Annabelle – Chapter 8 – What’s Cookin’ Good Lookin’?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But I digress.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Tales of Rock – Marianne Faithfull Ends Up Homeless

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

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

But Faithfull got the last laugh.

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

 

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The Case of the Missing Bottles of Vodka

It was around the holidays. My buddy Duncan who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina came to Philly to see his family for Christmas. I didn’t know this at the time, but normally he would reach out to see if we could hang while he was in town. But he had to spend time with his family, and he was with his girlfriend, so the chance of him getting away were slim.

But out of the blue I get a photo from him of his girlfriend holding a 1.75 bottle of Grey Goose. That’s a sixty-five dollar bottle of vodka! Duncan is pretty well off, and he can afford such luxuries, but he’s not much of a drinker. The text accompanying the photo was: “Giant bottle of vodka for you.”

I love vodka and Duncan knows it. He’s more of a rum guy. I wouldn’t spend that kind of money on booze. I own some expensive bottles, but I usually give them away as gifts, because they have been given to me by liquor reps like my pal Church. (I love my friends) I buy cheap vodka mostly. Not rot gut brands like Crystal Palace or Popov, but I’m a fan of Platinum 7X by Sazerac. It’s only twenty bucks for a 1.75. Big difference.

But if Duncan wants to spend that kind of loot on a giant bottle of good vodka and give it to me, I’ll take it.

But he sprung the picture on me, and I hadn’t planned on getting him anything, and we don’t normally exchange gifts around the holidays. So I assumed I would see him at some point and he would give it to me. But between his family responsibilities, and my dual work schedules, it just didn’t happen.

So I never got the bottle. He ended up putting it in their luggage and flying back home with it. I suppose it’s still sitting in his girlfriend’s house somewhere.

But the story doesn’t end there. I tell my friend Church what happened, and he has sympathy for my tragic loss. Then he suggests we exchange gifts this Christmas. I’m not really into getting presents and I don’t really want to do it. But he seems earnest and I give in. He says he’s going to get me a really good bottle of vodka. Being a liquor rep, he can make that happen, no problem. I tell him that’s not really necessary because I don’t want him spending a lot of money on me. But he insists.

I ask him what he likes, and he says decorative socks. You know these crazy socks that a lot of the guys are wearing now. They have crazy colors and images on them. Apparently, that’s in style now. Me? Just a comfortable pair of black socks with no holes in them and I’m good.

So I go online and find a cool set of six pairs of socks. They all have famous works of art on the sides of them. I’m artsy, so I like them and I figure he will too. I order them and figure I’ll get them in a couple of days because I have Amazon Prime. They deliver stuff like lightning.

I tell Church I ordered him some cool socks. He’s excited. A week goes by and still no socks. So I go online and check my order. You can literally track your package right to your door now. I look it up and it says that it won’t be delivered until January 15th!

Apparently I ordered these socks from a company in China, and that’s how long it takes. I tell Church the bad news and tell him I’m sorry, but that’s when he is getting his gift. We get a laugh out of it and go on with our lives.

Christmas comes and goes, as does New Years, and even Martin Luther King Day. But one day after that the package arrives! I take a picture of the package and send it to Church. I want him to know his Christmas present has finally arrived. (And also that it really did come from China!) He’s happy and makes a joke about how it’s practically just in time for Valentine’s Day. He says he’s coming down into the city, and will visit me at the salon tomorrow.

The next night I’m working my shift at the store, and in comes Church. He goes for his usual ‘Free’ can of diet coke from our fridge. He has a seat on the sofa and we’re chatting. I tell him to look to his left, and there is his gift in a black bag. He grabs it and starts opening it. He sees the socks and they look great. He’s happy, and I tell him although it took a long time I appreciate his patience, and hope he likes them. He says he does, and I’m glad that’s finally settled after waiting for a month.

Later, I close up the salon and we go to one of our favorite watering holes for a couple of drinks. Later he drives me home and off he goes.

We hang out a couple of times after that and he never gives me the bottle of vodka he promised me for Christmas. It just never happens.

I don’t really care. Church has given me countless bottles of great liquor for no reason at all on several occasions. He’s very kind, and one of the most giving and grateful men I know. I just think it’s a crazy irony that Duncan promises me a bottle of vodka out of the blue for Christmas. I tell Church I never got it. Church wants to do presents for Christmas. I agree. Promises a bottle of vodka. Never comes through with said gift.

Weird right? But stay tuned. Both Duncan and Church come through in a big way in the near future. More stories to come!

 

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