“When I was young I used to wait, on the master and hand him his plate, Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care, Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care.” American Folk Song
One morning my friend Jimmy, who had moved to Florida, slept in while his girlfriend Lynn let her dogs out. She has a big house, and since it is her own house and home, she was walking around naked. After she let the dogs back in she started brewing coffee, and the next thing she knew she heard a sound from the back of the house.
It wasn’t the dogs, although that’s where they were. She tiptoed to the back, peeked around a corner, and saw Jimmy’s dad stretched out on a couch with the dogs. Jimmy’s dad thinks he is Lynn’s boyfriend, even though he is in his 80s.
He got divorced because he thought he had a chance with Lynn. Holy crap! It’s a really sad situation.
She ran upstairs and came back in a housecoat. Jimmy was with her. She pointed at his father.
“Dad, you can’t do that,” he said. “You can’t just come into the house. Lynn should be able to walk around her own home however she wants.”
Jimmy was trying to be nice to his dad, letting him know in a nice way not to be the old creepy guy. It was still creepy.
“It’s really hard doing that, kind of freaky,” said Jimmy when he called me later.
It’s not like Jimmy’s dad is her neighbor. Lynn’s house is in the middle of 54 acres. She has barns and horses and fields. She’s a polo woman. She’s not thinking anyone is going to be walking into her house the first thing in the morning.
“My dad’s still obsessing on my girlfriend,” said Jimmy.
His dad doesn’t think he has an obsession, but he tries to see Lynn every day. It’s like somebody trying to put ketchup on everything. It’s insane.
“Tell your dad to stop marking his territory,” I said.
Everyone in the neighborhood thinks Jimmy’s dad divorced his second wife because he screwed Lynn. It’s a mess. His dad doesn’t even try to stop the talk because he’s proud of it, proud that people would think that, even though it probably never happened.
Jimmy’s plan was to move to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to get Lynn away from his father and away from the polo crowd. Lynn had wanted him to learn how to play polo, but Jimmy bought a dirt bike instead. He couldn’t get into the polo world. He wanted Lynn to stop playing polo, anyway, and recover from her injuries, and quit drinking, too.
This is from somebody who is a many times over recovering addict. One of his famous lines is, “I just threw up in my mouth.”
Even though Jimmy thought moving to New Mexico would fix all their problems, it didn’t. He’s a very controlling person. He and I once dated, but it didn’t work out because he’s so controlling, I’m controlling, and two controlling people just don’t and can’t go together. They can’t control themselves.
He thought Lynn should listen to everything he said and do everything he told her to do. He wanted her to take his advice because he knows everything and everyone else knows nothing.
“They’re all stupid,” he says.
A lot of what he told her was about what to do with her money, which she has a lot of, and which is all hers. She talked to her lawyer about Jimmy’s advice.
“No, don’t do that,” her lawyer said. “Don’t listen to that guy.” She followed her lawyer’s advice.
Jimmy threw a tantrum.
“You don’t want to listen to me, fuck you, I’m out of here,” he said, and stormed out.
The storming got Lynn down and she finally called Jimmy.
“I miss you,” she said “You’re right, I should have done everything you said.”
He ran right back to her.
“OK,” he said. “We can be boyfriend and girlfriend again because you’re going to do what I told you to do.”
They got back together, although when I heard about it I thought, how long is that going to last? Someone once said a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle. I could see Jimmy riding off into the sunset sooner rather than later.
They were in New Mexico then, but decided to move back to Florida, to her big house and her horses.
She bought him a pick-up truck. His was a piece of crap. He said he needed something nice. She had it put in her name because Jimmy has problems with the law, with banks, with responsibility. He paid her monthly for the truck. Even when they broke up again he kept making payments to her. He loves that truck.
Even though they had gotten back together, they fought all the time. It wasn’t long before they got into a big fight.
They fight, he decides, “Fuck it!” and takes off for the weekend. She spends the whole weekend trying to get a hold of him. He gets his high on, his drinking, gets his crack on, does whatever he needs to do, and finally calls her on Sunday night.
“I’m coming back,” he said.
“All right,” she said.
He drives back Monday morning, drives up the long driveway, parks his pick-up, and goes in the front door of the house.
“Hi,” said Lynn.
“Hi,” said Jimmy.
“I just want you to know,” said Lynn, “when I saw you pulling up I called and the cops will be here in a couple of minutes.”
“You called the cops?”
“Yes,” she said.
“You know they could put me back in prison, don’t you, put me there for a long time,” he said.
“My lawyer told me to.”
“Your lawyer, who the fuck is he, what does he know?”
“I’m sorry,” said Lynn.
“Sorry, like you can take it back?”
Jimmy turned his back on her, ran out the door to his truck, just in time to see a police car pull up.
Click here to see more writing between fiction and non-fiction by Ed Staskus.