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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Sun Stories – Client Relations Specialist Visiting Philly

The secret has been discovered!

I was working at the salon one Sunday, and this blonde haired woman walks in. She has a nice coat on and her nails are done. She looks like she has money, but there’s some mileage on that face. She’s never been to the salon before so I have her fill out the consent form. I ask her how she heard about us and she said she just googled tanning in Philly.

“I see you’re from Chicago. What brought you to our fine city?”

“Just visiting friends.”

She says she looked on our website and saw that we have something called a “double dip’. That’s where for $29.95 you can do a spray tan and a UV tan. She wants that. I ask her what she’d like to do first. (Everybody has their preference) She says she wants to do the stand up bed for the full nine minutes and then do the spray on the level three bronze. (That’s the darkest)

She pays me and I set up the sessions. She goes into the stand up room first.

Whenever we get someone from out-of-town on a weekend that comes in for one session I always eyeball them if I get a vibe. But this lady was making my spider sense tingle. So while she was in the booth I figured I do some sniffing around on the internet.

I googled her name in Chicago.

Nothing.

I googled her address in Chicago.

Nothing.

I knew something was up with her. I googled her cell number.

Bingo!

It took me to a page where there were several professionally photographed (and retouched) photos of a topless blonde that looked like the lady in the sun bed.

It also had this nice little bio:

 

Real pics! If it’s not me, It’s free

I am a gorgeous, sophisticated and uninhibited young girl who adores spoiling! Hello Gentlemen I am Claire. I am a sexy, seductive, beautiful girl who just loves to pamper and please. I love to turn fantasies into reality, and can accommodate all of your needs, wants and desires. Relax and unwind in an upscale personalized setting, and embrace my sensual touch that becomes sweetly erotic in the heat of my passion. Allow me to seduce you with my flirtatious smile, smooth soft skin and insanely hot body! Drift into a state of pure relaxation. Expect extreme arousal and comfortable throughout your entire experience as it will feel like your girlfriend is along side you attending to your every desire. Treat yourself to an hour or two of pure indulgence! I will be the Girlfriend of your dreams and your Perfect Companion. Call today to arrange some quality time with me. I will answer your call and I will be very discreet. I do in call and out calls only to selected upscale hotels BRIEF ENCOUNTERS 1 hour in $350 out $400 2 hours $700 A brief escape, yet with plenty of time to relax, both body and mind. LUNCH/DINNER DATE Up to 4 hours $1200 Let’s arouse the senses over a delicious meal followed by an even more exquisite dessert… THE EVENING Up to 6 hours $1800 Indulge in the city’s vibrant nightlife and get caught up in the moment with me. THE NIGHT Up to 16 hours $3000 The night holds nearly endless possibilities. Let’s explore. EXTENDED TIME (Price upon request) What did you have in mind? I am intrigued…! My rates reflect my preference of quality over quantity and are therefore non-negotiable.Your privacy is important to me and your details will never be shared. Mutual discretion is expected and honored at all times. Due to safety reason I am not able to see you unless you can provide me with the requested details. Claire

My Stats
Gender: Female
Age: 26
Ethnicity: Caucasian
Hair Color: Blonde
Eye Color: Blue
Height: 5’5″
Weight: 125 lbs
Bust: 36DD
Waist: 26″
Hips: 36″
Available To: Men, Women, Groups, Couples
Availability: Incall, Outcall
Location: Tyron’s corner, DuPont circle

appearance

real photo Yes photo accurate Yes
build Skinny height 5’3″ – 5’5″
ethnicity White Transsexual No
age 26 breast size 34-35
hair color Blonde breast cup DD
hair type Some curls breast implants Yes
hair length Shoulder length breast appearance Super nice
piercings Belly button tattoos A few
pussy Shaved

services offered

massage VIP only massage quality
sex
VIP only
s&m
VIP only
blow job
VIP only
cum in mouth
VIP only
touch pussy
VIP only
lick pussy
VIP only
kiss
VIP only
anal
VIP only
two girl action
VIP only
will bring second provider
VIP only
more than one guy at a time
VIP only
full, no-rush session
VIP only
multiple pops allowed
VIP only
rimming
VIP only
squirt
VIP only
allow film or picture
VIP only
female condom
VIP only

Wow. Jackpot. (Rimming’s and option?)

Lady’s an escort. But here’s the best part. She’s stretched the truth a bit. If you look back at her bio she says that she’s 26 years old. Based on those professionally done photos she could pull it off.

But the lady in the tanning booth does not look 26 years old. The date of birth she wrote on her consent form to tan today?

April 30th, 1977!!!!

That hooker turned 40 this year!

 

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Abigail – I Can’t Even…

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

Here is another Tinder date. We both swiped right and started chatting. After a bit of that we exchange numbers. Abigail is a cute 26-year-old woman. She is about 5’3″, long brown wavy hair, green eyes, and fair skin. She’s fit and attractive. She arrives wearing a light blouse and a lovely red and white skirt accented by a large white purse.

