagers and kids in their early twenties. I told him that I like to stay busy and his clientele was easy on the eyes. All attractive, fit women. I started working a couple of nights a week and then people left and some got let go, and I ended up working 5 to 8 every night and Sundays 11-4.  It’s easy work, the clients are nice and the cash flow is good.

We close every night at 8pm. Last session is 7:45. If anyone comes in after that we can’t help them because then we literally won’t get out of there until after 8:30. But in stumbles this really beautiful young blonde girl at the stroke of 8pm. She’s a little tipsy and apologizes profusely that she’s arriving late. Saying she was walking around Harbor Park earlier that evening. The weather is warm and Harbor Park is a great spot to hang in the summer. On a side note, named one of the best places to visit in Philadelphia by national press, Spruce Street Harbor Park presented by Univest/Valley Green Bank features colorful hammocks, floating gardens, beautiful lights, refreshing craft beer, and food from popular Philly restaurants, making it a summer gathering space for locals and visitors alike. It’s open May through September.

Anyway, obviously I give in because I can’t say no to a pretty face. There’s the rules and then there’s hot chicks. Let’s face it. If you’re beautiful, you get the hook up everywhere you go. It’s just the way life is. I tell her I have to mop and fold some towels, so it’s okay that she’s here now. She has big, bright flashing blue eyes and extraordinary naturally long eyelashes. Her hair is like ribbons of flax. She is slender and all of 22. Very sweet and charming and of German decent. I know she went to Temple but not what she studied or if she still goes there or has her degree. I do know that this lovely girl works as a bartender and sometimes hostess at a bar in Fishtown.

Olivia thanks me and goes back for her session. I am taken by her beauty. I settle the register, fold some towels and mop out the rooms. When she comes out she is in a low-cut black cocktail dress and heels. She looks stunning! I don’t know where this outfit came from but she must have had it in her bag. Probably heading out to the club with her girls. She thanks me again for letting her get a session in at the last minute. I’m so smitten with her, she could have pounded on the door at 8:15 and I would have let her in. In my heart I wish I were going with her to wherever that destination may be, but alas it is not to be.

I walk back to wipe up and mop the floor of that room. I pick up the towel from the little table and there curled up is a delicate little necklace with the letter “O” on it. I have a reason to contact her now! Or…did she leave it behind for me to retrieve it knowing I would have to call her and she would have to come back? No. I’m imaging things. She doesn’t give a crap about me. What am I thinking? Creating scenarios that don’t exist in my head. Desire does some strange things to the mind. It’s like I’m some sort of beauty addict. My father always said I liked beautiful things. Apparently beauty is nothing more than symmetry. But I believe it’s something more. Much more.

I pull up her account on the system up at the counter. I grab the house phone and dial her number. It rings and rings, and then goes to her voicemail. I take a deep breath as I hear her sweet voice. I leave a message that states who I am and the salon, and that I found her necklace in the room she was in. I tell her it will be in a baggie with her name on it, safely locked in the drawer behind the counter. I hang up. I want her to know that I care enough to call and I have her necklace and its super safe and she can get it anytime. I hold the chain of this delicate piece of jewelry between my index finger and thumb. The gold “O” spins, twinkling in the light. Just like her lovely blue eyes.

Unfortunately she comes in to pick up her necklace on a night I wasn’t working. I can’t control that but I knew because the next night I worked the baggie was gone. I would have liked to have seen her and received the accolades and attention, but no dice.

Some weeks later I was walking towards the counter from cleaning one of the rooms in back and she comes through the door. Looking amazing of course. My heart leaps. She goes: “There’s the man of the hour!” Comes up and hugs me. Her hair smells like Heaven. “Sorry I’m a little sweaty.” she says. (Like I care about that.) “Thank you so much for finding my necklace! My mother gave that to me. I have like two them, and this has happened twice already! Crazy right?” I love this delicious little fraulein. We send her back to the room and go about our business. When she comes out as she’s leaving she sweetly blows me a kiss, which is wonderful, but I have to assume she does this to everybody. I’m not getting my hopes up in any form.

You know what’s weird though? If you’ve been reading these stories for a while you’ll notice that I don’t like that the wallets have not been coming out as of late. It’s 2017! Going out is expensive! What’s wrong with these women? I notice the feminists want equality but when it comes to dinner and drinks it’s the 1950’s again. Anyway, the point I make is moot if it were to come to a date with Olivia. I would completely lay down and pay for everything just to have the honor of sitting in a restaurant with this gorgeous, slender legged beauty. Yea. Total 180 for Olivia. Just slap down the credit card. Yep…I’m an idiot.

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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 TuesdaysWednesdays at 9am EST.

