Cherie – Chapter 22 – Shark Week – Part III – Shoes & Scarves

Alright, don’t panic. I didn’t get Cherie pregnant last night during Shark Week. Although she did say a few things last night that shook me up.

  1. It only takes one sperm…
  2. I always wanted a girl…
  3. My husb…

She assured me she was just kidding about the first two. She’s made it very clear to me that she doesn’t want anymore children. But those sort of references always rattle me to my core. But in regard to the third one, she was telling me a story last night, and that’s how she almost slipped to refer to me. I called her out on it, and made it funny. She laughed and was a little embarrassed. I thought that it was cute. Does she want me to someday be her husband? I do love her. Time will tell. Let’s see how this romantic journey plays out.

We head out into the snowy day. It’s not that bad. Pretty flurries, and some snow on the ground. But we’re on a mission. Breakfast was amazing. We didn’t get the special, but it was worth it to spend some extra time in bed together.

You know, when I’m with Cherie, she becomes more beautiful to me every hour I’m with her. I don’t get to see her all of the time. Michelle I saw every day. Annabelle, was a forced companionship to make it work. But with Cherie, I’m denied her presence most of the time. Our schedules and the distance keep us apart. But it’s working! When I’m with her, I’m at peace. Not a euphoric happy that I felt with the last two. Just a satisfied feeling that I’ve never felt before. I haven’t had to change at all with her in my life. I’ve gone good and bad in the last two relationships, but I do what I want in this relationship and most of all…I get to be me.

The real me.

To a point. I smoke, and drink and live my life down here in the city. Working two jobs, moving a business, writing a blog that you’ll one day binge on Netflix. That’s the difference here. I don’t have to be patient and fix the girl I’m loving. I don’t have to stop being me, and transform into an idea. I don’t have to be frustrated, angry or disappointed. I thought that was part of being in a relationship. My parents were that.

All of my relationships have been fucked up. There’s always something missing.

A disconnect. I loved them, but it was always hard. I just thought it was always supposed to be that way. I guess that’s why Michelle went back to Delaware Dave. She did it to save herself. Work on your health. You can’t do that with Phickle. He’s all about joy and vice. It’s fun, but it won’t sustain a relationship. Annabelle was in a totally different child-like, confused part of her life. I don’t even know why I thought it could be anything. It’s just ashes blown off the edge of an old table.

I don’t think we’ll always be at a distance. But I’m not going to do anything to change it now. It’s been three months and I have zero stress or confusion about what this is. Sometimes I’m amazed that this ripe, young, fit beauty really loves me. I know she does. I love her but there’s always an imbalance in every relationship. it’s not a bad thing. It just is. Somebody loves somebody more than the other one does.

Think about it. That’s you. You’ve been there, or you’re there right now.

I love Cherie. She’s young, beautiful, smart, super sexy, and a chill girl with an even temperament, and a great sense of humor. What more could any man want? Nothing. She’s great, and I’m blessed to have her in my life. Sometimes I think of myself and God. I feel like I’ve spent all of my luck and good fortune tickets. I punched every hole in my joy ticket.

Then I think of karma. What if I did something to deserve one more twenty-six year old baby, but she’s the right one? Not a project, but a lovely young woman who has suffered. Worked ten years at MacDonald’s. Has been a mother for the last six years. Medical Assistant at Children’s Hospital. Works at a pediatrician’s office. Tons of hours. getting her degree in neuroscience. Next stop, medical school. End game: Doctor.

But the karma. I haven’t done anything extraordinary since, Michelle. Why have I been granted this maiden?

To love again.

Why do I get to go again?

Then it came to me. February, 2015.

Lorelei came to me. The lead in the school play. The A-B student. The quiet, calm force torn asunder by her mother’s madness.

“Daddy, please. Can I please come live with you? I can’t take it anymore. I have to get out. I’ll sleep on the floor to get away from her.”

There it is. I have entered into and exited bloody from many relationships in my short life, but I got a “Get out of Jail Free” card from God. I rescued my daughter from the clutches of the gargoyle and God gave me another one.

Cherie.

Cherie loves me more than I love her and I know it. But maybe she doesn’t love me more and only loves me differently than the way I love her.

 

We enter Kids Foot Locker and look for some sneakers for kids. Lorelei is twenty and it’s been a long time since I thought about buying shoes for her. But Cherie’s family is young.

My family is slowly sliding down destiny’s rainbow.

There are walls of footwear in these places. I would never go to a store like this. Payless is how I roll in regard to fine footware here in Philly. I am blown away by these prices. There were $100 little baby sneakers in there! Walls of them!

Cherie was very thorough in her search. She finally decided on two terrifically expensive pairs of shoes for a couple of kids that will grow out of them in half a year.

We step out of the store and the snowfall seems to be getting worse. I tell her I know of a retail street cart at the corner of 12th and Chestnut that has the scarves I need. There’s Pollyanna party at my new company. If you ever have to buy a gift for someone in the fall or winter in Philly, buy a street scarf.

