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Archive for May, 2015|Monthly archive page

Jake Chronicles: Part One/5/04/15

In My Stories, Stuff I Post Just To Keep This Blog Alive..., The 80's on May 4, 2015 at 3:30 pm

I push my way through the crowd up to the bar where I order two drinks- one for me and one for Carly. The Night Raven is filled to capacity, thick with cigarette smoke and sweaty bodies, the usual turnout for Twisted Sister- a band out of Long Island that plays here once a month, always on a Thursday night.

You can’t get through the crowd without bumping into people-it’s standing room only- but luckily Carly and I snag a table tonight. I grab the two Greyhounds- house vodka and grapefruit in cheap plastic cups (classy!) and gingerly try and make my way back to the table with minimum spillage. Nothing like not getting to guzzle every last drop of your fifty-cent drink- tomorrow’s headache depends on it!

When I arrive back at the table, Car makes a big show of it, screaming ‘THANKS FOR THE DRINK,  SWEETIE” – grabbing hers out of my hand and almost blowing out my eardrums in the process. She gulps it down in a split second, then slaps it down on the tabletop in celebration, staring at me with raised eyebrows like she’s done something great- won a race or the Pulitzer Prize. I think of cornball platitudes about celebrating the small things in life, and figure this must qualify. I give her a thumbs up. And tell her the next round’s on her.

I decide to do a lap around the club to see if Jess has arrived. I tell Carly to save our seats over the blare of the club’s sound system, currently blasting Aerosmith’s ‘Same Old Song And Dance’ my friend. I stand up, put the palm of my hand over my plastic cup to prevent spillage ( a drunkard’s makeshift sippy cup), and say I’ll be right back. Carly winks and throws up devil horns.

I walk down the four stairs that lead to the bar, scanning the crowd. No Jess, or anyone else of note. I turn to check out the back room, filled with pinball machines and Asteroids games, when SLAM!! someone knocks into me, hard. I barely hold onto my drink, which splashes all over my palm, and through my fingers. I grimace, instantly irritated. Shit!

“Oh my god! I’m so sorry!” says a male voice loudly and when I look up I am eye to eye with none other than “Adonis’ himself. My motorcycle mystery boy, right here in the flesh! My heart beats like a baby bird’s, as Aerosmith segues into UFO pleading ‘Doctor, Doctor, please!’. Things have just taken a good and unexpected turn for the better, half spilled drink be damned. And the music’s cooperating, too!

I quickly look him up and down (better than I even imagined- and what I imagined was p-r-e-t-t-y good)  He flashes a Kodak smile and I inwardly swoon. Nothing hotter than a good smile on a nice face atop a body to die for, amirite? Sand, streaked dark blond hair, straight, gleaming white teeth, blue eyes and a golden tan. Could it be I have a type? Even if that’s true- I’m fairly sure this guy is any girl’s ‘type’.

He wears a blue Hooker Headers t-shirt, faded jeans and high top Nikes (black swish) His arms are built, his body an inverted V. He doesn’t seem to be a guy you’d have to fight with to use the mirror (no eyeliner or hair products). Up close, he almost reminds me of my screen crush, the leader of the Warriors street gang, from the movie of the same name. I fight the urge to break out the catch phrase “Warriors…Come out and play-yay-yay’, but it’s too specific a reference, and it might fall flat.  I’m a wise ass, but he’s making me second guess myself just by looking so good. All in all he has rendered me speechless. I tell myself to breathe. We lock eyes and it feels like electricity flows between us. And silence.

Finally, he extends a hand  and smiles – “Hi! I’m Jake!’ he says loudly. It figures! I love the name Jake.

I shake his hand (nice and mildly calloused- he must work!) and introduce myself as well. I fight the urge to plant my lips on his, just in case the opportunity never again presents itself. I’m telling you, It would totally be worth it, regardless of outcome.

“Can I get you another drink?” Jake asks, yelling (it’s loud!) pointing to my cup and then to the bar.

“You don’t have to!” I yell back, sipping what’s left of mine through the red and white swizzle stick, the vibrating slurp of what’s left of melting ice cubes, as if I’m really getting any.

“No- I want to!” he insists, smile lighting up the room.

