When I get to Jimmy’s house, what I found was a big, big mess – and when I say “big”, I mean really big. He might not be exactly the tidiest man in the world, but he normally used to respect at least the minimum standards of hygeine. Well, at that moment his flat was completely invaded by a dense, stinking, grey toxic cloud of cigarette smoke, whose smell had fully impregnated all the ambient around. As soon as I entered the living-room I rushed to the windows and I opened them to freshen the stale air of the room, but even then the smoking smell had time enough to entirely impregnate my rope (my new, cool, quite expencive pull-the-birds clothes! Fuck.). I tried to take a deep breath leaning with my head out of the window, but I actually breathed the smoke just gone outside, and the only effect I obtained is to frighten an old woman walking on the street in front of the window, which stared at me in the typical worried glance old hags reserved expressely for dangerous young idiots they disapproved (tighten lips, knit eyebrows and eyes open wided as they’d just seen, I don’t know…Santa in underwear).
I came back inside with my head, and what I saw was the floor and the few furnitures covered in empty glasses of wine, beer, alcohol maybe, pizza boxes, used tissues and some clothes scattered hither and thither, included an indefinite number of socks and a couple of boxer shorts.
“How much did you say have passed since she have left?”, I asked Jimmy.
“She went yesterday in the afternoon. Why?” He asked. “I tryed to corrupt her with a traditional english 4 pm tea break, but she did even listen. Apparently, no people under 68 in London really use to drink tea in the afternoon…”, Jimmy answered. “Uh, sorry, I think…well, it seems to be a little messy over here, isn’t it?”
“A little? Just a little, you say?” I said in dramatic astonishment. “Your flat is like a small, smelly, indoor battlefield, Mr. Moran! It’s like in Jumanji when the elephants and other animals from the savana pass through their house!”
“Oh, Pete c’mon, stop with those nonsense movies quotes of yours! And, in any case, my house is reflecting the feelings of my wasted heart” concluded Jimmy.
“Oh my god…you were a man, once. An irish rude boor I was proud of. And now, look at you…you’ve become a sort of fucking Jane Austen heroine”, I sighed sadly. Then I continued in a dramatic theatrical acting: “I can’t just stand here staring at this sad and gloomy sight. I must do something for ya, mate. You need help. You need someone to talk to, someone to give you a shoulder to lean on and cry on. Somone who really loves and understands you. Jimmy…”
“Yes, Pete?”, he said with his eyes shining with expectation.
“I’m calling your sister.” I said. “And perhaps a cleaning service, as well”.
“…but my sister’s in Ireland, right now”, he said, his eyes shining with confusion.
“Yeah, I know, mate” I continued, “but people can give a big help by telephone, as well. It’s family, mate, you know what I mean?”
“Well. I might haven’t been that clear, but I’d like to be given a support from you, Pete”, Jimmy explained with hs eyes still shining, yet a bit tightened now. “That is actually why I called you and asked you to come by”.
“Yeah mate, but…you know…I’m not good at this kind of things. What am I supposed to do, pass you a kleenex while we’re mutually combing our hair and watching to Away With The Wind? Uh?? Who do you think I am? I still have a dignity!“, I told him.”Sorry mate, but it’s my saturday off, you’re laying down here in misery in this shit and don’t want even to get out to breathe some good air, and demand that I’d stay here with you and your sadness…No, thanks. I move out”, I concluded. And let me say, it was particularly valiant of me, telling Jimmy his things without letting him force me to do what he wanted. He’s not violent or bossy at all, but, well…he got a passionate character, and he sometimes is just not that able to accept a deny – especially from me. Jimmy’s eyes were now beginning to shine with a bloody air, and I was preparing myself to the devasting torrent of close irish swearing and punching, but then he paused, he looked at me, and flyed at me grabbing my right arm and whining “oh pleeease Peeete, don’t leave me aloooone! Don’t goooo pleeeaseee! You’re my beeeest frieeeend!”. It was ridiculous. There was only the public sit-coms-like laugh missing. But I was inflexible.
“Come it off, Jimmy. You’re making a fool of yourself. I’m goin to get out, right now, and nothing will change my decision”.
“Oooh Pete, pleeeaseee!”
“Pietro, I’m begging you.”
“I said NO.”
“I got three freezing beer boxes in the fridge.”
“It’s a deal”.
Then I followed him in the kitchen, slaloming between the rests of pizza and the dozens of overfull ashtrays. “I thought I saw a rat, over there”, I warned him. “Really? Was it good-looking? Give him a name, if you like” he answered. Once in the kitchen, Jimmy took two bottles of beers, handled one to me, and suggested to sit at the kitchen table as the sofas in living room were quite a disaster.
“You should give this a deep clean-up, mate”, I suggested.
“What are you going to do, now?”
“Don’t know. Finish my beer, drink other four, smoke a packets of cigarettes. And then trying to think about how all this happened. I think I’m supposed to do something like analyze, remember the past, try to find my mistakes Emily left me for…’cause it’s always our fault, according to women”.
“Bullshit. You made me come here on my saturday off, loosing a certain sex with two hot easy boobies, and then you tell me you’re just going to stay there and cry on yourself like a looser” I answered back. “Now you finish your beer, you take another for you – and two others for me – and you simply explain to me what happened with her, and, most of all, what the hell did happen to this place. But stop with this smoke crap! You know I give up smoking, you bastard”.