 

Rebecca – Chapter 3 – Dark Wings of Destiny

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

Rebecca was right next to me. I could feel the energy. I felt really close to her. “The city is so beautiful” she said. She turned to me. “You are” I replied.

And that’s when our lips met. My Lord. I’m too old for this. Wait…no I’m not. I kissed her. Her lips were soft as she yielded to me. She folded into me like an old friend. It was just like I just stepped off stage at the Troubadour in Los Angeles and she loved the song that I had written about her. I was ageless in that moment. Overcome. Beautiful. This can’t be happening but it is. Her lips are sweet and a little sticky. Minty. Human.

Her pupils were so big, it’s like her eyes were black instead of green. Her cheeks flushed and she giggled. I gently brushed her dark hair from her face and behind her ear. She slipped from me and cocked her head. It was as if she were trying to see me in a different way. “Let’s go look at some more stuff” she said, smiling. All I could hear was Midnight Moses playing in my head by the Dead Daisies. 

We continued to wander though the museum. Just going from room to room. I was making her laugh a lot about some things because that’s what I do. I think at this point it was more nerves than game. I was smitten. I’m like a child at this point. I really am. I’m just amazed to be alive at this moment.  But this is the old me. The new, old me. I shouldn’t follow this path.

We went into this one room and the whole room is art in architecture. Glorious big rooms that are incredible and opulent. We are looking around the room and I’m behind her and she just leans back into me, and she is again in my arms. Is it the art? Is it me? It can’t be me. This is nuts, but the euphoria is glorious. I love this. This is my favorite part of everything. The beginning. Ignition. I’ve always been this way, much to the disappointment of the women in my life. But for right now I am living in this moment. None of this makes any sense but I am mainlining this feeling. She turns in my arms and nuzzles her lips and nose to mine. Her eyes are smokey and dark. Lashes flash and she smiles. She looks deeply into my eyes. Rebecca pulls me into her world and kisses me again.

And again…

There was a moment when we were sitting in one of the galleries and she was so excited by a work of art she grabbed my hand. She clasped it tightly in both of her hands as she described her passion for the work.  It was one of my favorites as well. The couple coming home from the carnival. I feel her soft hand clasp mine. She’s holding my hand in her lap. Dopamine drops and I am blind. The work was beautiful. But, I could no longer see it. It was gone. As was I. All I could feel in that moment was the back of my hand against Rebecca’s warm thigh.

I think we were at the PMA for 3 maybe 4 hours. I have no sense of time at this point with Rebecca. If I never hear from her again, I’m okay. This was a special sacred moment that I can wrap myself up in tonight. It’ll be just like waking up from a beautiful dream.

Obviously we did get around to inquiries. Being overwhelmed by beauty and art only lasts so long. I asked he why she is on Tinder. She said that she wanted to meet someone good. Someone that understood her and liked the things she liked. She told me at her age her friends aren’t really friends at all. They are just a bunch of young fools that smoke a bunch of weed and get drunk all of the time. She has ambition and wants to make something of herself. (she did seem really mature while we were texting) She told me she kind of went on Tinder to try. She gave me an example of a conversation she had with a boy her age recently. They were chatting and she asked him what he was looking for and he said he’d like to have some fun. When she asked him to define “fun” he sent her a photo of his genitals. That is some sad textbook shit right there. She explained to me that as an emergency room nurse, she gets her fill of seeing plenty of junk on a regular basis. “I don’t want to see his dick. I saw 5 dicks today and I had to put a catheter in and 85-year-old dick today”

My unblinking response: Okay…..okay…

She said she met another guy. She loved his mind and political views and he was just a really smart guy. She thought maybe her love of his mind and heart would translate into sex but she just wasn’t lit when they kissed. Women know. It’s either on in their minds and bodies or it’s not. Sadly boys, men do not have this ability. She said she went on 4 dates with him and it was done. He was divorced and really into his kids, I think she said they were 16 and 19. He wanted to have her over and they were going to have dinner with the gang, and it all seemed weird because the teens were a little uncomfortable with their 54-year-old father bringing over a girl who was only 4 years older than the 19-year-old son.

Fuck.  I’m jaded as hell and I hate that story. But it really came down to the fact that there was no chemistry. And that’s critical because I have made that kind of lightening strike twice in the same place in the last decade. But what I noticed was she liked him but just wasn’t feeling the intimacy when they kissed. It just wasn’t there. She said she really liked him as a man and tried to keep the friendship going but he realized there was no fire so he withdrew. He has since moved on and even recently married.

So is this chick into older men? I suppose so because she is so bright and mature in her head. She’s got the brain of Emily Dickenson and the body of Vanessa Hudgens.

