Archive for April, 2015|Monthly archive page

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!

Jake Chronicles: Part Seven/4/28/15

In My Stories, The 80's on April 28, 2015 at 9:59 am

Part #7


About this time, Jess comes back around taking the stairs two at a time. I stand up and tilt my head to the side, make a silly face and wave to catch his eye. He’s the most interesting person I can hang with for the rest of the night because drama and laughter follow Jess- nipping at his heels,always unpredictable. This is convenient, as I’m willing time to pass as fast as possible until tomorrow. If I could fast forward I’d be holding down the button.

He makes a beeline over, and we exchange hugs and smiles authentically without Jake’s chemistry throwing it off. As I’m pulling away from him, I feel him gripping me tighter, and it’s odd and pushy until I realize he’s trying to put something discreetly into my hand.

“You dummy!” he says. “TAKE THIS!!”

I suddenly realize it’s his precious amber bullet, and  I grab it quickly- in one motion tossing it into my purse, which is in front of me on the table.

“Leave me some!” he mouths as he walks away. It’s the least I can do.

Twisted Sister takes to the stage again. Colored spotlights- red, orange, blue, and green, frantically dance across the deep brown ceilings of the cabin-like club, as Dee Snider’s guttural growl once again pierces the sound system. The crowd cheers, while I down half my drink, then head to the Ladies Room. Inside, heavily made up girls in their Thursday best are standing in front of cracked mirrors, spraying their teased hair with mini-bottles of Final Net and Paul Mitchell. Others apply eyeliner unsteadily, the water running in the dirty sinks as they yap back and forth over the thudding bass line outside. Graffiti covers the walls (phone numbers, band adoration, ‘disco sucks’)  There is a sense of urgency, everyone in rush mode to get out and see the band.

I walk straight into an empty stall, and assess the toilet seat. Disgusting. I rip toilet paper off in waves in order to clean the seat off. I know I’m just smearing germs into it, but sue me if I don’t want to sit in pools of urine. Luckily for me there’s any paper in the stall to begin with. (I am also blessed in that I am not a germ phobe. I figure it takes a lot more than a few drops of urine to kill a healthy human being, and have faith I will die of something much more severe than the bathroom at the Night Raven. Though, looking around, I can’t say for sure it couldn’t happen.)

After checking the loose, clunky silver lock on the door (about to fall off) I pull out the bullet, release a serving, and sniff it up with minimal fanfare. I try to be discreet, unlike a lot of people who snort like swine, making awful noises with no regard for anyone- and ruin it for the rest of us. Club owners are required to follow the letter of the law when it comes to serving alcohol, and drugs -from coke to marijuana, complicates things. But it’s 1980,and coke is everywhere. It’s on Wall Street, in discos, rock clubs, at concerts, at parties- and even touted as an effective tool  for weight loss. It’s reputation in the late 70’s and early 80’s is that of a ‘fun’, somewhat lighthearted substance. You can buy t-shirts that celebrate cocaine, jewelry that doubles as coke-paraphernalia, even postcards depicting coke use at mom & pop convenience stores. When it’s mentioned  it’s with a wink and a smile. The mood would turn ugly, but that was still ahead of us.

Almost instantly, as I snort the white  powder, my already decent mood ascends into the night sky ….isn’t life just fucking great? I take another sniff, and am instantly enveloped inside the familiar, fantastic feeling of good will and energy. It spreads warmly across my chest, upper arms and legs- and a better mood I could not be in. I think of Jake, and Jess, and the almost magical way the night has unfolded.

I put the bullet back in my purse, and slide back the lock on the door, walking over to the middle sink. I wet my hands (washing would be an exaggeration) and when I look at my image in the cracked mirror I like what I see, which attests to my sense of well-being. The scent of hairspray and impostor perfume hangs in the air. I rip a big piece of brown paper off of the metal dispenser mounted on the wall, and quickly wipe my hands with the scratchy paper, stuffing it gingerly  atop the over-flowing trash can like a crown. I step out into the fray just as Twisted’s singer Dee is crucifying some preppy in the audience for wearing a polo shirt. The audience eats it up, working themselves into a fervor like they’ll soon be witness to a yuppie crucifixion. This happens every time Twisted plays, and I suddenly realize, with distinct clarity and disappointment, that it’s a gimmick.  The guy in the polo is probably one of the road crew. Besides, what preppy would be at the Raven for Twisted Sister, unless they lost a bet? That’s what Fern Bars are for! And how could it possibly be that every Thursday, one night a month when Twisted Sister plays some unsuspecting preppy mistakes the  Night Raven for a college pub? I mean- come on. Obviously I’ve been duped. I head back to our table on the second floor to excitedly discuss my new found theory  with Jess.

Jake Chronicles: Part Eight/ 4/27/15

In My Stories, The 80's on April 27, 2015 at 1:31 pm


Jake calls the following morning at 7:30 am. It’s odd, but I’m thrilled. He apologizes for leaving abruptly the night before, and wants to secure a date for that evening. I accept, and can’t even be bothered to play coy. He says he’ll be by at 8:00 pm to pick me up.I give him directions to my house. We could go for a motorcycle ride, he suggests- or he’ll put some gas in my car and we can take that- ‘in case you don’t want to mess your hair up’.

Excuse me?

He goes on to say that girls always complain about their hair getting all tangled up while riding on the back of his bike. This statement is interpreted by me as a challenge- sure all of those  ‘girly girls’ are complainers- but not me, pal. I’ve ridden on the back of Harley Davidson choppers, regular Harleys and a bevy of imports- not to mention racing boats. He has no idea who he’s messing with. I’ve spent many a day with messy hair -and yeah- I’ve spent endless minutes in ladies rooms trying to secretly untangle said hair, swearing the whole time, close to tears- but I do it discreetly, behind closed doors. Without (public) complaint.

“I’m not afraid of ‘messing up my hair'” I say in  a sing-song voice, insulted.

He sighs. “That’s sounds great. Because most girls are” I can tell he’s not completely sold, by the way his voice goes up on the ‘are’.

Just how many girls is he toting around on the back of his bike, anyway, I wonder? I refuse to take the bait and ask, but I mean- really? Then I realize that based solely on his looks, it’s a high number. Still- I’ve yet to see him riding with any chicks.(He’s probably saving that until after we start dating, if my history is any indication)

We talk a while longer, cement plans, and hang up. I can’t help but happily hiss ‘Yessssss….” aloud to myself after I place the receiver in its cradle. I have the whole day in front of me, nowhere to be, the place to myself, and a decent amount of cash. This is going to be the best summer ever.

Which is why it’s such a shocker when he doesn’t show up. Or call. Or anything.

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