Posts Tagged ‘Mall’

Jailbreak: Part 3

In The 80's on April 1, 2012 at 2:38 pm

We head to the Trumbull Mall. Jess wants to get a new pair of high top Adidas, and I’m going to peruse the record store (another Karl Graf’s) for cassettes and rock mags. I also want to get a new Danskin bodysuit because Darla and I are joining Anne Marie’s Figure Forum Monday night.

 We jam tunes all the way to the mall-and I find myself  stealing quick glances at Jax in the rearview. He’s mouthing the words on point and knows all the tunes, therefore passing my ‘ musical compatibility’ test. (The ‘picking him up from jail’ qualm is totally forgotten. Hotness overrides everything)

When we arrive at the mall, it’s a jam packed Friday afternoon and we prowl the parking lot, looking for a decent space. Against the odds, we find a good one by the front entrance. I pull in and let the car idle, while Darla hands me my coat, which she had stored on the floor in the back (thanks!) so I brush it up and down to rid it of any lint it might have picked up. There’s a St. Pauli Girl bottle cap embedded in one sleeve that ricochets off the dash during the touch up.

Finn was in the market for this model. (Hopefully new)

“Where are we going first?” I ask everyone.  

Jess immediately says “Herman’s for my Adidas!”

“Wild Pair and G.Fox for my boots!” Darla chimes in.

“I don’t even care!” says Jax laughs “I’m just glad to be here!” ‘Here’- means being a free man, I assume.

I finally turn all the way around to look at him, without the added responsibility of driving. Jesus! Looks like Darla called it correctly- he’s such a fox! His eyes are ridiculously blue. I don’t think I’ve ever seen eyes that color before. Siberian Huskies would be envious of his eyes. His hair is dark blonde, with gold highlights. From nature, not frosting. It’s past his shoulders, and hangs softly across the side of his face when he moves, and he keeps pushing it back. He’s wearing a faded jeans jacket, which is not nearly warm enough in this biting February cold- but it’s probably what he was wearing when he got locked up. (I hope to hear about said ‘incident’ soon, and hope the word ‘felony’ isn’t involved. Not that it’s a deal-breaker)

“Maybe I should go to Command  Performance to get my hair cut?” Jax says.

Now, now people!!- let’s not get crazy and rush into anything as rash as a haircut! I  blurt out “Noooooo!” a little too loudly and much too enthusiastically.

All three of them shoot me a look.

“What I mean is- don’t let them mess up your hair- like- you know…sometimes…..it’s just that….” I’m doing a shabby job of back-pedaling. Luckily, Darla comes to my rescue.

“Lisa’s right! You should see what they did to my hair last year. I said, ‘cut off two inches’ and next thing you know I looked like Peter Pan!”

“Well….you can’t really blame Command Performance for that!” laughs Jess. 

“Shut up!” Darla growls. 

“Hey!” I say, while checking the front seat for my essentials: cigarettes, lighter, purse. “Did you ever think Jax might be hungry?”

I figure he’s been living on bread and water for the last however long- he’s been in the ‘Big House’. 

“Y’know? I kinda am!” Jax says, flashing an Ultra-Brite smile. Straight teeth. Bright and clean. Jesus Christ, I’m gonna faint.

“Then let’s go down to the Food Court first!” Jess says. ‘Get slices or something?”

We all nod in agreement. I grab the keys out of the ignition and say “Let’s book!” as Jess and I hop out, then hold up the front seats so Jax and Darla can climb out of the back. Jax asks me why the back doors don’t open, and I explain it’s because ‘they’re broken’. He leans down and peers at the door handle, then  tells me he works on cars, and might be able to fix them. Oh- really?! Then we’re face to face- he’s an or two taller than me, and looks great in his jeans and Nike swoosh sneakers. He could probably fix a lot of ‘things’ for me. har har.

It’s windy and cold, so we move quickly. Jess and Jax walk ahead of us- Darla waits up for me while I’m putting the keys in my purse. When I reach her she locks arms with me, smiling. She puts a gloved hand up to her face and says out of the side of her mouth” ‘Didn’t I tell you he was gorgeous?!’ I look at her with the intention of keeping a straight face, but I can’t and I just burst out laughing.