What am I supposed to do with that?  I never saw any of this coming when I started this blog. I thought I would be just writing about my experiences with women here in Philly over the last 10 years and this curve ball blindsided me.

She told me her dad is a big guy who is from New York and he’s a caricature of a New Yorker. Works for the railroad. Her uncle travels the world and sounds like a cool guy that works and makes enough money and then moves to the Philippines and lives like a king for a year and then does it again somewhere else. That sounds awesome. I don’t have the freedom to do that but if I did you know I’d be there in Thailand risking arrest every year until I die. But I digress…

We wander back to the first floor and are nearing the exit. She validates her parking because apparently she is a member of the museum which I find super cool. We walk out the door and go to the elevator to the parking garage. I didn’t know the PMA had this. It must be new.  I walk her to her car. It’s dusty and blue. We do the perfunctory statement. I like you. I want to see you again. But those words are hollow. I think I may never see her again. This all seems so unreal. I have not felt this in years. Please don’t let this happen again. But I want the drug of love. Not love. Just the drug. I feel like a helpless addict.

She looks up at me under the flourescent lights of the stark concrete shapeless parking garage. Her green eyes flash in the light like pale emeralds. She runs her hands through her thick mane of dark hair. I watch as it tumbles back to her shoulders through her fingers. Her neatly manicured fingernails. The lean muscles in her arms. She smiles. Sort of a sly, half-smile. Like she knows something about me that I haven’t revealed. I think she senses it in my eyes. I smile and try to clear that. But she sees me. It’s unsettling. She places her petite hands together likes she’s praying, and then spreads them and reaches for me. Her hands hit my shoulders and pull me toward her. She kisses me. The kiss is deep and wet. Her tongue swirls. I am lost in this sensous moment.

But just for a moment.

Rebecca: “I like you. The Fringe Festival is happening soon. Can we go to something?”

You all know my answer.

She places her foot against the door and adjusts her shoe. I steal a glance at her well turned leg. She lingers on the laces of her sneaker. It’s taking too long. It’s as if she wants to remind me of what I like. She knows. She’s reading me. Come on. Nobody can do that. Maybe it’s all in my head, but her legs are exquisite and she knows she has touched the beyond.

She drives away and I am back on the street behind the museum. No fish fell from the sky. I order an UBER. He arrives in 8 minutes and I am on my way back to Rittenhouse. I am sitting in the back of the Toyota Avalon and my mind is reeling. I need to hold it together. He’s lost for some reason and I have to guide the driver home. I get out and realize I haven’t eaten in over 8 hours. I stop at my local corner shop and order a slice to go. I get back to the bat cave and text her.

“Home safe. Had a lovely evening with you.”

Crickets.

Panic.

“I was just about to text you the same thing! See you soon! XOXO- Rebecca”

We’ll just have to see how this one plays out. I’m not going to get my hopes up, but if it goes well,  I will be getting airbags installed in the headboard of my bed.

Old habits die hard.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday at 9am EST.

Instagram: @phicklephilly

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 TuesdaysWednesdays at 9am EST.

Rebecca – Chapter 2 – Dark Wings of Destiny

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

In the last episode our hero was preparing for his big date with Rebecca. let’s see how it plays out.

The Date

I jumped into an Uber out front of my house and went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The PMA is an amazing part of this city. I have been going there since I was a child. I remember going as a kid with my family. My father always exposed us to the arts. Dad introduced us to art, music, literature and everything else. I should probably do a blog about him at some point, but I’ll cover this stuff for now. I think I could see this blog metamorphosing into who I really am and that idea is unsettling. But somehow, I know that it will. It almost has to change. How long can I write about all of these lovely creatures that come in and out of my life? I know down deep I will run out stories and the real me will come forward. I think that’s when this memoir will become what it truly needs to be.

Anyway I had to say that because I see it, and I know it’s coming for me.

I arrive on time and Santos was a good driver. He brings me to the back of the museum. It’s just easier. I’m not up for doing the Rocky run out front. It’s just too hot today. I think this is the last 90 degree day of the summer here in Philly. I think as a city we’re all tired of the heat. 2013 was a hot summer but people forget. 2013 was “The summer of me” but that will be described in a future blog; Annabel Lee.

One of the beautiful and most elegant things about the PMA is that it never changes. Sure, they have new installations coming in and out all of the time, but you can never change the core of the place. There are just certain pieces that are constant and they fill my heart with wonder, memory and love. The place is simply amazing. If you haven’t gone in a while, please go and feel the magic energy of these wonderful, brilliant artists that make the place what it is. When you walk through the halls of the PMA you can really feel that Homo sapiens are good and make beautiful things, and all of the terrible things we have done as a species melt away after a few hours in there.

