Jeff Phillips: You Know Jimmy

Drinkers with Writing Problems

I was doing laundry one night, and as I was leaving my apartment to switch my load to the dryer, I heard an elderly woman’s voice from down the hallway call out “is that you Jimmy?”

I replied “No, it’s your neighbor, I’m Jeff.” She looked like she was in her early 90s, shrunken and frail. I offered my hand in introduction. There was something that caught me off guard about her eyes. It wasn’t like she was blind. She seemed to see me, but it felt like she wasn’t quite registering me.

“I thought you’d be home earlier Jimmy,” she said.

“I’m not Jimmy, I’m your neighbor, Jeff. I live down at the end of the hall.”

“Oh, where’s Jimmy?”

“I don’t know. I haven’t met Jimmy yet. Is Jimmy your husband?”

“Jimmy’s my son. You know Jimmy?”

“No, I don’t know Jimmy, I’m sorry.”

“He might be at…

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