We meet at Ruth Chris’ Steakhouse on 18th Street. The space was formerly the old Elephant and Castle. I have some great memories with my ex-girlfriend Michelle there. They have spent over $1.2 million on the remodel. The place is gorgeous. I’ll have to see how the food is. Abigail picked the place, and I’m wondering what this is going to cost me.

The place was surprisingly quiet, and she asks for a mistress booth. There are booths that when you sit in them, they pull a privacy curtain across the front of the booth. This way no one can see you. It’s very private. I like that she picked this type of table, because maybe she has some private sexy fun in store for me. I’m down for anything she wants to do.

We order some light fare. Abigail goes with the seared ahi tuna, and I go for the grilled barbecue shrimp. She said she knows this place is expensive, so she thinks we should just have some appetizers and drinks. I couldn’t agree more! A girl who likes the upscale spots, likes some privacy, and has a thrifty side. She just became more attractive to me. Abigail orders a double cuba libre and I go for my usual vodka martini, straight up with a twist.

The conversation is going okay. She seems nice. She works at a local bank as a client services representative. I like that because I used to work in retail banking myself many years ago. So much has changed in the financial industry, but some things still remain the same. Abigail is cute. As we used to say in the banking industry, “I’d like to make a deposit into her account. No penalty for early withdrawal!”

I’m feeling good and sipping my cocktail. But I start to notice something a bit odd. I notice she’s taking some small bits of her ahi tuna and ripping them up with her fingers and putting them into her huge purse.

What the hell? Is she stealing food for later? I mean…I’ve seen people do that with rolls and bread, but not fish.

So naturally I call her out on it. She smiles and says, “Oh, I’m just feeding Ernie.”

“Who?”

And with that she pulls out a fat guinea pig from her purse. I swear to God.

She plopped the thing in the middle of the table and it just kinda chilled out. I can’t believe this is happening.

“You can’t bring and animal in here.”

“That’s why I wanted this table, so we could have some privacy.”

“Here comes the server. Put that thing away.”

“His name is Ernie!” She hissed, as she stuffs the little brown and white creature back into her bag.

“How are you guys doing over here?” says our smiling server.

“I’ll have another martini, and the lady will have another rum and coke.”

The server leaves to go fetch our second round.

“Do you carry that thing around with you all of the time?”

“Ernie is my pet companion. Like Paris Hilton and her little dogs.”

“Yea, but she’s a millionaire, and famous…and those are dogs. You’re carrying around a rodent!”

“Keep your voice down!”

The server returns with our cocktails. I thank her and take a healthy gulp of the icy medication.

“I think this is some sort of health code violation.”

Abigail pulls “Ernie” back out onto the table.

“I really don’t think you should be….”

And that’s when I felt her foot travel along my leg and up to my crotch. I take my eyes off the little fella and look into her emerald eyes. They twinkle, and she gives me a sly grin.

“Okay…okay… Well he is kind of cute.”

I played with the little fella as Abby’s foot played with mine through my pants.  Ernie, was soft and cute. I on the other hand, no longer was!

He was really a chill little dude. I’m glad I’m drinking through this date. (Martinis help in any situation where everything doesn’t make sense) After a while, I could tell she was getting a little jealous of how well Ernie and I were bonding. I don’t have any pets, but I have had them in the past. Cats mostly.  My father always told me to touch an animal like you would a woman. Very gently. Living things respond to a gentle touch. Abigail was getting fed up at me for playing with Ernie, and back in the purse he went. She also withdrew her foot from my crotch. I could tell that after not eating much, and two double rum and cokes, our girl was getting a bit tipsy.

I was ready to bail and leave, but she mentioned she could go for some ice cream. At this point I figured what the hell, and was cool with it. Maybe it would sober her up. My father used to say he would eat ice cream after he drank, because the milk fat neutralized the alcohol. I always believed that, but most of the time it just made me puke. I also later found out that maybe the ice cream settled his stomach or coated it, there was no ‘neutralization of the alcohol. It was already in your bloodstream by then. But if it worked for my father…

So be it.

So we go to Ben & Jerry’s over on Sansom Street. The place is empty. We get to talking about tattoos and piercing, (none of which I have) and she tells me she has nipple piercings, and I’m like “Oh?” and then she pulls down her shirt, in the middle of Ben and Jerry’s at 8pm and shows me her tits. I just kind of went poker-faced. So then I decide to walk her to her to the corner and hailed her a taxi. She “kiss attacks” me, and well, she WAS kinda cute, so I made out with her, sort of…Her lips were tense the whole time and she licked my teeth.

I bid her and “Ernie” a fond farewell, as I watch the cab disappear up 18th street.