I walk in, and like I said it’s pay what you want Wednesdays which based on my last few dates will run me a total of $10. The brilliance continues. Rebecca texts me and says she’s running 15 minutes late which is actually perfect. Normally as you know I hate that. But she’s new and young so I am forgiving. I hit the first floor back balcony and get a glass of wine and wait. I look over the balcony and across the room downstairs. There is a bevy of young women all together sitting on the seats on the other side of the room. Chatting, giggling and looking at their phones.

I’m sipping my Barefoot Chardonnay (basically urine) that cost $9.00, and I get a text. Rebecca has also arrived through the back door of the museum. I tell her I’m upstairs waiting. I see her appear at the top of the stairs, and she fiddles with her phone. I’m going to go ahead right here and tell you she is 30 years younger than me. I know. But I met her on Tinder and this is Phickle Philly and she likes art and is a nurse. Maybe she’s okay. Maybe it’ll be different this time. Maybe I keep doing the same thing over and over with my fatal charm hoping for a different result. But that is madness. Am I mad? She’ll be okay. She won’t be crazy or immature, or 9 months into our relationship tell me that she wants to get married and have kids and I’m too old, and don’t ever want that again. I am what I am and I guess I have followed through with this for a reason. Maybe it will all be okay. ear grips me. I am doing the same thing, over and over again.

Well, she is more than okay. She is exquisite. I have said this before but I literally sucked my breath in when she appeared. Out of all of the photos I’ve posted here to illustrate what these women look like, the one here is really close to what this delightful girl looks like. I kid you not, dear readers. How is this happening again? What am I doing here? How many times have I said this to myself?

Her hair is dark brown. Her eyes are green. Her skin is a light caramel. Her lips are like ripe cherries. She is wearing a red and white cotton top, nothing fancy, with a pair of cutoff jean shorts. Her legs are supple, tan pillars of lean muscle and sinew. She’s wearing white keds. It doesn’t matter, she’s perfect.

My God. She’s beautiful. Is she going to look upon me and run? Will she apologize and say there has been some sort of cosmic mistake? Will I hand her $300 to ” help with school?” Will security come and just throw me off the balcony to finally finish me off on the cold marble floor below me so that I know that this is a dream?

None of that happened. I could see she was texting me so I texted her ” I’m here on the balcony. Come hither”  She looks at her phone and then glances the room. She sees me and smiles. Kill me now. She bounds toward me and I stand. She goes up on her tip toes and hugs me tightly. “I’ve really been looking forward to meeting you!” she exclaims. I can smell her hair. Soft fleece brushes against my face like ribbons of chocolate. The fragrance is soft cocoa. In that moment in her arms, it’s as if she has just revealed a secret to me. She clutches me tightly and then slips away.

She looks me straight in the eyes, and says: “Let’s go share some art!” I swallow the last mouthful of my shitty wine and toss the cup in the trash. I’m locked and loaded. (not really loaded) She asked if I had a map, and I told her that I did. She said “Keep it if you want but I’d rather you toss it in the trash and we just wander together.”

Am I dreaming? Is she going to invoice me for $300 to hang with this lovely doll? But none of that happened either. We simply went downstairs and wandered through the halls. The great thing was that we both had pieces of art we loved and stories behind them. I forgot how connected I was to the PMA. Not as a resident of the city but in my heart.

We came upon a painting called the Moorish Priest. Google it. It’s beautiful and powerful. She stopped and I told her that it was my late Mother’s favorite painting in the whole museum. She loved it so much that my father bought her a framed print of it and it hung in our shore house at the top of the stairs for 30 years. She seemed moved by its beauty and the story. I asked her what her thoughts were and she said; “As a nurse I can see he has a good vein in his hand and in his forearm and I could get an IV in that no problem.” Well she is an emergency room nurse and that’s a legit answer for someone who is always looking for a vein to save a life. The family connection and the irony struck me as funny and nostalgic.

We wandered around for a while rediscovering so many works we both loved. We agreed on so many, for all of the same reasons!  We were on the second floor and there is a huge window that looks down the Ben Franklin Parkway right to City Hall. I told her I remember coming to this very spot as a child and taking a photo of the city through this window with my little plastic Kodak Instamatic camera that I had won in a contest at a shoe store. We looked out at our city. The skyline. It was dusk. The last time I was here was years ago with a group of co-workers on a Friday night during a lightning storm. It was Art After Five on a Friday and we were all plowed on cheap poorly made cocktails. Rebecca was right next to me. I could feel the energy. I felt really close to her. “The city is so beautiful” she said. She turned to me. “You are” I replied.

Tune in tomorrow to see the thrilling conclusion to this story!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday at 9am EST.

Instagram: @phicklephilly

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 TuesdaysWednesdays at 9am EST.