WE ALL HAD A CRUSH
‘If he was chocolate, he’d eat hisself.’ That’s what Susie used to say, and she’d sneer when she said it and spit in the dirt like a boy, and we’d all nod and say, ‘Fuck, she’s right’.
The way Jamie was always tending his hair and he kept a metal comb in his back pocket and he drew it forth like he was pulling a gun on you, and he’d run that comb through his hair, even when the wind was blowing and there ain’t no sense in that. And he was always looking at hisself in the windows of shops or the shiny hubcaps of cars. And he had a way of standing that was real posed, as if he’d rehearsed it in front of a mirror at home.
‘Ain’t no use loving a boy like that, cos he’s your biggest competition and he never loses.’
But we did love him in spite of Susie’s warnings. All of us loved him and we took that love home with us and slept with it and held our pillows like we was holding Jamie and pillows don’t ever hold you back so it was something the same.
Even Susie, and she touched herself beneath her nightdress sometimes, making believe it was him, and I knows that cos I slept over one night and, when she was all breathless and moaning in the dark, I asked her if she was ok and she cried and she called Jamie a bastard and she explained what she’d been about. I had to promise first, not to tell no-one.
Pa said as how he’d come to a bad end, Jamie would. He said he was too pretty by half not to. He was right, too. There was boys and men who cussed in his shadow for the way girls looked at him. And Mrs Brewster, she cussed too, but that was on account of something else, something they’d done together in her backroom, Mrs Brewster and Jamie. And Mr Brewster had caught ‘em together and he put a bullet in the air above the bed and said as how the next’d be right in Jamie’s middle if ever he was about the place again.
I swear there was a swagger to Jamie’s step after that, not seeing the wrong that he done, just thinking he was more man than boy. Still we loved him and Pam got a picture of him sitting up against a car outside Marty’s bar and he had a cigarette hanging from his lip and not a hair out of place and he was wearing that shirt with the blue paisley pattern, and in that picture he looked so chocolatey I’d have eaten him.
He’s married now. Years have passed. Got two kids in school and a job shoveling sand. He’s thicker about the middle and he’s losing his hair. He don’t smile like he used to and that’s cos Jamie the man’s got fewer teeth than Jamie the boy, and that’s cos he’s always getting beat up when he’s a drink in him and the men of the town they feel a lot better now he ain’t so pretty.
I bought that picture off Pam for twenty bucks that I stole from Pa and me and Susie we sits some days and we passes that picture back and forth and we laugh remembering how it was once and she puts her hand down there and pretends like she’s close to coming and that makes us laugh all the more.
→Thanks to my cyber writing friend Lindsay for letting me share this with you! Hope you dug it. For more, visit “Just a Writer’s Page.”-PMc←