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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Jim the perve*

When I was sixteen years old I got a job as a waitress in a retirement community (not to be confused with a nursing home, I always insisted).

This place was posh alright; rich retirees looking for a social life, aerobics classes, bingo night, golf outings, etc. It was called "The Springs" and was sold as the shiz in terms of old fogie living. The pictures on all the pamphlets showed young-at-heart-but-wrinkly models with perfect dentures laughing their way through their golden years. Included in the ridiculously priced rent was a "dining experience" where you had to sit in assigned seating with other old people you probably couldn't stand and where you could enjoy the luxury of a menu that rotated Salisbury steak, liver and onions, and chicken fried chicken again and again and again until you were begging to be euthanized by your family already.

My job was to serve these people liver and onions and Chablis wine and make sure their dining experience was everything the pamphlets had promised them it would be. Normally the old folk ate in silence. When they did speak, they shouted at each other because nobody could hear a fucking thing.

There were two dinner sessions, one at 4:30 and one at 6:00 and each retiree was assigned to one depending on their preferences, but Jim came and sat down at 4:30, and sat straight through until the 6:00 hour when he would eat.

Nobody wanted to sit with Jim.

Jim was in his late eighties, had sunken in blue eyes, no hair, dentures that on a good day he remembered to wear down to the dining room. He walked very very slowly with a cane but could be quick as lightening when his meatloaf didn't sit right in his stomach.

Every single time I passed by Jim's table he made a comment along the lines of:

"Shake that ass."
"Gimme someathat."
"Be a doll and sit on my lap."

It never ceased. But occasionally the comments were more aggressive, along the lines of:

"Get your ass over here, I'd fuck the shit out of you"

to which I would reply,
"Oh whatever Jim, as if you could even get it up anymore, and even if you could, I wouldn't go near your wrinkly ass."

(Keep in mind these were the days when Viagra was probably just the wet dream of some old pharmaceutical chemist at Pfizer).

On and on we would tease each other throughout my shift, three days per week.

Mind you, I am sixteen years old, but never did it once cross my mind that this was beyond inappropriate or that it might even teeter on sexual harassment. Jim was too old to give a shit about the fact that he might have been breaking some kind of rule, if indeed he ever had. The other waitresses stayed away from Jim, but I always sort of egged him on.

Once a month I would pick Jim up in my little Toyota Corolla and I would drive him literally next door to the Native New Yorker for buffalo wings and I let him introduce me as his girlfriend, but the waitress who knew him by name always gave me a knowing wink. I would order alcoholic drinks and they wouldn't card me.

Sometimes I would let Jim put his hand on my knee for a few seconds before accusing him of being a perve and shoving it away. Then he would accuse me of not knowing how to have fun with my own body.

When Jim wasn't being a sick fuck he was kind and concerned about my schooling and my future and he gave me advice and told me stories about his children who he hadn't seen or spoken to in years.

He would bring me pictures -- proof -- from when he young and beautiful and in the Navy. He showed me these pictures as evidence that at one point in his life it was he who was the object of the gazes of the sexually deprived. He brought pictures of himself holding babies, proof that at one point he was loved by his children.

He must have looked at me in my teenage glory and thought about the cruelty of life being without second chances. Maybe he thought about all of the social conventions he had followed that got him nothing but a wrinkly face and a useless body and a Salisbury steak on Tuesday nights. Maybe he thought about the many women he had fucked when he was in the Navy or maybe he thought about all the women he would like to have fucked and didn't. Maybe he remembered his daughter and how he had made a butchery out of fatherhood.

When I graduated from high school I tried not to forget about Jim, despite having the life of a typical 18 year old that had since moved on to better things than waiting tables at an old folks home. I'd stop by every now and then but soon he had changed. He had stopped teasing me and some days he thought I was someone else, maybe his daughter.

Then one day I came to visit and Jim didn't live there anymore.

Or anywhere.

Poor Jim.


By the way, has everyone had problems subscribing to my feed? From what I can see everything is okay in my feedburner and it says 8 people are subscribed, but commentluv can't find my feed and a few other say they are having problems. Can anyone help my ignorant ass?

*Key's post reminded me of this.

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Anonymous May 5, 2009 at 5:21 PM  

Isn't funny how at 16 we're so worldy, yet naive at the same time?

Anonymous May 5, 2009 at 5:22 PM  

Shit..Isn't IT funny...

Denise May 5, 2009 at 6:26 PM  

Hope you took a leaf out of his book for later life, whether it be to avoid salisbury steak (what's that? Sounds nasty) or to harass sexy youngsters with abandon. I, personally, am looking forward to being flamboyant and possibly embarrassing in my old age.

~Mountain Lover~ May 5, 2009 at 7:22 PM  

The crankiest, most obnoxious, dirty old mother fuckers have a way of leaving a huge print on the world-good or bad. But we always remember them. Another beautiful post, Blues!

I had problems when I tried to subscribe through the browser, but when I did it through your tab, it worked fine. I don't usually subscribe to comments though. I'd NEVER work!

maggie, dammit May 6, 2009 at 6:06 AM  

Awesome story.

I was crazyharassed as a 16-yr-old waitress, both by customers and by my BOSS, yet it never occurred to me it was inappropriate. Basically, yeah, what hereinfranklin said. (and I hope I have half the piss and vinegar that old man had when I get there.)

I LOVE YOUR HEADER. It is stunning.

and I'm one of the people having trouble subscribing to your feed. But I'm also having trouble with my own feeds and Feedburner, so I think they are having issues on their end. And, since Google bought Feedburner? They eliminated the 'contact support' page. Fucking bitches.