“Yeah…..okay. I’d have to admit you were right about this one!” 

“Haaa!” Darla yells “He IS A BABE!” loud enough that the guys turn around.

“Shhhh!” I say, giving her the wide-eyed, ‘shut the freak up’ look. Like we’re in fifth grade

“Nothing!” I shout, and motion Jax and Jess to keep going with a sweeping motion of my hands. They continue on.

“Just look at that ass!” says Darla in a muffled voice.

I lightly punch her in the arm, and laugh. A car starts to back out of a space we’re walking by and almost hits us, before slamming on the brakes.

“Heeey!” Darla bellows, pumping her fist in the air. Sometimes her voice comes in handy. Both the car and us completely halt. When we’re sure we’re not going to get plowed down, we scoot by quickly.

“What a stunn-odd” I say, in a fake Italian accent, imitating my father from way back.

“Killers on the road!” sings Darla, singing a snippet from a Doors song . 

Ah, the ambiance of an 80’s Mall!

Once inside the mall, we walk directly to the escalator and head downstairs. We walk down the moving stairs, gliding towards the bottom. No way are we going to just stand there like lummoxes. Only old, lazy and majorly uncool people do that!

The food court is at the bottom. We walk to the pizza place, and order a Budweiser and a slice each. We get carded as usual. We’re all of age, and are put out at being forced to prove it. We take our beers in plastic cups and our slices on paper plates and find a table. Jax pulls out a chair for me, and one for Darla.

“Ladies” he says, indicating the chairs. We’re so flattered we start giggling.

Jess can’t help himself:

“Those are NO ladies!” he says, guffawing. I roll my eyes.

Darla scowls: “Y’know-you should try being nice and polite like that sometime!” shaking her head.

“I will, when I find a lady!” he shoots back.

“Thanks!” I say, in my low, dejected voice.

“Not you!” Jess insists, reaching out and squeezing my shoulder. Jax is looking at all of us like: ‘what’d I do?”

“Just EAT!” Jess commands, and we all bite into our slices.

C’mon kids! Get a good one!

When we’re done, we map out our store-hopping plan, while Darla and I reapply our lipstick. First, the bookstore-B.Daltons. I’m the only one who wants to go there, so I tell them that they have rock magazines, and that I’ll just skim the shelves. (Suckers!) Next, Herman’s for Jess’s sneakers. Karl Graf’s after that. Plus, anywhere that sells dance-wear. We stand up, deposit our empty cups and plates into the trash and start walking towards the bookstore.

Suddenly we hear “Jax! Jax!” in a sing-song voice. A dark haired girl, who looks to be still in high school, comes jogging out of the Fabric Tree, arms spread and heading straight for Jax. She jumps into his arms, they laugh and he’s beaming. Or maybe that’s his normal smile and I’m just vaguely jealous. Awww. They make such a cute couple. (I hate cute couples)

We stand there for a minute, waiting, but Jess isn’t having it.

“Meet us at Herman’s!” he shouts, and Jax gives him the thumbs up, while the girl jumps  around him like a high strung pocketbook dog. When I turn around a minute later, she’s leading him by the hand into her store. What’s she gonna do? Cut him a pattern? Show him some swatches?

 Now that Jax is gone, we can talk about him.

“Well, so much for him!” I say, laying the bait, hoping to get some inside info without seeming too interested. Jess doesn’t even care enough to comment.

“I want to go get my SHOES!” he says as we head towards the bookstore, and I do a sudden U-turn, saying “Oh, for God’s sake- let’s go get those EFFING sneakers, already!” Darla heaves a big sigh in my direction.

“Darla!” I snap,’It’s easier to just get it over with. It’s the only thing that will shut him up. Trust me!” Jess shakes his head up and down, wholeheartedly agreeing and says “That’s my girl!” and smiles sweetly at me.

He has a really nice face.

“You know you love me!” he says, as if reading my mind. Do I? Once again, I roll my eyes and laugh. 

Just get the damn shoes!