Super soft. Silky. That’s how I would describeit… cashmere. But I’m describing these Burberry novachek knock offs that look and feel great for about six bucks.

We trudge over there. The snow is getting colder and meaner. The flakes now feel like cold needles on our tender faces.

Philadelphia is a bitter and grey place today.

We arrive at where the cart is supposed to be but it’s not.

Cherie is not thrilled.

She wanted to buy a hat and some gloves. I tell her I have an idea. I cut South through Midtown Village. We enter at the earliest point to get into the subway.

At least I have baby out of the cold!

Suburban Station in the winter is a den of homeless people. It’s especially frosty out tonight so, we have a packed house full of walkers right now.

I find this subway retails store that carries everything. I get the scarves I need, and Cherie lands her gloves and hat. When we leave the store, I want to keep Cherie underground for as long a possible, because it’s now an ice storm out there.

We’re walking down this long hallway, and I swear to God, the urine stench was so bad, I actually started getting angry. Cherie wanted to turn back, but I told her she’d freeze her sweet black ass off if we were to back track. (Just take out the word ‘black’ please…)

As we’re walking down the hallway of the walking dead, I turn to the right and there is a woman with no pants on. This poor thing is changing her clothes in an alcove under 1601 Market. Cherie, chides me for staring, but I have to explain it to her. If you saw nudity in Playboy, you’d be expecting it. It’s good, but there are higher levels. If you were walking through a train station and you saw a real naked lady, it would feel different, right? It’s a bit of a shocker. As bad as she is, you still saw it and got a story out of it.

I knew this would happen. I created phicklephilly and now we are one. My art is imitating my life and my life is now my art.

We walk back through center city to the house. Her giant back pack is there. The entire walk home was a grueling trudge with snow biting our faces the whole way. We chill for a bit and dry out at the house. Lorelei texts me that she is stopping home between the double she’s working at the restaurant.

“That was nine minutes ago. We should go.” There has been very little exposure for my current, I wanted it do the opposite in this relationship. We are literally in the vestibule of my building, and Cherie says, “How do you open this door?”

I look through the glass and on the other side of the door is Lorelei. Cherie is trying to operate our impossibly tricky locking system. “You’re about to meet my daughter.”

Lorelei is surprised to see me. Probably even more surprised that I’m standing with a pretty black girl. I fumble over my words. “Hi honey. I got your text about stopping home between your double shift. This is Cherie. I’m going to walk her to the train. We just had to pick up some stuff. She doesn’t think anything. My daughter knows I’m friends with so many people in the city and they’re all different races. It’s not like she caught us in the saddle.

We head back out into the snow. It’s really going. I think about how I haven’t told anyone about Cherie. It’s not because of the age difference or the race. That’s nonsense. But for the first time in the last decade, I’ve not posted and shown off what I’m doing. I don’t know why I did that. I guess I’ll figure it out. There are no pictures of Cherie and me. There are no posts about us going out. This love belongs to us. It’s private. Who gives a shit about the rest of the world. Let them look into their own lives. Show all of their greatest hits on all of their trips. Stuff and vacations tell me they are empty. Because when you are calm and happy, you don’t want anything. The best things in life are free.

It’s really true. Everybody wants that. But love is elusive. But what is even more elusive  is people’s ability to go out in the world and open their hearts. Love and sex is all around you. Just relax, smile and go forth and be yourself. They’ll find you.

The most beautiful butterflies I have ever caught have been wonderful. But I never had to pick up my net to catch them. They flew right into the flame.

I’m not worried about Lorelei. She doesn’t give a shit about what I do anyway. As long as she can work, collect her allowance, eat her vegan food, and see her boyfriend, she’s cool.

We cross the street, avoiding the traffic on the street. “Where are we going now?” Cherie says. “I’m calling an UBER. We’re not walking back to Suburban Station in this mess.” “I’ve never taken an UBER.” “You’ll love it.”

We arrive at 16th and JFK and hop out. I take her and lead her down the stairs back into the subway. I take her to the platform and wait with her. We’re standing there and the train roars into the station.

I’m back where I began friday night. But there has been so much joy. I’m standing there satisfied. It’s obvious I ‘ve been satisfied sexually. But there’s a certain feeling you get when you’re with someone you love. You don’t want anything else. You’re good. All set. I’ll miss her, but she has to go. She has to get back to her son, work, and school.

I stand on the platform until she leaves. I can see her at the window. The conductor shouts. The train hisses to life and begins to pull from the station. Our eyes meet. She smiles, waves and blows me a kiss.

I do the same. Until next we meet.

 

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One thought on “Cherie – Chapter 22 – Shark Week – Part III – Shoes & Scarves”

  1. People post about their vacations and stuff. I post about where I am, whether at Home Base or on the road. Someday, maybe you’ll post from some trip, with Cherie, or someone else, or no one else. It’s all good, so long as there is, at its core, the essence of who one is.

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