"That little feller reminds me of me, when I was his age," he says, and I know he's talking--at least in part--about the weight, but he adds: "I remember Mom cutting my hair from under a bowl she'd stuck on my head."
I've thought many times, over the years: I would've loved Jimmy as a little boy; I know I would've.
He was 23 (almost or freshly) when I met him but still very much a boy: no pot to piss in. He borrowed money from one of buddies to buy me two roses. He had a box of sidewalk chalk, a box of Snow White Valentines like what little girls swap with their friends, pumpkin-carving skills. He gave me the up-n-down in class and didn't care a bit to bellow his love for me across the commons.
I played him hard, and finally he took off for Disney World. He didn't come back to me for a dozen years; I'm not even kidding you.
When he came back, at last, he came back a man.
Lately, though (as he loses weight rapidly), I've seen glimpses of the boy again. Overall, I can't say I've been terribly amused: probably because I can't even locate my inner girl at the moment. She might be lost in a pile of dirty laundry, or she might be trapped behind this guy:
Not sure, but I find: I don't really want Jim out of my sight. I leaned across the bar, last night, and told him: "I'm always afraid you won't come back. Or that you won't want to."
I listened from bed, this morning, to his doling out vitamins and juice to the girls (who sound, afar, just like Minnie Mouse). He climbed the stairs, crawled in beside, and said: "They're watching cartoons, but you've only got about ten minutes before they get into some craziness."
I laughed, assured him I was awake before pulling him close and breathing him (fresh from the shower) in. I asked him to stay, but he had a meeting, so I listened to his goodbyes with the girls, also to the squeak and click of the door.
And I wonder if he understands how much of me he takes with him, when he goes, how he is the axis upon which I (big and round as a library globe) spin.
**My thanks to Amber Haines for the prompt. Pleased to share with her and her community.