human, being


Bad boyfriends: Jimmy
April 22, 2009, 12:20 am
Filed under: bad boyfriends | Tags: , , ,

I’ve decided to write a series of blogs about my past bad boyfriends. There have been quite a few. This blog is the first in a series of at least three.

In the time between my divorce and meeting Steve, I had two relationships and a few affairs. Both of the relationships were my way of figuring out who I was and who I wanted to be … and also who I didn’t want to be. I got to be the girlfriend of a musician, and the girlfriend of a crazy artist.

The musician was married, although his wife lives in South America. He’s a drummer. He had gone to federal prison for selling drugs. I had never dated a bad boy before, at least no one as bad as Jimmy. But Jimmy was also a sweetheart, quite a gentle soul unless he got pissed off. He never got pissed at me, thank goodness.

Jimmy and I had instant chemistry the second we met online. Right time, right place. I didn’t want to be tied down and he couldn’t be tied down. We had a lot of fun in the five months we dated. I went to hear him play. I listened to his crazy stories. We ate sushi, a lot of sushi, because he was a vegetarian and if I ate meat, he’d smell it on me, which meant no kissing and no sex.We went to a Broncos game, and he met my parents (boy that was fun to shock them). We went to the Renaissance Festival, where he got pulled on the stage during the Puke and Snot show and stole the show (and I got called out of the audience as his “wife”). We had a great time, a ton of fun, despite our age difference (he’s 14 years older than me, although he lied at first and said he was my age), despite our differences in backgrounds, despite all the circumstances in our lives that could have otherwise bummed us out.

Once, on the way to a gig in Winter Park, he pulled over on the shoulder of Berthoud Pass to climb up the retaining wall and pick me some lovely blue wild flowers. He bought me a socket wrench set as a housewarming gift. He installed a new outlet in my basement. He met Lauren twice, and each time brought her a toy. He was always sending me recommendations for good music. My favorites: Jon Cleary and the Monsters, Eva Cassidy and Storyville.

Jimmy helped me break away from my marriage. I was so raw, so devastated, so needy. I was broken, but he was too. I was too toxic for anyone whole, and he liked me enough that it didn’t matter to him. I didn’t really talk to him about my ex, because we didn’t have that kind of relationship. We could talk about pretty much everything else, though. And that felt good. At that time, I needed to be seen, and to be held. I was with him the day my divorce was final. I was with him the day I bought my house. I was with him from May to October, when he went to South America to visit his wife and children. We tried to stay in touch by phone and email during the six weeks he was gone, but when he was with her, it felt like cheating to both of us. When he came back, I broke it off. I missed him, but I had to do it.

I was still living with my parents for most of the time I was with him, so we’d hang out at Laurel’s, usually in her guest bedroom. I knew I was moving forward because I was finally able to write again, being with him. In fact, I wrote lyrics to a song for him, and that song is being shopped around Nashville right now by my birth father.

he’s the night

when the sun’s sinking west to the mountains
and the new evening’s breath starts to cool the day
he comes into my mind like a shadow
and he quietly snatches my breath away

I don’t know what I’m getting me into
I can’t see the direction he’s taking me
not the boy you’d take home to your momma
not the man you’d imagine on bended knee

he’s the night and his darkness absorbs me
he’s the moon and he pulls me against my tide
he’s the howl of the hungry, wayward wind
he’s the tender desire I’ve denied

… there’s more, but given the thieves on the Internet, that’s all you get.

(Funny aside, my birthfather, who is a devout Christian, tried to edit the lyrics to make them about Jesus. Seriously.)

Jimmy’s the one who asked me to take salsa lessons, something that has been a great joy in my life since that first class. He’s the first guy I was with after my husband, after a long, long drought, and he made me remember that sex is fun! And feels great! He was my Bad Boy Relationship, the one you need to have but you should let go of quickly.

When I broke it off with him, I was sad, because he had become my friend.

Jimmy made me feel good, but he also made me feel bad. He wanted me to lose weight and told me so. sometimes not so nicely. He wanted me to grow my hair out. He wanted to change me. He wanted me to be exclusive to him, although he wouldn’t make the same commitment to me. He wouldn’t tell me how he felt about me, even though I could tell he cared about me. I know now that he’s just not that guy. But back then, I needed to hear that more than anything. I needed to know, after my ex told me he didn’t love me anymore, that someone else could love me.

Our last real day together, we went to Wahoo’s Fish Taco before I took him to the airport. There,  I asked him, terrified, how he felt about me. He hemmed and hawed. He dodged the question. When I asked him, finally, with my stomach in my throat whether he loved me, he said, “Of course I love you. How could I not love you?” I remember feeling great relief and great confusion. Because if he loved me, we should be together. But we couldn’t be. And we shouldn’t be. I knew he wasn’t long-term material, even if he weren’t married. The stress of sneaking around made me feel even worse. It became unbearable.

I still talk to Jimmy from time to time. He plays gigs in Denver, and every so often he’ll call me and ask if I’ll stop by. I haven’t had a chance to yet, but I would love to see him again. In so many ways, he helped me put my feet on the road to where I am now, and to who I am now. He helped me redefine myself, and for that, I’ll always be grateful.

Next: the crazy artist/addict

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