I met Jimmy on the morning he drove us up to his land in the ancient yellow Ford pickup. I was nervous, smiling too much, not talking at all. I sat in the middle, my thigh jammed up against the stick shift. I could tell that Ben was nervous too, but proud. He was showing off his girl to an old friend.
Jimmy gave me side-long glances, but didn't make eye contact or speak to me directly. And this was fine. I was intimidated by his energy and mean, handsome face. It was hot outside already and the windows were rolled down. He was super-animated, pounding his palms on the steering wheel to the music, constantly smoking, grilling Ben about his habit and the beer he was drinking at 10 in the morning.
I was overwhelmed sitting there between them on the cramped seat. Bouncing on thebumpy country road, feeling all of that the frenetic energy. I thought, 'I just wanted to get there, get out of this truck'. But there were 2 and half hours of driving ahead of us.