We go up the escalator, two steps at a time until we’re blocked by a ‘stander’, who’s old, lazy, and uncool. We find Jess’s sneakers at Herman’s, which cost $55.00 and include an ‘every sneaker in the place’ fashion show by him, at no extra charge. We next go to Wild Pair for Darla, but the only pair she wants are sold out of her size. Jess teases her about her big feet, but Darla points out that a lot of girls wear size 10, otherwise why would they be sold out? We are walking towards Karl Graf’s when we spot Jax heading our way-this time with three different girls, and no sign of the one from downstairs. Talk about a chick magnet (and I don’t play the harem game…too exhausting; impossible to win, my crush slowly begins to deflate)

We stop to ‘chat’. The girls, all dressed as Madonna lite, look Jess up and down, practically licking their lips. Since he loves attention, he automatically cranks his charm to ten, and the five of them are all about it. Meanwhile, Darla and I twiddle our thumbs. It’s a stand-off at Hickory Farms.


Picture three of these. This one’s trying to lure Finn in with her Adidas….

Jax steps to me and says thanks so much for the ride, but he’s going to catch a ride back home with these ‘friends’ of his. I say you’re welcome. He promises to let Jess know when I can bring my car to him so he can fix the locks.  Meanwhile, the three Madonnas work on talking Jess into going with them as well. You’re kidding me, I think. One thing about these girls- they have some pretty big ‘Ciccones’-if you get my drift. It’s beyond eye-rolling.

“Me and Darla are going to Graf’s!” I say, loudly, and we walk away. I have no interest in front row seats to the flirt festival.  I feel like I’ve been dumped, even though I was never picked up in the first place. I can’t believe I’ve been foiled by the mass-market appeal of freakin’ Madonna copycats! That’s so not rock’n’roll.

Luckily, we eye some long-haired babes in the crowd by the record store, which gives us hope- and  a reason to live after all.  


Jailbreak: Part 4

In The 80's on March 31, 2012 at 10:07 am

We head to the record store. We purposely act pre-occupied, as if we couldn’t be bothered. We saunter into the Trumbull Graf’s like it’s an afterthought- perhaps we ‘veered’ in by accident. (The long haired guys are no good up close- they’re ancient. Twenty-seven if they’re a day)

As we walk by the registers, towards the fields of records and cassettes,under banners of rock posters and hanging t-shirts, we sense we’re being checked out, and we know how to play the game. We make no eye contact, as we’re being tracked by at least a few male shoppers in our age group. We pay special attention to our movements, knowing we’re on display. I venture into the vast collection of records, which are divided by musical style, and in alphabetical order. I  head to ‘S’ to check out the Scorpions, and Saxon, just for Starters.

Darla is quickly caught in a web, and within a minute is flipping through the poster display with some guy who looks like the singer in The Cars. He’s wearing a horizontally striped black and white shirt, black jeans and sunglasses fit for the blind. I think he’s an employee. Blondie’s ‘Heart Of Glass’ is just ending, and the Police’s ‘Walking On The Moon’ begins. I can’t stand New Wave music, but I defend to death anyone else’s right to listen to it. Ok- maybe not defend to death, but I’d at least suffer through a slap or two. Maybe. I think.

I love the sight of album cover art in the afternoon…

I flip through the S’s and pull out some older Scorpions albums, mostly to be seen holding them, as I already own all of their stuff.

“Oh MY GOD! LOOK AT THAT ROCKER CHICK!” I hear someone yell loudly.

I look up.  Oh, brother! Literally. It’s my brother, Rob. He’s pointing right at me, and heading in my direction with his two sidekicks, Steven and Paul. He’s spinning his keys around on his index finger because he’s cocky, like he has the world by the tail. He’s wearing his black satin roadie jacket and fingerless driving gloves. His buddies are from the Norwalk High School Bears football team and are wearing their jerseys to prove it.

“What up, Sissie?” he says when we meet halfway. 

“What’s up with you?” I say, my standard response to the ‘what’s up’ question. Let them go first.

“We’re having a little soirée tonight at the Manor! Everyone’s gone till Wednesday!” he says, putting his keys in his jacket pocket and then rubbing his hands together. “You’re coming, right? Bring some beer!”

‘Everyone’ is my Dad, step-mother and two younger brothers. The Manor is our house- the place I used to live, before moving in with my mom. After the very dramatic Rich incident.

“Where are they?” I ask.

“Mount Snow. Brattleboro.”

Ah…skiing in Vermont.