A few days later, I accepted her friend request on Facebook.  I noticed that she had a Facebook page for her guinea pig that had more Facebook friends than I did.

I didn’t hear from her for a while. I was kind of glad about that, because let’s face it, the chick is crazytown.

A few months later the guinea pig died and its Facebook was a memorial page where a bunch of people commented how much they missed it. I ‘liked’ one of her statuses and she called me crying. She was hysterical. I calmed her down and promised her we would go out soon, to help ‘mourn her loss’. (Bold faced lie)

I eventually unfriended her, but not the guinea pig.

RIP:  Ernie

 

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Annabelle – Chapter 7 – Happy Birthday

“Make a wish, Annabelle.”

So in our last chapter, I took the lovely Asian girl Mia Ling to Helium, because of Annabelle’s indecision or scheduling conflict. All of this during her birthday week. I posted the photos of Mia and I on Facebook. Nobody ever said anything so I’m assuming she never saw it, but if she did see it, and it got her thinking, maybe it would help move whatever this is forward.

It was Sunday, and I remember it being a rainy day. I had been hanging out with my ex-girlfriend, Michelle most of the afternoon. (See Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day) Even though Michelle and I had broken up over two years ago, we were still pals and hung out every other weekend I didn’t have my daughter Lorelei. (See Lorelei – 1997 – Present – The Apple of My Eye) Lorelei hadn’t come to live with me yet. She wouldn’t arrive until February of 2015.

There was a bar called Urban Enoteca at the corner of 17th and Walnut at the Latham Hotel. The only good thing about that place was that not many people went there, and it was a good spot for us to get out of the rain and chill out and have a couple of Chardonnays.  I suppose it stayed that way, because it closed down about a year or so ago. Something else is there now.

I was carrying a bag with me that had a copy of a screenplay I had written in it. Annabelle had shown an interest in reading it.

I was a little nervous about seeing her, and expressed this to Michelle. I think when she asked how come, I just told her that I really liked this girl. This wasn’t a walk around a museum, or lunch. This was her birthday dinner. I was wondering later if Michelle didn’t like the idea about me liking another girl so much that I was feeling nervous about our date. Probably not, because by this time she had already decided to get back together with Dave after being broken up for over five years.

Now that I think about it, I may or may not be the love of Michelle’s life, but Dave is her fail safe. They were a couple in their teens. Hell, he may have been the one that punched her V card. They broke up when she moved to Philly back in the early 2000’s, and then after a few years tried to get back together around the time I appeared in 2008, and then she was with me for a couple of years, and then again drifted back to him. This time for good. So maybe Dave is the love of Michelle’s life, and I was simply a distraction. He’s always been in her life, and firmly remains there today.

But I digress. I say goodbye to Michelle after our drinks and head over to Devon, the seafood spot in Rittenhouse Park. I made a reservation that morning for 6pm. I also did something else.

But I’ll get to that later.

When I get to the restaurant I find that they have already seated her. It’s a nice quiet table in the back. We get some wine and look at the menus. I’m really happy to see her. I love her! It’s only really our third date, and it feels like an ordeal to get here, but we’re having her birthday dinner, and I’m there!

I don’t remember what we ate, but the conversation was lively and it looked like she was really enjoying herself. I told her I had brought along a copy of my screenplay to give her to read. She came back with, “No. You hold on to it. I want you to read it to me.”

“Right now?”

“No, silly. Next time we’re together you can read it to me.”

“Okay…okay.” I say, a little awestruck. I can’t believe this is happening. I think she just set up our next date.

So it’s going really well. It’s so new and exciting at this point. So when we’re finished dinner, the server comes over and says to me, “Aren’t you the guy that does the advertising for Alcohol Monthly?” I tell her that’s affirmative.

“Thought so.” I’ll be right back.

When she returns she is carrying a lovely creme brulee with a single candle burning in it. She is flanked by two other attractive servers and they all break into Happy Birthday. Of course I smile and sing along.  Annabelle is absolutely surprised and delighted.

I live in Rittenhouse, so earlier that day I physically went to Devon to make the reservation. I gave them very specific instructions about what I wanted. It was her birthday. Here is her name. Here is what I want you to do with the dessert. The server is to ask me who I am, and when I agree, she’ll know it’s a go with the creme brulee and singing. A good, romantic gesture that worked and went a long way to making a solid impression.

They leave, and I take her hands in mine across the table.

“Make a wish, Annabelle.”

She closed her eyes and squeezed my hands. I did too and wished right along with her.

Annabelle released me, opened her eyes, and blew out the candle.

The dessert was beautiful and so was the birthday girl.

