Sunday, 10 June 2012

Jimmy James

(Jimmy James - The Beastie Boys)

Jimmy James loved himself and he thought that all the girls loved Jimmy James. In truth they either feared him, or liked the way that everyone else feared him, or usually both. He had muscles built from days in the gym and from steroids, and he walked like he was holding a roll of carpet under each arm. In his head, there was always a soundtrack playing, as if everything in his life was a scene from a film.

He was king of all that he surveyed, which amounted to three gyms, the local cage fighting scene, and the drug trade across two estates that squatted on the outside of town, fenced off by the ring road and their own reputations. Jimmy was the king, and everyone paid him court, and if they didn't he did things with hot irons or power tools, and after a while you didn't even have to do that because the stories did enough.

Jimmy lived in a show house for ostentatious display, with a plasma screen on one wall that was longer than the bedroom he grew up in. He held noisy parties, and the neighbours never complained. To be fair, they thought that it was a fair trade off for being immune to burglary, because no-one would dare on Jimmy James' street.

Opposite the plasma was a framed poster of Al Pacino in Scarface. Jimmy knew every line off by heart. When he met with his suppliers, he felt proper gangster, but in truth they were and he wasn't. To them, Jimmy was mechanical, a link in the supply chain, no more important than a hidden hold in a yacht or a compartment under the floor in a lorry. Less important, in fact, because they could throw a rock in any direction in any town, and hit a new Jimmy.

Underneath the bluster and the bling, Jimmy knew this, and he wanted to do something about it, move up the chain, become one of them. He suggested it once and was met by blank stares and barely disguised grins. This made him very angry, and he went down to the gym and demanded that one of his men spar with him, and he left them in bits on the floor and the others looked on and kept their faces very expressionless. Then he decided to start skimming, just a little bit, build up his capital.

A little bit turned into a lot of a bit and two months later Jimmy was holding court outside the gym, flexing his steroid muscles and leering at the women when a man on a motorbike came down the street, slowed to a stop, pulled out a gun and Jimmy James lay on the pavement for a while twitching like a run-over rabbit and then that was that.

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