“Okay….then I guess a Greyhound would be cool” I shout.  The whole time we are in the middle of crowds of people, but they are just a blur. I point towards the back room, and indicate I’ll wait there. I definitely want to corral  him to where I might have him to myself for a bit. He nods his head okay, and pushes up into the crowd at the bar in front of us, holding up a fistful of bills.

I walk towards the back room, mindlessly bumping into people, a goofy smile plastered across my face. I love how shit happens when you least expect it.

Jake Chronicles: Part Two/5/03/15

In My Stories, Stuff I Post Just To Keep This Blog Alive..., The 80's on May 3, 2015 at 10:43 pm

I float dreamily across the game room on the fumes of anticipation. Beat up pleather bench seats line the perimeter of the room, and a large group of rockers are watching a lone player on the Kiss pin-ball machine. I’m not a Kiss fan (too comic-booky) but even I can see they are perfectly suited to a pinball game. I  scope out a place towards the back of the room, where we can sit and get to know each other (I hope) I gulp down what’s left of my drink-just ice chips and a drop of water. (This drink has been through the mill and I need to stop expecting anything from it) I sit  and wait.

I hear loud, annoying feedback, followed by  raucous, drunken cheers. Twisted Sister is taking the stage. They’re sinister and hard rocking -though not exactly my cup of tea. Maybe it’s the costume and ridiculous makeup they wear. Sort of like the band I was just talking about. (Regardless, I’m sure they care what I think. After all, I’ve paid my admission and thus, paid them)

Plus, they have a couple cool songs, I’ll grudgingly admit.

The crowd around the pinball machine disperses, leaving behind only the solo gamer. A few seconds later, Dee Snider, as over-modulated as can be (is he eating the mike?) growls ‘SO HOW ARE YOU, MOTHERF**KERS TONIGHT” then roars like a wild cougar in a 1970’s car commercial. The crowd goes crazy, as the band slams into ‘Shoot ‘Em Down’.

Then, like a vision, Jake rounds the corner, and my heart flips. He’s holding a bunch of drinks unsteadily. I jump up and meet him halfway. The pinball player looks over at us, in between flips. We’re the only other people back here now. Jake’s smiling as I get to him (how many watts is that? Enough to run the whole fucking town for a good hour!) I quickly grab a drink and a shot out of his hands.

“I got us some shots, too!’ he says, “Alabama Slammers. Do you like them?” he asks.

“Like ’em? I looove ’em!” I say, as we clink shot glasses and pour the red liquor down our throats. We both let out synchronized  ‘Aaaahs!”, and start giggling like school girls. I lead him over to our newly designated ‘spot’ and we both sit down. We’re so close we’re almost, but not quite, touching. We keep glancing at each other and smiling like simpletons. My face is flushed, and trust me,  it’s not the Elizabeth Arden Blush-On. When Jake’s arm accidentally brushes against mine, I get chills and feel the current between us. I feel like a cartoon bomb, like my fuse is lit and I’m set to explode, sparks flying everywhere.

I’m asking him stupid questions like ‘where are you from’ (his answer: ‘around here’) and then I cut to the (literal?) chase.

“Haven’t I seen you at the Beach? I ask. “On a bike?’

“Yes!” Jake exclaims, the floodgate to admitting our head game really happened, flung open.

“And I’ve seen you down there for sure. You have the blue Cadillac, right? With the music always blasting out?’

Ding! Ding! Ding!

In the background, Dee Snider is screaming  ‘Death to Disco’ and breaking Donna Summer records to thunderous applause.

“Yup!”

“I saw you there Thursday- with- was that your boyfriend?” He’s talking about Jess, and the moment when he drove by us on the bike real slow, just as Jess was trying to get me to sip his flask. (For real. Not in an ‘is that what we’re calling it now?’ kind of way) He remembers this as much as I do- validating it all. Wow! I’m flattered to even be in his sightline, to take up space in his mind.

“No, no- that’s just my friend, Jess!” I answer, waving my hand like I’m shooing away flies.

“I don’t have a boyfriend’ I state, loud and clear, just to emphasize the point.

I take a sip of my Greyhound, and look at his arms. There’s a tat- a rose with a crown of thorns, well done. His arms are defined but not steroid and protein powder big. I love the faint ‘v’ of his upper arm muscle to his bicep.

Jake asks me if I want to go watch the band for awhile- and if I’m upset to be missing the show.

