Ode to Jimmy

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2015 Barrett Winner

1st Place Genee Williams

Let me tell you a story about Jimmy, I watched over the years his evolution and I acted in a few scenes of his play. I watched people scurry away, as if they were running from the funk of a skunk, leaving only me there to say,

“Hey Jimmy, how the hell you been?”

I could not participate in the mass exodus, Jimmy was my neighbor possibly my friend.

I used to be sitting on the porch and there would come Jimmy pimp walking down the street. Fine ass Jimmy, dark hair, sparkling green eyes, with a smile as bright as sun rays and a conversation that could make a girl want to take her panties off. The devil in me couldn’t let Jimmy, golden tanned Jimmy just walk by waving Hi.

I said, “Come here, Jimmy. Do you know who got the weed?”

Jimmy said “You know I do.”

“Wait up Jimmy I’m coming with you.”

I grabbed some cash and we were on our way to catch a buzz up on the hill under the shade of an old tree. We laid back against the tree and created a cloud of smoke. We talked about something, then talked about nothing, under the influence, minds hazy. Then he went his way and I went mine. I looked back at Jimmy pimp walking away hoping he would get what he was trying to find.

The next time I saw Jimmy it was at the store. Jimmy was standing next to the wall drinking Mad Dog 20/20 wine. Before I could go into the store,

He said, “Come here girl.”

I went to see what Jimmy wanted. Fine ass Jimmy, dark hair sparkling green eyes, with a smile as bright as sun rays and a conversation that could make a girl want to take her panties off. I got what I needed from the store and we started on our way to sit up on the hill under the shade of an old tree. We laid back against the tree and Jimmy passed the Mad Dog 20/20 wine to me. We had a drunken debate about relationships and realized that we had a lot in common. We both were disappointments to our families. We both skipped school, got drunk, got high, and rebelled against our family’s disapproval. We agreed that our families didn’t love us and thought we were crazy. We both were emotional yet refused to cry. Then Jimmy went his way and I went mine. I looked back at Jimmy pimp walking away, hoping he would get what he was trying to find.

One day the phone rang, it was Jimmy,

He said, “You know there’s a block party on Ruth St. today. Think you can hang?”

I said, “Yeah”,

Hung up the phone, got in the shower, got dressed in an hour and started on my way. When I arrived the party was jumping. I waved to Jimmy he stopped dancing and came over to where I stood and started dancing with me. We danced until we were tired, sweaty and out of breath. Then Jimmy said, “Come on let’s get some cold beers before we go.” Then we were on our way to sit up on the hill, under the shade of an old tree. We laid back against the tree and Jimmy passed me a beer, then Jimmy spoke about his philosophy.

He said, “I feel that at the very least, we all should be free to be who we be.”

At that we laughed and we continued to laugh until the beer was gone. Then Jimmy went his way and I went mine. I looked back at Jimmy pimp walking away, hoping he would get what he was trying to find.

I hadn’t seen Jimmy for a long time, then one day Jimmy called and said,

“Where you at girl? I’ll come wherever you at.”

I said, “At home”,

and he was there just like that. Fine ass, Jimmy, dark hair sparkling green eyes, with a smile as bright as sun rays and a conversation that could make a girl want to take her panties off. Then we were on our way to sit on up the hill under the shade of an old tree to enjoy the goodies in the cooler Jimmy pulled behind. We laid back against the tree and Jimmy poured cups of gin, juice with ice and it really did taste nice. Jimmy began to roll the weed and added something crumbly and white.

I said, “What is that Jimmy?”

Then Jimmy replied “Rock cocaine; it will increase our high.”

I said, “I don’t know about this Jimmy, this stuff is supposed to be real bad.”

“Come on girl try it. It will be the best high you ever had.”

I tried the laced weed and it was like he said. Jimmy looked at me in a way he hadn’t before. I started to wonder what was wrong, but didn’t say a word.

Jimmy said “Girl we have been hanging together a long time, now I want to know if you will be mine?”

I sat there looking and no words would come out. Jimmy kissed me and there was no longer any doubt that I would be his. Then Jimmy went his way and I went mine. I looked back at Jimmy riding down the street hoping that I was what he was trying to find.

One day Jimmy picked me up and we went to sit up on the hill under the shade of an old tree to watch the sun go down.

Then Jimmy said” Let’s go, I got an apartment.”

We left and went to his apartment. We sat back on the couch and started smoking weed. Jimmy laid out some white powder on a plate on the table and made some lines. He rolled up a dollar and sucked them up his nose and ran some drops of water down behind.

He said, “Try a line. There’s nothing like it girl”

So I tried one and I didn’t want any more. I cuddled up with Jimmy to watch TV that was the day when Jimmy first made love to me. When Jimmy took me home he said he wished that I could have stayed. Then Jimmy went his way and I went mine. I looked back at Jimmy riding down the street hoping that I was what he was trying to find.

Mostly, I only saw Jimmy at work. One day he came over to take me home with him. I cuddled up next to Jimmy for some friction and heat, afterwards I fell asleep. I woke up to a funky smell. I went to the back looked,

I said, “Really Jimmy crack.”

He said, “Try it girl. It ain’t as bad as they say.

“No I ain’t gon be no crack head and you shouldn’t want to be one either. Please stop this Jimmy. This crack will bring you down.

“Don’t worry I won’t get hooked.”

“Jimmy, I’m pregnant.”

The announcement of my pregnancy shocked Jimmy and seemed to blow his high he responded back with this reply,

“I ain’t ready to be no daddy girl. Can we fix this situation? How far along are you?”

“Are you suggesting that I get an abortion?”

He nodded his head. Then Jimmy went his way and I went mine. I looked back at Jimmy riding down the street hoping that I was what he was trying to find.

I went to sit up on the hill under the shade of an old tree to give the situation some thought. My mind worked overtime trying to find a solution. If I stay with Jimmy, I can’t have my baby. I want my baby and Jimmy. I came to terms with the fact that if I had the baby Jimmy would go his way and I would have to go mine but I would still hope that Jimmy would get what he was trying to find.

I had the baby. Jimmy had his addiction. Poor Jimmy, he had become so scandalous using crack that people didn’t want to be around him and when he came around they quickly went the other way. I didn’t bother Jimmy about anything concerning our son. He had told me that he didn’t want any responsibilities. So as for me, I chose to respect his philosophy and at the very least I let Jimmy feel free to be who he be.