“Well, good thing I saw you!” I say, ‘otherwise I wouldn’t have known” I say, enjoying the opportunity to act slighted.

“Oh, Annie!” he says, imitating my father, who calls me by my middle name “I already called Mom and gave her the message. You’ll see when you get home!” 

“Oh.” Guess I can’t argue with that.

‘Rock Lobster’ starts to play. Darla squeals. I look over to see she’s still full-on flirting with her new friend.  She’s doing a ridiculous dance holding her nose and shimmying up and down, her free hand wiggling in the air above her head.

Darla is one of those people who can be ‘into’ whatever music is trendy at the moment. I’m much more stubborn, and fight trends like they are cheap knock-offs sent from the Universe to annoy the crap out of me personally. Unless, of course- the trend appeals to me, and then I’m all in. I feel I’m more loyal, (and admittedly  superior)  staying true to one ‘scene’ (like I’m somehow more ‘real’) but others sometimes see it as being close minded. Either way- I’m getting tired of being bombarded with New Wave songs. I glance at the record store clerks working the registers, and note they are both wearing skinny ties. The New Wave isn’t going to end anytime soon, and even if it does- these guys wouldn’t play hard rock if you paid them double and put a gun to their heads. 

The Cars? Or C.A.M? (Clerks Against Metal)

“Are you getting anything here?” I ask my brother, ever interested in other people’s record store purchases.

Paul pipes up: “He’s getting the Debby Boone album!” We all laugh.

“I’m getting ‘2112’ actually…” Rob says.

“Whaaat? That’s so old! You already have that!” I say.

“Yeah, but I lost it on cassette, and I wanna listen to it in the car” he says. Rob’s big on steering wheel drumming and Neil Peart is his guy.

“Well….yeah, I always liked that album.” I admit, and then gift them with some tone-deaf ‘singing’: “We’ve been smokin’ Lebanon….” and then pantomime taking a hit off of a joint. Everyone smiles. (The actual lyrics are ‘Wreathed in smoke in Lebanon’ but none of us know that)

“Who are you here with?” my brother asks. I point to Darla.

“Oh, shit!” Rob gasps, “I think it’s time to go!”

Darla and my brother- much like Jess and Darla- have a love/hate relationship. Something about Darla rubs certain guys the wrong way- I don’t know if it’s because she’s loud and outspoken. It’s somewhat perplexing, because she’s an attractive girl, and -not to be weird- she has big boobs. Which seem to be a feature lots of guys approve of in a tunnel-vision kind of way.

“What time tonight?” I ask about the party.

Rob laughs. “We’re picking up a keg from Pathmark Liquor after we leave here- and I don’t know about anyone else- but the party starts then as far as I’m concerned!” 

Rambunctious energy ensues from the left.

“Roooooob! What are YOU doing here?”

Darla plows into our circle like a freight train, and practically topples my brother down while wrapping herself around him. She plants a kiss on his cheek, which Rob immediately wipes away.  He looks frightened. Me, Paul and Steve look at each other with wide eyes as if to say “What the hell?” Darla releases Rob and proceeds to fake-punch Steve and Paul “What are you JOCKS doing in here?!”-as if sports and music don’t mix.

Darla was a concussion risk.


Darla’s all hopped up. She squeezes my arm (ow!) and whispers “Oh my God! I just met such a babe! He asked for my number!” She hugs herself, childlike with giddiness.

My brother stands there, rubbing his arm, and gives me the split second ‘what the hell?’ eyes. I just shrug.

“Welp! we’re gonna get going now!” my brother announces.

“ALREADY?” Darla yells straight into my ear. I wince.

“See ya!’ I say with a quick eye roll and wave.

Rob and his boys walk towards the back of the store, and I confer with Darla as to  where we can go to buy bodysuits for the gym. We decide to go back to Norwalk, and check out Body Designs. I still haven’t decided whether or not I’ll tell Darla about Rob’s party. I might just want to go by myself so I can spend the night and not have to drive anyone home. We leave Graf’s and walk towards the exit. Darla tells me all about Mr. New Wave- his name is Glenn, he’s from East Haven, blah blah. He’s going to call her tonight. They might go see the Talking Heads in concert. To me, it sounds like torture.


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