“Oh-pshhht! -I’ve seen this band a million times already!”I say nonchalantly, waving a dismissive hand. Right now I  wouldn’t want to leave this room if Black Sabbath was onstage.

(Author’s note: That’s clearly an exaggeration made in the heat of the moment)

“Wanna go for a ride?” he asks- and it sounds like the best idea ever. I can see us flying down the road on his motorcycle,  our hair flowing back in waves, the bike dipping low into the asphalt as we whip through hairpin turns. I’m up off my seat in a flash.

Jake Chronicles/Part Three/ 5/02/15

In My Stories, PRINTED, Stuff I Post Just To Keep This Blog Alive..., The 80's on May 2, 2015 at 12:55 pm

We step outside the Raven into the parking lot which is abuzz. People are everywhere, heading into the club, away from the club, standing in groups around cars, loitering, flirting, getting high.

Sounds carry: peels of laughter,  shouting, the revving of car engines, the whoosh of the traffic whizzing by on the main street out front. The muffled sound of the band thuds from inside the bar, like it’s bubble wrapped in a box.

I let Jake lead the way, checking him out thoroughly while I have the chance.The parking lot is flooded with white light from its many street lamps, the sky a dark void above.

A gang of guys-inebriated Twisted fans- pass us by on the way in, all bluster and bravado, chanting ‘SMF!”(Twisted Sister has a fan club- the ‘Sick Mother Fucker Club’ of which I am surprisingly not a member) A thin guy with brown wavy hair, wearing a Zeppelin tee, lunges at me and says ‘Hey, Baby!” Jake turns around abruptly and glares at him. The guy flinches and speeds away, his friends laughing at him. Jake extends his hand and I happily grab on. This makes me incredibly happy- to be holding hands with him, kicking the tires of the couple we might become.

I’m scanning the lot for Jake’s Kawasaki, but all I see are cars and Harleys. We stop walking and Jake clears his throat.

“I have to tell you something” he says in a tone that makes me think: Ut oh.

“Yeeeahh?” I ask, wide eyes and lilting voice, as I let go of his hand.

“I don’t even have my bike here,’ he says.

“Whaaat?” Wtf?

“I know….I just wanted to get away from all the commotion and talk to you” he says, sheepishly. “I shouldn’t have lied” He looks around, avoiding eye contact.

It strikes me as unsettling, and that warning signal I feel when something’s off shoots through me. Intuition? Perhaps. I do hate liars. But then again- maybe I drove him to lie by participating in this month long flirtation dance. Or  maybe (and more likely) my anger towards liars operates on a sliding scale that fluctuates depending on physical attraction, availability, and interest. Either way- we all know I’m going to blow it off and move on. Which I do. Immediately.

“It’s okay” I say. “Wanna go stand by my car?” I suggest, like it’s the place to be.

“Why not?”

I point towards the back of the lot, as a group of giggling girls walk by us, dressed in what looks like lingerie. They say ‘Hiiii’ to Jake in high pitched baby voices, and turn around to look at him as they pass by. Their spike heels click-click-click on the pavement. I picture extending my foot and tripping them, watching them fall like slutty dominoes. He pretends not to notice them at all and scores back any points he lost by lying.

The back end of the Cadillac is hanging out of its slot just a bit too much, and I make a mental note to move it forward. It’s such a boat. Jake laughs when he reads the bumper sticker: ‘Everybody Wants Some’ over the Van Halen logo.

“You really do love your music, huh?”he asks

I furrow my eyebrows and say ‘Ummm….yeah” I mean-duh! What a kooky question! Who doesn’t?

We lean against the side of the car, close but not touching. I fold my arms and look up at the dark sky. Jake’s thumbs are hanging from his belt loops, and he’s looking over at me, probably thinking of something to say, while I pretend not to notice. He leans into me lightly,  our upper arms touching and I want him to stay there forever. I’m aware of him with every fiber of my being.

Then, he stands up straight and faces me, pushing the hair gently out of my face, hooking it behind my ears, his hands on either side of my face. We plunge into a kiss like we’re diving into a cool swimming pool on a hot summer’s day. It feels divine. And I’m thankful that he’s a good kisser, swirling his tongue like he’s writing cursive love letters in my mouth, and I’m very, very glad that Carly’s persistence that I come out and party tonight has turned into this.

