Annabelle – Chapter 13 – Don Juan Comes Home From Iraq

Any hope I had at that moment of having any real and sustainable love in my life had been smashed to pieces against the night.

I made the date with Annabelle for dinner and a show. We had been together 9 months. We met at the restaurant La Viola West. They have the original one on the East side of 16th street. It’s the same menu as across the street but it’s so beloved apparently they need two restaurants to accommodate their fans. It’s a great place to grab a great Italian dinner before a show on Broad street.

That’s why we were there because I had free tickets to a show that night that she wanted to see. Dinner was lovely. I reiterated how I have been really putting my time in with her. I had spent 4 overnights with her at her house and was really trying to put in time into our relationship. I remember saying all of this to her and I almost felt like I was selling myself to her as to how hard I was working on the relationship to make it work. No one should ever have to do this. Love is automatic. You should never have to sell your commitment. This relationship had been dead for months.

She was eating and I suppose she was hearing my words. I was saying how I have been putting my time in at her place and spending time with her. Should a partner have to do this? I don’t know, but I did it. I feel like I was telling her how everything was going well. But it still felt like a sales pitch, but that’s just me trying to connect with her and show her the value of the relationship and how I am committed to it.

But it’s over.

After dinner we walked over to the theater. I had the free tickets and in we went. I always had the hookup. I didn’t know what the play was about but she wanted to see everything I could provide. Coincidentally, my employer was doing a beer tasting in the lobby of the theater that night. So it was good to know he was out there doing his thing and serving the guests.

It was the Wilma theater and both me and Annabelle had a relationship with them.

The show started and we were comfortable in our seats. The show was a piece of shit. How do they get this garbage made? It was a sea of mediocrity that mired the performances of the actors. The players were on point but the material was trash.

I love art. I love art of any kind. Anything that makes you feel something is usually good art. Pain, sadness, joy, redemption, anger is all good. That’s what art does. It makes you feel something. It shouldn’t be frustration, aggravation, boredom, and disappointment. I already had a girlfriend for all of these things.

The show sucked Royal Canadian moose cock and we were both hating it. But then the unbelievable happened.

A woman in the first row had a heart attack. I kid you not. They stopped the show, and the actors actually froze onstage staying in character as someone called 911. (How gay is that?)

Sadly, the show was so bad both me and Annabelle felt nothing for the victim, but instead realized that this horrible incident was only going to prolong this shitty performance. How selfish is that? It’s awful. But if you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll know that your hero shouldn’t have to go through this.

I remember the paramedics coming into the theater and carting the poor woman out. Think of the shame we felt about how we were behaving. “Oh great. Someone had to almost die and now this shitty show will be even longer than we thought it would be.”

That’s awful behavior but I swear we both thought that when this happened to fuck up our night. This kind of callous, repugnant behavior could only happen to me and my ex Michelle during our most reckless of times. (See: Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day) But we were dying worse than the woman on the gurney because we would have to sit through this turd longer than we thought we had to.

I remember discussing this incident with my boss at the time and he said. “Yea, I know you go to a lot of crazy shows with her, but what kind of shit is this where an ambulance actually pulls up in front of the Wilma Theater and hauls some woman out of the place on a stretcher through my beer tasting.”

That is some mad performance art.

But that really happened. I feel sorry for the poor woman who fell because of her heart failing but it taught me something about us as Americans and the selfishness of our culture. She fucked up an already shitty night because she almost died. (maybe she did die, I don’t know)

I remember Annabelle saying: ” Fuck. Now this shitty play is going to be even longer.”

That turned something in me.

The show resumed and it played out and ended. It sucked. Never see it. It blows. I feel sorry for the people who financed it  because I could have written something… anything better than that mess. Even me and Church sitting on the stage playing poker with Prova and Carly would have been more captivating.

The show ends and we are simply relieved.

She gets her bicycle. I was surprised she rode down from Northern Liberties on her bike that night.  She did that quite often. I always looked at that as a sign of poverty. Plus she never wore a helmet. It just seemed too dangerous in this city.

I remember us walking back to my apartment. She was walking her cycle. Things seemed fine even though we were ragging on the show and how awful it was.

She locked her ride and we went upstairs. I sat in my chair and she sat on the couch. This is the room where we celebrated christmas together. The room where I first kissed her sweet lips and held her close. The room I texted her and felt the euphoria of falling in love with her and making future dates.

The room where she safely fell asleep in my arms for the first time.

The room where we sat in front of my fireplace and watched Jurassic park.

The room where we had candlelit dinners I lovingly cooked for my queen.

The room where she would work on her computer and I would do the same, waiting for her.

The room that was the gateway to the bedroom where I would make love to her for the first time and for countless times thereafter.

“Listen… I’m closer in age to your daughter Lorelei than I am to you.”


“I’m 10 years older than Lorelei and 25 years younger than you.”


“I may want to have kids someday, and I know you have Lorelei and you don’t want to go through that again and someday I may want that, so I think we should end this here.”

“Are you breaking up with me?’


“Is there someone else?”


“Okay… Are you sure about this?


“So you’re dumping me?”


I wasn’t really surprised. My last two girlfriends dumped me for the “Someday I might want kids” reason.

I walked her outside to her bicycle locked to the pole.

She started to cry. I felt nothing. I was numb and in that moment I was worn out from the 9 month ride of being addicted to the idea of love with a young girl that had no idea who she was, where she was going, or what she wanted. I was relieved. Annabelle was a handful. A pain in the ass. Too young for me and I had no remorse.

“You don’t seem upset.”

“No one has cancer. No one is dying. You’ve decided to end it here and there is nothing I can do about it. I wish you well, Annabelle.”

“I feel nothing but apathy at this point in our relationship. I have done the best I can, but if that’s what you want so be it.”

At that moment I was worn out trying to be this scatterbrained, confused girl’s boyfriend. The whole things was just an affair. It was a confused girl for the first time being in love with a man who treated her like a lady and she didn’t know anything about that.

She didn’t even know what she was doing in that moment. It was probably some advice from one of her crazy theater friends that haven’t a clue about the real world or relationships.

But truth be told. I was sick and tired of Annabelle.

I was worn out. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired of being in a relationship with her.

I remember telling her early on in our relationship that I thought she was such a nice person. She told me, “No I’m not. I’m not a good person.”

I found that hard to believe lost in the euphoria of new love, but I appreciate her honesty then. Because she was at least honest with me. Annabelle is a good person. She just has no idea who she is, what she wants, or where she’s going.

She sniffed and got on her bike and rode away.

Any hope I had at that moment of having any real and sustainable love in my life had been smashed to pieces against the night.

But the nightmare of Annabelle wasn’t over.


It was just beginning.





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Author: phicklephilly

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8 thoughts on “Annabelle – Chapter 13 – Don Juan Comes Home From Iraq”

    1. It was always like that with her. I always felt like I had to reach and make things happen. It’s like I had to always put in my time to earn her affection. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  1. Holy fuck!! Oops sorry for the cussing but damn, this post took me from absolutely rolling around on the floor crying with laughter to then feeling incredibly sad!!
    It was an enjoyable read despite being bipolar LOL

    1. Yea Jad, it was a sad night. That’s never easy. It was a beautiful romantic arc in the beginning but just didn’t work out for obvious reasons. I missed her for awhile after all of the lingering troubles. I guess I just missed the good times like anyone does, but she really ground the relationship into ashes with what she did after the breakup. Thank you for reading and I hope me showcasing your work on Saturdays is helping your traffic! xo

      1. I am very much enjoying you showcasing my blog. I seemed to have packed up some new followers.
        Looking forward to reading more on Annabelle

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