 

 

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Prova – 2015 to Present – Glow of the Sun – Many Happy Hours

“The girl with the lovely smile…”

Finally caught up with busy girl Prova! I had three appointments before my meeting with her that day. The first was with some clown from Brown Forman. I emailed him to confirm our lunch meeting and he responded with “I’d rather do this as a phone call.” So I cancelled that appointment. My second appointment was with the General Manager at The Hard Rock Cafe at 12th and Market. But VP Mike Pence was in town, and President Trump was coming the next day and staying at the Lowe’s Hotel right across the street.  The streets were all blocked, and when I got there the GM said he’s got the Secret Service here and could we do this another day? I see that this part of the city is a shit show so I tell him we’ll reschedule. Then my 3:30 meeting with hot redhead Cheyanne, (whom I’ve been meaning to write about but we can never get our schedules together) gets cancelled, because Cheyanne had been complaining about a migraine she’s been fighting all day. So that’s three down, and one more chance to go before I just give up and go home.

I check in with Prova and she is on her way. We decided to try some different places that we had previously discussed. (See Prova – 2015 to Present – Glow of the Sun) I meet her at Frankie Bradley’s. That bar formerly was a gay bar that was pretty much exclusively for lesbians. (It was called Sisters) But now it’s what I think is just a regular neighborhood bar. Based on some of the signage out front, I think they do a lot of drag shows there. Anyway, it’s a good spot to hang out. We catch up and have a couple of drinks. She tells me she had recently applied for a job there as a bartender. We get a hold of the manager and he comes over to chat. She tells him that she had applied, and he asks her to send him an email and reference her resume. So maybe our lady Prova will be working there soon. It seems like a nice place. We tell the bartender we’re trying some new bars, and he suggests Toast on Walnut. So after we pay our bill we go there.

Toast on Walnut is what the owners from “Sisters” made their new bar. So we walk in and there is a young lady at the door, who cards Prova. She doesn’t card me and I fret that I’m obviously over twenty-one. We all laugh and she asks to see my ID.

Inside it’s a nice bar. The bar itself is whitish blue and appears to be illuminated from within. I stick with the vodka and club and Prova sips a red wine. There aren’t many people in the place, but it’s early. The place is so new, it even smells new! Fresh wood and leather. We decide we’re only going to have one here, and then we’re going to go somewhere else. It’s a nice place but it just seems dead at the moment. So before we leave I tell Prova that I’m going to use the restroom. I walk back through all of the rainbow-colored lights, and walk into the bathroom.

Surprisingly, there is a dude in there using the urinal. But they aren’t your typical urinals. They’re not the vertical, rectangular boxes, with privacy barriers on the sides. These are just oval-shaped deep bowls sticking out of the walls, with no barriers. He’s shaking his dragon away in that little bowl, and I decide to use the stall. I just need a little privacy. I do what needs to be done and I come out of the stall, and see a woman with dark hair drying her hands at the sink.

It’s Prova!

Apparently, they must only have the one community restroom. I was shocked to see her at first.

“What are you doing in here?”

“I just wanted to wash my hands.”

“What if I’d been using one of those little urinal bowls over there when you walked in?”

“I don’t know.”

“You would have gotten a glimpse of what everybody in town is talking about!”

Honest mistake! But that was a close call I wasn’t expecting in a lesbian themed bar. We decide to head over to Boxers. That’s another gay bar on Walnut. It’s a sports bar. But all of the bartenders and staff, walk around with no shirts on. So even though it’s primarily a gay bar, there’s always something for the ladies to look at. All the guys are young and in great shape. I actually like going to boxers. I’ve been there twice. Both times with female friends. Think about it… If you’re a straight guy with female friends it’s the perfect spot. You’re able to watch sports, drink and eat. No assholes are going to mess with you or your friend, because gay dudes are nice. Your friend gets to take in the eye candy, and you do your thing. Everybody wins. We have gentleman’s clubs, at least it gives the ladies something to look at when their out with their male friends. I know most men don’t have female friends. But the men reading this should try. All women that like hanging out with you aren’t targets for you to try to bang. We’d all be better men if we had more female friends. Do it!

We order up some pizza and nachos and go to town on that. We were both hungry so we destroyed most of it. We enjoyed a few drinks there and chatted with the friendly staff. They used to have these drink cards that they would hand out. Every time you bought a drink they gave you a card and the next one was super cheap. So it kept you at the bar longer. It was a great deal! But I asked about it when I was there and the guys told me they can only do that in their NYC location now. When asked why, they said that it’s unlawful in Pennsylvania to encourage people to drink more. Technically it’s not, but it does keep you drinking more and for a longer period of time. PA has a lot of liquor laws because it’s controlled by the Alcohol and Liquor Control Board, which is a state-run agency.

Satisfied with our excursion into the Gayborhood, we decided to have a nightcap at the bar where she works. We hung out at a table and she had a beer and I stick with the vodka and club I had been drinking all night. Some of her co-workers would stop by the table and chit-chat. It was great. There is one guy there, I forget his name, but he’s really funny to talk to. I think he’s Prova’s favorite there.