Jake Chronicles/Part Four/ 5/01/15

In My Stories, PRINTED, The 80's on May 1, 2015 at 5:55 pm

It crosses my mind that this is one those moments (few as they are) that lives up to the hype. That no matter what else happens from here, this memory will always be a good one. Standing still, in that kiss, it really all that. In my mind, fireworks crack and glitter across the sky. Jake’s scent is salty, sensuous…catching a glimpse of his broad, sun bronzed skin as I lay my head flush against his shoulder, I sense the gritty sand of a sun baked beach, and feel a longing for beach days that I’d missed. This was the sun he soaked in before my time, in a place I didn’t exist yet. I feel envious of anyone who’d been there to share it with him. I want to be a part of his life, to feel the sun by his side, watch as our skin turns chestnut brown together. I would never voice these thoughts in a million, bazillion! years -but privately they flutter about my mind with no fear of judgement, my dorky little secrets. I might always remember this beginning, a sentence in my story worth highlighting in yellow.

The spell was finally broken with the brazen words: “Lookit this hussy over here! Do we need a ticket to see the show?”

Jake and I jump, startled by the surprise invasion into our ‘personal space’ (which is against the side of a car in a bar parking lot, so not exactly airtight as far as privacy goes) It’s Jess, in full-on sarcasm mode. He isn’t more than three four away, leering at us and laughing. I look at him, shake  my head and proceed to heave a full scale eye-roll/sigh combination his way. I have to laugh right after, though. Jess is such a trip. Jake, on the other hand, moves away from me, folds his arms across his chest and glares at him.

“Geez!” Jess chortles, chin held high in the direction of Jake, eyes directed at me. “Look at this dude. all serious and what not!” You can tell he expects Jake to laugh.

Instead, Jake’s brow furrows, and his eyes narrow down to slits. I think I detect a snarl. I’m taken  aback that he isn’t going along, seeing the joke of it. This is bothersome because it doesn’t sync up with who I’ve already projected him to be.

I jump in, making light of it all. “Oh…you!” I say to Jess, then turn to Jake, “He’s just kidding! He’s always like this!” throwing my hands up towards Jess in a ‘what-ever-am-I-going-to-do-with-you,’  half-hearted shrug. It doesn’t occur to me that Jake probably assumes I’m sleeping with Jess, since the last time he’d seen us we were playfully wrestling, like characters in a movie right before they kiss.

Suddenly, someone calls Jess’s name from across the parking lot. It’s Big Artie, who we know from the Beach. I can only describe him as John Belushi lite. I give a quick wave.

“HEEY ART! I’LL BE RIGHT THERE!” Jess bellows, one hand cupped around his mouth.  It’s like a closed- fisted punch to the ears. Jake looks even further annoyed. This isn’t going well.

Jess leans in and gives me a split second hug, saying’ “I’ll see you inside”. He turns back around when he’s farther away and says to Jake: “Really nice meeting you?” in question form.

It was true, Jake was not at all amused at any of this. This was a small disappointment- so many people don’t ‘get’ Jess, but I know that if they gave him a chance they’ll like him. People assume he’s was cocky and arrogant- which he is- but not in a threatening way. He’s more like a minor comedian. He likes to joke around, to ridicule pretty much everything. Sometimes even himself. Once you knew him, it was hard to take him seriously- or even remember a time when you did. He may have been tortured inside-who can peek into anyone’s private thoughts- but this jokey persona was what he presented to the world, often misinterpreted.

“You sure that isn’t your boyfriend?”Jake asks after Jess is out of earshot.

“Well- if he was– wouldn’t it be weird that he walked up on us while we were kissing and he didn’t seem the least bit upset?” I say, laughing.’And now he’s just leaving- like: oh, well- guess she’s busy?”

“You never know these days!” he answers. I look at him, waiting for him to laugh, but again, he doesn’t. These days? What was that all about? Is he unaware that he, too is part of our generation?

“Now- where were we?” he asks, standing once again up close and face to face. Looking at him- cheekbones, big blue eyes, sun-streaked hair-I promptly forget Jess had even been here, possibly forget Jess’s name- and suddenly cannot care less about Jake’s tendency (or not) towards a sense of humor. Maybe he’s just the jealous type. And that could be flattering in small doses- at least it showed he cared.*

*Author’s Note: Only a naive nineteen year old thinks this way…So gimme a break.

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