Jimmy Johnson

While walking, Jimmy Johnson kept one hand on his belt, black and five sizes too big, and the other busy tossing his sandy locks up out of his eyes. He didn’t have a job; he needed to sit as much as possible. It was all he could do to walk the halls of school and make his way home, all five blocks. He knew girls hoped to see his stuff, hoped he’d lose his concentration. That’s what kept him so focused.

One day, on the way home, Jimmy Johnson got stopped by a gaggle of third graders collecting leaves for a class project. They wore red sweaters and black skirts, socks pulled up to their Catholic knees.

“It’s orange. Is this a good one, Mrs. Knauss?” asked one little girl.

“Yes, a fine example of maple, Eloise.”


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Jimmy Johnson just waited, holding his pants with his right, tossing hair with his left.

“Time to go in, girls,” Mrs. Knauss informed the students as she waddled down the sidewalk towards the school.

Eloise tried slipping her maple leaf into her backpack, but the zipper was stuck. She tugged hard, the strain showing on her face. The zipper finally gave way, and the contents of her pack scattered onto the sidewalk, papers blowing in the breeze.

Jimmy Johnson started to sweat, but he was raised right. He bent down and helped Eloise gather her papers. The breeze was cold as Mrs. Knauss looked at the bent over boy, two hands clutching the papers. Though his boxers were blue paisley, he got his ass in the paper; the police blotter blandly reported a 17 year old youth found exposing himself to a group of third grade girls.


About Frank Scalero

Frank Scalero grew up unincorporated with rural dreams and an urban future. His Uncle George, a Vietnam veteran Wisconsin farmer 2nd father, captured his youthful imagination, relegating his mind to vacillate between suburban realities and back-woods fantasies. Most days, however, he spends in a classroom, trying to pry border-urban youth roots up out of some pretty thin soil.

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