Prova is a lovely, smart woman who I am glad to have as a friend. I like spending time with her. She continues on her spiritual journey of self discovery in the hospitality industry. I will do whatever I can to help her. Because that’s what we all should do.

Incidentally, it was the longest time I ever hung out with Prova.

Five hours!!!

 

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Mary – Chapter 5 – Sunday, Funday

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

I text Mary and ask her if she wants to have a drink with me on a rainy Sunday after four when I finish up at the salon. She agrees. She wants to hear the crazy story about Marisa because it all happened at the restaurant where Mary works as a hostess. (See Marisa – 2017 to Present – The Friendly Hostess) 

Mary and I like to hang out and drink, but we’re trying to keep our costs down. I suggest Doobies. She’s down for that. We meet at 22nd and Walnut. Umbrellas open we walk south to 22nd and Lombard.

Doobies is a bar that’s been in the neighborhood for a long time. It’s sort of a dive, but the food is good, and the drinks are cheap. There are all sorts of artifacts on the walls like any other dive. But the big theme there is David Bowie. There are pictures of him throughout the bar, and plenty of Bowie on the jukebox. Oh, and they only take cash.

We arrive, and the place appears to be closed. But it’s 4:30 on a Sunday, and the door is unlocked. We go inside to get out of the rain. I see a phone on the bar, and I call out hello a few times. Then some guy comes up out of trap door in the floor behind the bar. I greet him, and he says that she’s not here yet. I don’t know who “she” is, but it said they open at 2pm on Sundays. He says she normally gets there around 5pm.

Mary doesn’t feel like waiting around for a half hour. We thank him, and I tell her I have another plan. We go to South street, and walk over to 21st. Ten Stone is a bar there. A bit nicer than Doobies, but on a rainy day, we’ll settle. It’s a little noisy, because some young people are playing pool and darts in the next room. But it’s not too bad. It’s a nice crowd and the server is friendly.

Mary goes with red wine. Good choice on a chilly, rainy day. I go with some sort of hoppy beer and a shot of whiskey. It’s just been that sort of week. Just the stress of working at the institute, dealing with Marisa the other day, and just everything else that is exhausting me lately.

I tell her all of my stories and after a while I’m feeling much better. I don’t know if it was me telling Mary what my week was like, or the whiskey knocking the edges off. Probably a little of both.

The table where we were siting was small. It was a high top against a wall. We were having a great time laughing and talking, and I was a little worried about Mary’s wine glass.

Have you ever been out at a restaurant, and you just get that vibe, or that premonition that you feel like something’s going to get dropped, knocked over or spilled?

Well I got that feeling early on, and didn’t Mary knock over her wine? I knew that thing was going over. It splashed on her shirt, but didn’t completely empty the glass. She actually got one last mouthful out of that glass, before heading to the restroom to clean up.

She seemed a little buzzed. She got buzzed like this before that Pollyanna holiday party, two weeks ago. I needed to take charge of this situation. So while she was in the bathroom, I paid the bill, and called her an UBER. Normally I would be crying about having to pay the bill, but I dig Mary, and she always pays when we go out. Maybe she’s tired or drinking on an empty stomach. She comes out, and it looks like she got the wine stain out before it could set.

I put her in the UBER and send her home. I tell her to text me when she gets home, so I know she arrived safely. The rain has stopped and I’m close to home so I just walk. I light a cig, and reflect on the evening’s events.

I get home and I have a text from Mary, saying she’s home. Another Sunday down.

 

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Annabelle – Chapter 6 – Mia Ling: A Solution During Indecision

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

If you’ve been following phicklephilly, and reading the Annabelle series, you’ll realize that pretty Asian girl isn’t Annabelle, but this is Chapter 6 of Annabelle. You’ll soon see why.

I was sitting at the bar at Crow and the Pitcher having a drink when I got the text. It was Annabelle. She said that with everything going on with her birthday this week, would it be alright if we didn’t do the comedy club thing this week.

I felt the pain hit me. I turned to the one person who could help me in this moment.

The bartender.

Who happily, was female. I told her my plight. She said what Annabelle wrote wasn’t a no, it was just a delay. She may really have a lot going on this week. Her birthday was on Thursday and that’s when we were supposed to go out. The bartender told me to text back that it was fine, and that I have some other ideas, and what days she’s available. She gets back to me, and it looks like Sunday will work.

“But I already bought the tickets to see Natasha Leggero at Helium this Thursday.”

“I’ll go with you.” comes a voice to my right.

I look over and there sitting at the end of the bar is a lovely Asian girl. “Are you serious?”

“Forgive me for eavesdropping, but it sounds like whoever you were going to take, passed up a great opportunity.”

I turn to the amused bartender. “Get her another of whatever she’s drinking.”

I walk down and sit next to her at the end of the bar. I introduce myself.

