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Posts Tagged ‘Bars’

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 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.

Jake Chronicles: Part FIVE 4/30/15

In My Stories, PRINTED, The 80's on April 30, 2015 at 5:48 pm

It couldn’t have been two minutes later, knee-deep in a frencher, when I hear my name again, this time from a distance. Will anyone just let me savor the friggin moment and make out with this dude? I look up to see its my dear friend Suzy Blueberry, who was with me the first time I  spotted Jake on his Kawasaki. She is such a sweetheart-the kind of girl who’s so nice she has no enemies, and is never gossiped about. I will forgive her anything, including this.

“Oh my god! Is that you, Sam?” she asks. She’s wearing a pink tube top with acid washed Jordache jeans and slouchy white ankle boots. Her ash blonde hair is teased just so. She looks adorable, and is with two girls I vaguely recognize, girls I’ve seen around. Both have brunette hair in side ponytails, fastened with neon colored scrunchies.

Jake looks over. I catch the moment of recognition in Blue’s face when she realizes who he is.

“Oooooh!” she says, exhaling for days. “You and me gotta tawk when you get inside!” she says, eyes wide.

At that moment, one of the pony-tail girls blows a pink Bazooka bubble from her lips and pops it loudly like a firecracker. It serves as an exclamation point on Blue’s words.

A crowd of people surge out of the Raven, and I realize that the muffled thudding of the band had ceased. The band must be on break.

Blue winks and says goodbye, salutes me with devil horns and walks off with her pals, whispering and giggling. I see her thumb aiming back in my direction, and know she’s telling them the story.

The parking lot is filling up with slightly (or mostly?) drunk Twisted Sister fans, many of whom are adopting the obnoxious behavior of their favorite lead singer’s brazen stage persona. (Offstage, he famously swears he’s a grandmother, doesn’t even drink, which comes across as a damper) At the other end of the lot, someone blasts an M-80, and we all jump. (July Fourth is around the corner-but don’t get me started on my disdain for that particular holiday and it’s moronic melding of booze and explosives-nor the flood of ‘gee-there’s a shocker’ news items about missing digits and evil carnage the following day.) Needless to say, the conditions of our make-out session are less than ideal. As it should be in a public parking lot. With all of the commotion, it’s obvious there will would be no privacy to be had.

“We might as well go back in!” I sigh.

I’ve driven my friends here, and don’t want them to think I bailed. If I’d gone for a motorcycle ride it would have been fine- my car would be in the lot and they’d  know I’d be back. I’m pretty dependable that way. If Jake and I leave in my car, I can’t guarantee we’ll be back.

As we walk back towards the Raven, I keep glancing sideways at Jake, thirsty for a look. When that doesn’t satisfy, I  cease walking- I stop on a dime so I can check him out as he walks in front of me.  It’s a fine sight, and man,  I’d love to take (and therefore have) a picture to swoon over. When Jake realizes I’m no longer keeping up, he pivots and backtracks, so in a flash I pretend to be looking for something in my purse. He appears to have no flaws. His built, tan arms, longish sun-streaked hair hair- don’t even get me started on his ass-it’s all good. I see why people are objectified, and I’m full-on participating in it until my next women’s rights bull session. It’s not just guys who do it. I can’t help myself.

We stand in the club’s door and hold up the back of our red-stamped hands for the bouncers who flag us through. We step back into a veil of smoke, sweat and loud music, readjusting to the chaos and noise. Jake leans into my ear, and shouts he’ll be right back (what? don’t leave!), but I casually shout back, ‘I’ll be around here somewhere’ and twirl my finger like a helicopter blade. I’m let down that he’s walking away, so I play the ‘I could care less, mister!’ card. We’re all such fakes, playing the worst board game ever: Chutes and Ladders: Relationship Edition. I slip down a chute as we head off in opposite directions.

Jake Chronicles: Part 6/ 4/29/15

In My Stories, PRINTED, The 80's on April 29, 2015 at 2:08 pm

I make my way through packed room, crossing the front of the stage, then up the stairs that lead to the second level. It’s very crowded but I’m on a mission and push my way through. I wonder if Carly is still at our table and am happy to see that she is, and bonus- she’s been joined by Jess and Blue. Jess’s white blond hair stands out like teeth under a blacklight, and I note he’s wearing his Jack Daniels T-shirt with the sleeves I personally cut off. His white leather jacket is hanging off the back of Darla’s chair. “Beer Drinkers And Hell Raisers” by ZZ Topp is blaring from the speakers. We’re all shaking our heads a little, in time with the song. Darla holds her beer up high in the air during the chorus- because clearly, this song is about her and she wants everyone to know it.

“THERE YOU ARE!!” she bellows when I approach the table. I nod, validating her astute observation. Nothing gets by Darla. Blue looks at me with wide eyes, open mouth and her hand splayed over her heart. I know I owe her a story.

