Skip to main content

Jimmy, Jimmy

13 Years Old

We met one day in a drug store. The person I was with knew the person he was with. We stood uncomfortable for a few minutes, before we started to talk
Jimmy was Italian and tall, with a scrubbed clean face. He had thick hands and thick shoulders. He also had a cute curly mop of hair and dimpled cheeks when he smiled.
I found out from Jimmy he was 16, lived in a town close by and he had a car.
Jimmy found out from me if I would like to go to the movies with him.
I thought he was beautiful. I said yes.
And we went to the movies. We said good-bye after and I did not think I would be seeing Jimmy anytime soon.

But I did see Jimmy again. The next day. We hung out for the afternoon. We said good-bye.
That night my phone rang. Jimmy had found out my phone number all by himself.
It was unlisted.
So, Jimmy and I started dating.

He always had somewhere he wanted to go. We went to the movies again, to the beach, to parks. He took me to meet his parents.
He came roller skating with me and followed me to all my friend's houses.
One day walking into the mall with a friend, she looked at me and said "Your boyfriend has the cutest ass ever."
He did.

I told my mother about Jimmy. She said no when she found out he drove.
So I just lied about where I was going all the time.

Tammy knew a Madonna song. She played it for me and we giggled.
Tammy loved to dance. She said we should make up moves for the song.
So, we did.
And I tried to do the things she could.
For reasons I still do not know, we performed this little number for him the next day.
I have known all my life I can't dance, so I am pretty sure I did not look cute, but Tammy and I danced that whole song.
And then that boy kissed me.
And Boy, could that boy kiss.
Tammy started dating Jimmy's younger brother that night.
Jimmy gave me his bracelet that night.
It was huge and heavy on my wrist. His name was engraved in it. He wanted to meet my mother. I told him he could not.

Jimmy had the biggest boat of a car. It was old. From the 1960's. It was the pukiest of greens with a metallic glint through out the paint job. Which was original. He was proud of his car. There was no rust on it. It had taken him a few months to find another car like it to replace one of the puke green seats. It was a convertible.
I remember being in the car one sunny fall day, the top down with friends crammed in the backseat. We were on back country roads. Jimmy had to drop off something to his uncle's house.
He parked in the driveway of the little tan brick home and went inside.
I decided it was time to know what it was like to sit behind the wheel of a car. I slid into his seat, looking at all the buttons and switches and pedals. I turned and asked a few questions to one of the guys in the backseat.
Then I pretended I could drive.
The guy told me I could even press the gas pedal if I wanted since the car was off.
So, I did.
I slid back over when Jimmy came out of the house. He slid in and the car would not start.
He was not happy. He glared at me.
He said I had flooded his car pressing the gas pedal!
"Flooded it with what?" I asked.
He looked at me. "Gas!" he yelled.
I looked at him. "Jimmy, I do not even know what kind of car this is."
And we laughed.
Then the car started and we drove away.

Jimmy took me to a dance at his school. He drove me home and we parked in the dark, grassy alley behind my house. And made-out for an hour. His large, thick hands covering my breasts overtop of my clothing.
I walked into my house and my mother grounded me for being out with that boy again. She had seen me. She reminded me I was not allowed to see him.

Jimmy and I continued to see each other. A few weeks later he was in a freak accident in his own driveway and totaled his car. I found out while I was at Tammy's house. Jimmy was okay.
Tammy put on Leader Of The Pack. She said we should make up a new dance. We laughed, rolling on her bed, but never did.
Jimmy and I started to see less of each other.
He called one day and broke-up with me. He felt bad. We did not see each other often enough. He still had not met my mother. He told me I could keep his bracelet.

Tammy was going to see her boyfriend about a week later; when Jimmy was not going to be home, so I tagged along with her.
I went into his bedroom that day and I left his bracelet on his bed. Heavy silver chain against the background of his green blanket, closed in a perfect circle.

Jimmy and I saw each other plenty over the next few years before he went off to college. We always hung out for a few hours.
One time he asked if he could kiss me and I said no.
Another time he asked again and I said yes.
Jimmy slobbered.

Jimmy never ended up being love lost for me, but I have fond memories of the time we spent together.
I saw him two years ago. He had gotten pretty thick around the middle.


Jennifer said…
As I was reading this story I couldn't help but wonder if you have somehow read my past! When I was exactly 13 years old. Just change the name of the boy and take away the car.
Queenie said…
Sometimes I used to wish Jimmy had a motorcycle instead of a car. THAT would have really bugged my mother.
Jimmy was a really nice guy.

Inanna said…
I don't have any memories like this. I was locked in the tower but if I close my eyes, I'm there with you Queenie.
cbeck said…
I think there's something about a guy with dimples. (I have dimples you know) ;)
Queenie said…
Is that so?

phoebe said…
this makes me so nostalgic, Q. in a really cozy way. thanks. Phoebe
Juner said…
I bought a car last fall - a 1977 Grand Prix - it was enormous! It was grey and red, and I always thought of Jimmy L. and his big green boat of a car almost every time I got into it! (Sigh) I always wondered what happened to him - I think he has a little boy with his wife now...

Popular posts from this blog


When I was in Ottawa, abandoned and enthralled,
breathing in the
heat waves shimmering off the people
and the cats
and that lazy raccoon that I later named Mondrian in my mind
after I saw my first one,
I did not look for you.
Nor in the malls, the halls,
the magazines, in the new towns,
or down the old roads,
on silver screens, between the book shelves, down on my knees
hands in the clover.
I took you for granted.
Oh hey.
There you are.

I know myself
Far, far, far more than I let on
I know what I am doing.

Love is such an easy word.
Besides, it's a given,
We can keep it there, easy, big, broad like the straight black painted lines, it's nice.
Effortless. Quiet. Assured.
So then, I guess that it is not the word.

Punks-Starting to Remember

Minnie is 14. She likes wearing bright red lipstick and getting high.
Right now, Tommy is arguing with her. "Vitto will be waiting for me then."
"He can wait longer," she tells him. "Tell him there was too many cops following you around or something."
"Yeah," Tommy says. "That might work. Vitto would believe that. Three different cops stopped me on the street this week."
"What?" Minnie almost shouted. "Oh, Tommy. They are on to you."
“No, they aren't."
But she knew. "For sure they are. Listen. Meet me outside the pool hall at 9:30. I'll havethe dope then, Tommy."
“No. I really should go see Vitto first.” He kisses her quickly on the forehead and then runs home to make himself some Kraft Dinner for supper.

When he walks in the front door, there is Momma with a bottle of whiskey tucked between her legs, her head rolled to the back of the couch, her mouth open.
"What the fuck, Momma?” Tomm…

Quiet Company

I've been sold, I've been sold, I've been sold, I'm being sold-out
It is torture but
I don't even care
Except to love you more, to love myself more
Those hot-burned tears for you as I rally to save my skin
wind down me and leave behind gold and green
and I don't stop looking
until I look upon you
What on earth...
I've been sold, I've been sold, I've been sold.
I'm being sold-out.

Sunlight filtering through cracks
in the sky
in the walls
fall across your skin
I fingerpaint across your chest
Every word
known to man
and found in you

Fresh snow
Our footprints mark us
You are here!
I am here!
We are here!
Turn your face upwards
Let falling snow rest on your eyelashes
(dream of me)
Let the white melt on your outstretched tongue

It's spring.
Just one word.

I'd sit across the hall
looking upwards until I saw the flicker; light on
Sit with you while your busy hands rolled over these plains, these fields
The stretches of nothing
(Look at…