“Nice to meet you. I’m Mia.”

We chat and I don’t tell her I really like this other girl, I just kind of play it off as not a big deal. But if she wants to go to the show with me, I’d be happy to take her. She’s into it and I get her number, and we discuss where and when we’ll meet to go to the show. I can’t believe my good fortune. I would obviously rather spend time with Annabelle, but like the song says, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one your with.

She tells me she works at an art appraisal company. She is Chinese. She tells me her specialty is asian art in particular. She’s pretty. Fair skin, about 5’5” tall, dark brown hair and brown eyes. I like that she was forward about wanting to go to Helium. “I like to laugh, and I’ve seen her on Chelsea Lately.” she says.

After another drink, I have to leave to attend an event. I say goodbye and tell her I’ll text her the day of the show. I’m walking across town and check in with my friend Alice. (See: Alice – 2012 to Present – The Cute Recruiter) I wanted to get a second opinion from a young woman. I tell her what I’m up to and she agrees. She says, if there is a guy she likes, and she sees him on social media with another chick, it makes her want him more. This confirms that what I’m doing is right. I hope it doesn’t backfire on me.

The night of the date, Mia and I meet at El Rey before the show. We’re sipping our margaritas and laughing. She thinks I’m funny, and I feel like the warm up act before the headliner. We finish up and head over to Helium.

There actually are two comics that come on before Natasha. They’re both solid. Then she comes out and she’s really funny. Mia is laughing so much I hope they don’t make any jokes about Asian people.

After the show, Natasha comes out into the lobby and people are talking to her. I walk up and ask her if we can get a picture with her. She’s very sweet and agrees. She comments how cute Mia is during the pics being taken. I tell her thank you, and that I rescued her from human trafficking. Natasha cracks up and so does Mia. Everybody wins!

I post the pic to Facebook, and let it fly. I thank Natasha and Mia for a lovely evening. I walk Mia to her train, give her a smooch, and off she goes.

I pulled it off. I hope it works. Comedy show, seen. Arm candy, documented. Met the headliner and have the pictures to prove it.

I’m walking home, and I text Annabelle that when we were talking she mentioned that she likes seafood. (She’s pescatarian) I suggest we meet at Devon in Rittenhouse on Sunday at 6pm. She says that sounds great.

So there you have it. Everything is going well. I just hope we make it to Sunday with out any more cancellations. Fingers crossed.

 

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Tales of Rock – David Bowie Thinks Witches Are Stealing His Semen

In fall 1975, David Bowie went into the studio in Los Angeles and made Station To Station, one of the best albums of his career. It saw him transition from playing conventional if fantastic rock and roll to recording a series of genre-bending masterpieces that set a template for ’80s pop and whose influence is still being felt decades later. Pretty impressive, considering he was doing so much coke at the time he later couldn’t remember recording the album at all.

According to David Buckley, the author of the book “Strange Fascination: David Bowie: The Definitive Story,” Bowie’s diet at the time consisted of cocaine, peppers and milk, and he lived in “a state of psychic terror.” Interviews published in Playboy and Rolling Stone depicted Bowie surrounding himself with burning black candles and Egyptian artifacts and believing that bodies were floating past his window, witches were stealing his semen and that the Rolling Stones were sending him secret messages. He lived in fear of Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, owing to his supposed practice of witchcraft. In Station To Station‘s title track, Bowie yelped, “It’s not the side effects of the cocaine; I’m thinking that it must be love,” which was definitely the wrong diagnosis.

If Bowie wanted to clean up after this album, he made the wrong move by decamping to Berlin with Iggy Pop. Still, the trio of albums he recorded during this period—Low, Heroes and Lodger—honed his legacy. This trilogy along with Station To Station was cherry-picked to create a perfect soundtrack for Christiane F. We Children from Bahnhof Zoo, a German film released in 1981 that captured the harrowing lives of teenage junkies in West Berlin.

Check it out. I saw it at a midnight showing in LA in 1982. It’s great!

 

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Clarice – Chapter 6 – Happy Birthday, Baby – Part Two

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

So it feels like we’re driving forever. I feel like I’m a million miles from the city. I really love living in center city, despite its problems. Driving through the rolling countryside of Pennsylvania this time of year, sort of bums me out. I’m just going by all of these big houses all isolated out here. It reminds me of the suburbs in South Jersey. Another depressing time in my life. I don’t like being out here. But again, I’ll be good because it’s her special day.

We finally get to the park. It’s a nice place and it’s not too cold out. It’s a pretty huge park. You can walk through it, but it actually has a road through it. So you’re not walking on any dirt paths. There’s a few people around. Mostly couples, families and people jogging or walking their dogs. Walks in the park in the winter aren’t really my cup of tea. Walks in the park anytime aren’t really my cup of tea. I’d rather be in a bar in the city, having a drink and a cig.