“Are you done humping it up in the parking lot?” Jess asks, as he stands up and points to the empty seat next to him. I shake my head, and give him an insincere smile. I take the seat, folding my hands together atop the table, like the Principal at a parent-teacher conference.

“You shoulda seen her out there” he yells to the girls “She was really goin’ at it!” He slaps his knee, and chugs from a Bud bottle.

“That’s NOT what happened!” I say loudly. “Jesus!”

“Where’s Mr. Suave? He leave you hangin?” Jess asks, laughing.

I ignore him, and lean into the table, motioning  Darla and Blue to come closer. Jess stands up, and says he’ll be right back. “I don’t wanna hear any of her Penthouse letters” he cracks. I give him another fake smile and the finger.

“Anyway!” I say to our little huddle, inside which we can hear ourselves if we really lean in.  “That was The Guy! The Guy on the Bike!” Blue nods in quick succession, while Darla asks ‘Bi-cycle? What bicycle? Who are we even talking about here?”

“Tsk! No! Not a bicycle…’ I say, exasperated. ‘I’m not scoping out bicycle riders, Darla! I mean- what am I-  riding around in my car checking out guys on ten speeds?” I say this as if it is as impossible as me flying to the moon, and just as preposterous. The truth is, I’ll scope on any guy, anywhere. Driving, walking- you name it. The only real criteria I have for a guy is ‘existing’.  I mean- who am I kidding?

“OOOOOH!” she yells, finally recognizing who I’m referring to, “You mean that fox on the rice-burner you were telling me about!”

“Shhhh!” I say, looking quickly around for eavesdroppers, like anyone would care, like anyone could even hear us over the music if they did. Which they don’t.

“No, Darla- really- you’ve gotta SEE this one! I mean- yowzah!” Blue shakes her wrist, flapping her hand back and forth, validating my taste. “How’d you ever meet him, Sam?”

“It’s so funny- you won’t believe how it happened!” I say, shoring up my tale, convinced it’s the most random sequence of events ever. Just imagine: two people, constantly checking each other out around town-when- big twist! they run into each other at one of  the only three local bars people in our age bracket gather at. Still, that didn’t stop me from weaving a dramatic yarn, like a ghost story told around a campfire, with cute guys and motorcycles instead of diaphanous ghosts and witches brooms.

When I  finish, careful to supply every detail and nuance from ‘saw him speeding into the beach all foxy and what not’ for Darla’s benefit, all the way through to the random bumping into each other in the crowd here. I lean back into my chair, throw my hands up: mic drop!. What can I say? I’m fascinating. Blue squeezes her arms together and giggles, while Darla holds out for a high five. I don’t notice this right off (so taken as I am with my own story) that when I finally do high five her back it’s awkward and clumsy and doesn’t quite connect.  If this was a movie, we’d have to do another take. But Jake would still be the star.

As if on cue, he strolls up to the table with a drink and a beer, and hands me the drink. My heart races. His presence is so in my face-he stands apart from everyone else in my eyes- I’d swear he’s more three dimensional. Almost like he’s in color, and the rest of us are black and white.  He leans in to whisper in my ear, his ass practically in Darla’s face. Her and Blue are literally pointing at it and making duck lip faces. Darla’s pantomiming a squeeze. I kick her under the table. Thankfully,  she straightens up and flies right. Blue follows suit.

“Listen- I need to leave with my friend” Jake says, his voice deep, tickling my inner ear, giving me goosebumps. “Can I get your number and call you tomorrow?”

Can you? I nod my head and reach into my purse, holding a finger up, hold on a sec. I pull out my tiny brown leather address book, embossed with a braying unicorn. (Underneath its hooves, it reads ‘The Unicorn’ in case I mistake it for a regular horse) I flip through, looking for a blank page, which I  rip out sloppily, it’s edges jagged which faintly bothers me; I wish I could scissor that off- (I have a sprinkle of OCD, only a dash, really) I find a pen at the bottom of my purse and write my name in extra swirly script (script is one of my specialties) and add my number. I’m actually trying to make my handwriting sexy which may be certifiable. (oooh!…when I saw the way you looped that  ‘S’ I knew you were the one for me! A classic love story)

I feel like I’ll be competing with a stack of other girl’s numbers, though, so I put in the extra effort. I fold the paper and pass it to him. He leans down and whispers in my ear “I’ll call you tomorrow, foxy”, and actually play- bites my earlobe gently. I shiver. He walks away-a vision of hotness as the three of us track him. As soon as he is just out of range, we all start swooning, slapping the table and clucking like hens. We all agree-wholeheartedly-that he is one buff motherf*cker and just ‘oh my god!’

On the upside, now that he’s gone, I can finally be my effing self, my voice suddenly a few decibels lower, my posture less stiff, relaxing into my chair, the relief of no longer being watched from afar by a potential lover and his opinionated friends. I hadn’t realized how clenched up I was, subtly posing, holding in my stomach, boobs up and out proudly, like flags. But the evaluation is over, it seems I’ve passed and now it’s time to slouch- and party. Let the drinks and expletives fly!

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