SO happy to see you here, love.

neil wykes May 6, 2009 at 9:19 AM  

You got fantastic at taking the readers on a journey.
How's that done?

Loved reading it

Subscribing from the tab like link works fine, but it's the link from the browser in the address bar that doesn't seem to work. Not really sure how you did that except possibility there's a problem with the url to the RSS either in your XHTML / XML or in the redirect URL in your blog settings. Just check they are both correct, or at least the same as the URL you have linked to the tab

neil wykes May 6, 2009 at 9:19 AM  

You got fantastic at taking the readers on a journey.
How's that done?

Loved reading it

Subscribing from the tab like link works fine, but it's the link from the browser in the address bar that doesn't seem to work. Not really sure how you did that except possibility there's a problem with the url to the RSS either in your XHTML / XML or in the redirect URL in your blog settings. Just check they are both correct, or at least the same as the URL you have linked to the tab

Mongoliangirl May 6, 2009 at 9:26 AM  

Oh Blues...I love this post.
I'm glad you figured things out with Jim and did not forget him.

Blues May 6, 2009 at 10:01 AM  

@Hereinfranklin - I know, looking back I felt fully aware of everything I have written about here.

@Denise - I'll definitely take a little of Jim with me into my old age, but I hope I don't die alone like he did.

@Mountainlover - They sure do. I kind of think maybe he acted the way he did to ensure that he wouldn't be forgotten. If he did, it worked.

@Maggie - thanks girl for the sweet words. Yeah, I'll have to do another post on experiences with my bosses.

@Neil, thank you for the compliments and for the feeder tips. By the way, you know well how it's done.

@Mongoliangirl - it's funny, I almost had forgotten until Key wrote that post about working at the nursing home and it made me recall him and I can't get him out of my mind now, so many memories have come back, so I felt I owed it to him to tell his story a bit, or my story of him. To be honest I never really learned his story or why he was alone. I just assumed.

ghost of keywork May 6, 2009 at 10:14 AM  

Thanks for the nod, Blues. This was beautifully written.

Blues May 6, 2009 at 11:58 AM  

@Key - to you for the idea. Seriously I had forgotten all about that dude until your post.

formerly fun May 6, 2009 at 2:40 PM  

I have had only one one-night stand in my life. It was on the eve of my cross country move. He was hot, dumb and it involved nearly an entire bottle of Wesson oil.

I know some day(god willing) I will be sitting in my wheel chair peeing myself, but hopefully I will be able to look back, smile a little(the nurses will think I am thinking about my grandkids) and remember Wesson Oil Guy and think to wrinkly old self, yeah, I was a bad girl back in the day, good times, good times.

Loved this and yes, I am not getting your feed. Wah!

ghost of keywork May 6, 2009 at 2:45 PM  

I'm sorry, FF, but I think I'm going to need to hear that story in more detail. Wesson Oil?

Dirty Pirate Hooker May 6, 2009 at 8:52 PM  

Omfg, Jim is ME in 50 years. Kill me now, please! "Look, I used to be hot! Let me take my dentures out and I'll give you the best dick sucking of your life. Stop running! People used to PAY for the hooker poon"

A Free Man May 7, 2009 at 3:17 AM  

Fuck sexual harassment, that's just you exhibiting some human kindness. I hope when I'm an old impotent perve that there's someone around to do the same.

No probs with your feed from my end.

Gypsy May 7, 2009 at 8:02 AM  

OMG, looklooklooklooklook! Your new blog! I'm totally out of the loop and haven't even read your damn posts yet, but look! New blog!

If you couldn't tell, I'm happy about this. Now, must catch up.

Ellie May 7, 2009 at 9:18 AM  

Insert Gypsy's sentiments here.


You've reminded me of a not-so innocuous perv during my waitressing days. I'll put it in a post and send you the credit. x, e

Blues May 7, 2009 at 10:37 AM  

FF - look at you, you're such a tease. I expect a post on this pronto.

@DPH - Oh my god, you should just get rid of your teeth now, make your fiance a happy man.

@Afreeman - well, shit, I hadn't thought about the harassment on MY end, I always thought I was the one being mildly harassed, but I guess Jim was in the weaker position in this siuation.

@Gypsy - yeah, Gypsy approved, whew. I was worried you might not have gotten my email.

@Ellie - I'm glad you showed up. I'll hold you to that post.

Gypsy May 7, 2009 at 11:05 AM  

Blues, I DIDN'T get your email. I saw your comment on Rassles and came over. I was really feeling neglected, to tell you the truth.

Not Afraid to Use It May 7, 2009 at 9:05 PM  

I do not want to end up of one of those people who need those photos as proof of a life well-lived. Not now, not in the future. I have been given second chances when I believed I was not worthy. I took those chances and make the best of them now. Sure, I am living in rental hell with mice, a husband I rarely see and kids who drive me crazy but they are my family. And I am blessed to have them.

Blues May 9, 2009 at 1:35 PM  

@Gypsy - I'd never neglect you.

@NATUI - everything you just said, really everything, that's me.

Captain Steve May 10, 2009 at 7:04 PM  

My gramma used to call herself a CW and a BW, which, of course, meant crotch watcher and butt watcher. Since she was hard of hearing, she'd discuss how attractive the doctors were whenever she went in for her visits. When I get old, I'm gonna be just like my gramma and Jim, because damnit, you gotta have fun in your old age.

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