As we walk further into the park, I can feel a mix of anxiety and depression wash over me.

I think it was because all of the trees are bare for the winter, and I’m in a strange place.

There is actually something comforting about being in a city. I have some of my happiest memories back in Philly. I also am starting to get a very real vibe that I have to find a restroom soon. Brunch is starting to work on me. Not good.

We were out there for a while and I did see a port-o-potty out there. It almost beckoned to me off in the distance. But I just didn’t want to go in there. I figured I could make it back to the main area and find a restroom there.

During our walk through the park there was some good conversation and laughs. I also kissed her a few times. That was nice. She tells me how she’s had Bells palsy before. She feels like it has affected how her face looks and moves. I didn’t even notice anything.

Find out more here: http://www.webmd.com/brain/tc/bells-palsy-topic-overview#1

But now that she’s mentioned it, I see it. Normally it clears up after a few weeks and your face goes back to normal, but it appears in her case some of the paralysis has remained. I don’t mind, because it’s hardly noticeable and she’s still attractive.

We finally get back to the beginning of the park, and I tell her I need to use the restroom. I head over to the little building, praying to God that the door isn’t locked yet. Because the sun is nearly down and it’s getting dark.

Thankfully, the door is open and I make it to the stall. It’s a huge relief when my cheeks hit the bowl, and I’m sort of glad that it’s an outdoor bathroom. I’ll leave it at that.

I return to my lady, and we walk around the main property. There is a mansion there. It really looks cool. We stroll around the property and there are some more kisses exchanged.

I have been with her for five hours now, and I’d be fine with just going home. I’m also kind of dreading waiting for the train at 69th street. She wants to take me to her house for a drink. I’m fine with that, we’ll see what happens.

Her house is quaint. She lives on the first floor, and rents out the second floor to a retired gentleman.

I make myself a vodka and ginger ale, and she’s making some sort of cosmo or something. We retire to her living room. We’re just hanging out on her couch chatting and sipping our drinks. She then gives me a tour of the house. Now, this house is pretty cozy, and I’m assuming built maybe back in the forties or fifties. But she hits the lights in her bathroom, and I am blown away. It’s been completely remodeled and redesigned. Against the back right corner is a huge glass shower, with a stone floor. The commode is across from it. In the center of the room is a huge jacuzzi type tub. Along the south wall is a huge double vanity, and get this; the floor is heated. It’s one of the greatest personal bathrooms I’ve ever seen. Had I known this before, I may have been able to hold it until I got here so I could have dropped a deuce like a king!

She said it was a present from her father. She had purchased the jacuzzi tub and then didn’t have enough money to finish her dream lavatory. She said it sat in a huge box in her bedroom for a long time, and her father kicked in a bunch of money to finish the bathroom. It’s a killer bathroom, but it’s an over improvement to the house. I can’t for the life of me understand why one older woman would want a bathroom this nice. But maybe someone out there does. I guess if it makes her happy and she spends a lot of time in the bathroom, it works. But it’s just a weird purchase. It’s obvious she doesn’t have much money.  She’s sixty-two and her daddy is still buying stuff for her house. He’s got to be well into his nineties, so maybe he doesn’t give a shit about the money at that age. I guess if I had a tub like that, I’d be in there with a bunch of booze, and get a flat screen in that bathroom.

We had another drink and hung out in her living room again. I wasn’t getting a vibe that sex was happening, and frankly I didn’t care. It shouldn’t be something I was wondering about, or deciding if I think it should happen. It should be a spontaneous celebration of how we feel about each other. And I’m just not feeling it.

She volunteers to drive me home. I am overjoyed that I don’t have to wait at 69th street station tonight. It doesn’t take as long as I thought it would, and soon I am on my street in front of my building. We kiss goodnight and I thank her for the ride, and for choosing me to spend her 62nd birthday with her.

She drives off. Tomorrow she’ll discover the black and pink scarf I hid in her dashboard. It’s wrapped in a little black bag. Just a little something extra for her birthday.

But, I don’t really want to go out with her again.

 

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Annabelle – Chapter 5 – Sudden Jazz

I didn’t know The Children’s Place sold little suits and ties. He’s got little man syndrome so bad, and it’s so annoying.

I had circled back to Annabelle about plans for her birthday. I told her I would get us a pair of tickets to see Natasha Leggero at Helium Comedy Club on the Friday. Happily she agreed.

I was at a Swedish Festival during the day with my dear friend Alice. (See: Alice – 2012 to Present – The Cute Recruiter) It’s held at the Swedish Museum down on Pattison Avenue, south of the city. Good times. Free beer and delicious food. After the festival, Alice was good enough to drive me back up to center city. I was meeting my friend Marigold, and a few of her friends at Franklin Mortgage. (See: Marigold – 1997 to Present – Good German Stock)  

Franklin Mortgage is one of the first speak easy type bars that appeared in the city over ten years ago. At one point it was this super cool, exclusive hidden underground bar. But as the cocktail revolution rolled forward in Philly, it lost it’s luster. Gone was the original owner. The bartenders were snooty. It took twenty minutes to get a drink, everybody was writing about it, etc. Who cares now. I don’t want to spend $14 on a drink when I can get one that is just as potent for $6 elsewhere.

But I met them there because Marigold was in town and that’s what she wanted. I hop out of Alice’s car and thank her for a lovely day. I head into Franklin Mortgage and the girls are at a table against the wall. There is one stool at the end for me to drop my butt. I’m happy to see her and remember most of the ladies with her.

Marigold asks me about what’s happening in my life. I start telling her about Annabelle. Marigold is very protective of me. I tell her how I am working on an idea to take her out for her birthday next week. Annabelle is a Leo like me and her birthday is at the end of July, and mine is the beginning of August. Marigold tells me to be careful of my heart, and make sure that this girl knows what she wants. I assure her everything is fine. But what Marigold doesn’t know, and neither do I, is that the drug of love is coursing through my veins. I’m on a bit of a euphoric ride of infatuation with Annabelle.

Maybe after the failure of my relationship with Michelle,  (See Michelle – 2007 to Present) I think I physically missed the feeling of falling in love. It wasn’t a sexual thing, it was just that rush of someone new. You think after a couple of years you won’t love again, and then it just comes knocking on your door unexpectedly. It can sometimes overtake you. It may not even be about the person so much. It’s just that you’re one of those people who has it, and you become very emotionally invested in someone very quickly.

I’m sitting there with Marigold and her ladies, when I get a text.

It’s Annabelle. She says she’s over at Chris’ Jazz Cafe (Which is two blocks away) with her Mom and if I’d like to join, I could drop by. her Mom was visiting her for her birthday this week. Her people are from Virginia Beach. (I’d love to come over and meet her Mom!) I mention all of this to Marigold, who tells me to cool my jets.

“Wait a solid fifteen minutes, before responding.”

I hate these games, but I guess they have to be played in the beginning. I wait the full fifteen, then text her back that I am wrapping it up with some friends. I head over there. I pop some Dentyne Ice into my mouth and go inside. There is a really good three-piece jazz band playing in the corner of the room. These cats are cookin’. I find her at a table down front. There is no sign of a mother of any kind, but there is this little guy sitting at the table with her.

Annabelle is six feet tall. This guy looks to be maybe five foot two? It’s like Anton and Moore. Schwartzenegger and DeVito. Annabelle looks nice. She is wearing makeup and a pretty green dress. She tells me her mom went back to the hotel. But she also texted her little friend here, when I didn’t respond to her text right away. (Damn you, Marigold!)

This guy, I can’t even remember his name. He is an annoying piece of shit. Like a little drunken turd that won’t stop talking. It’s like he’s on coke or something. I’m very respectful of the arts as you know, and this little pig in a blanket won’t shut the fuck up.

If you want to run your goddamn mouth at a jazz club, go sit in the fucking back of the bar. But if you’re at a ringside table, you respect the musicians that are making the music and keep your festering gob shut. Listening to this bitty turd go on and on is killing me. He works in some sort of financial services. I didn’t know The Children’s Place sold little suits and ties. He’s got little man syndrome so bad, and it’s so annoying. But I did come late, and he is a friend of hers. But who you keep around as a friend, says something about you, and I suppose I should have seen this as some sort of foreshadowing of things to come.

Anyway, I’m happy to see her, and lost in my lust/euphoria or whatever it is. Happily at one point, mini maggot leaves and I am so relieved. It was like being tossed around in a midget storm and finally washed up on a warm sunny beach with Annabelle still here.

We had a few drinks and I was stupid happy to see her. She was excited about her birthday week. Which I find appalling for a twenty-six year old woman to be excited about. But That’s my opinion, and I’m into her, so she can think and be excited about anything she wants. Her mom is in town for a while, and she’ll be spending time with friends this week, and even doing a little tubing somewhere. I find all of this a bit strange. Who celebrates their birthday for a week and what sort of hillbilly goes tubing in Philly?

It’s getting late, and I walk her outside. I hail a cab for her. We hug and there is another cheek kiss. Off she goes.

I liked that she popped this little ‘extra date’ in a week before I was supposed to take her to the comedy club. Maybe she really likes me and wanted to see me sooner. She seems to like me. She said she told her mom about me. That’s a good sign. But what if she did this to slip me in real quick to keep me on the line, but maybe feels that things are moving forward and she’s unsure of what she wants or even how she really feels about me. She seems a little youthful. Sort of immature. Like someone who doesn’t have a lot of real world experience, because they have caged themselves inside the so-called “Art Community.”

Or maybe I’m just paranoid.

 

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