An Extract From The Book: Jimmy Spence 8th Of June 1974 By Kelvin Rush.
Jimmy spent all day Friday preparing for the big day. He went completely through his wardrobe, trying on different outfits and many combinations of clothes. He tried on jumpers, sweatshirts, shirts, t-shirts, jeans, trousers, tracksuit bottoms, coats, jackets, trainers, shoes, and even a pair of sandals, which he only usually wore on his holidays. In the end, he settled for his black pleated trousers, his best denim shirt, and his brown loafer shoes.
He also spent ages on his hair, testing out different styles. He went for a left parting, a right parting, a parting straight down the middle. Then a parting just left of center, then just right of center. He spiked his hair with normal gel, extra hold gel, mega hold gel, and even used his mother’s hairspray to make it look really spiky. Eventually he decided on the slicked-back look. He applied a load of extra hold gel to his damp hair, and combed it all back off his forehead and over his ears, letting it dry naturally.
He was strutting around his bedroom in his full outfit, when his mum came upstairs.
‘Whooo…..! Look at you Jimmy Spence! All dressed up to the nines! You look just like a young Tony Curtis love,’ she said, with a big smile on her face. Jimmy got all embarrassed and quickly slammed the bedroom door shut.
As he climbed into bed later that night, everything had been prepared down to the last detail. His clothes had all been washed and ironed (thanks to mum), and were hung up neatly on hangers, on the side of his wardrobe. His shoes had been polished and were under his bed. And his clean socks and underpants were on top of the drawers, along with his hair gel and comb. He also had money, in case Julie wanted to go into town shopping. Or maybe she wanted to go for a coffee or for something to eat. Luckily, he’d been saving up to buy the new Liverpool shirt. He’d saved his pocket money, his birthday money and his paper round money. He had over three pounds in his savings jar, which he kept in his bedside cupboard.
Jimmy was now ready for the big day, his first ever date. Saturday the 8th of June 1974, would be etched in the memory of Jimmy Spence for the rest of his life. As midnight approached, he was sat up in bed wide awake and couldn’t get to sleep. His mind was racing uncontrollably in umpteen directions, and his emotions were a tangled maze of bewilderment and confusion. Once again, he was experiencing really strange, unexplained feelings inside his body. Rushes of warm, tingly, pleasurable feelings suddenly appeared from nowhere. Jimmy Spence was on the roller-coaster ride called ‘Puberty’ and he couldn’t get off. And Julie Richardson was well and truly in the driving seat, steering him this way, that way, and then all the way back again. As he laid down and closed his eyes for at least the hundredth time, he finally dropped off to sleep.
He woke up the next morning to the sound of the alarm clock going off at 8.00am. He let it ring several times before reaching over and turning it off. As he opened his eyes, his whole body was flooded with excitement and anticipation. He leapt out of bed and jumped in the air, with both feet off the ground. He jumped that high, he was lucky not to smash his head on the ceiling. This was an important day for Jimmy Spence. It was his first ever date, and he didn’t want anything to mess it up. He put on his dressing gown and went to the bathroom to take a shower. He spent a good forty minutes washing himself all over with a sponge and Mel’s shower gel. (Mel won’t mind he thought.) After his shower, he spent another forty minutes on his hair. He must have combed it a thousand times, before he finally got it looking just the way he liked it. It was neatly swept back off his forehead and over his ears, using a ton of extra hold hair gel.
‘Perfect!’ he said, posing in the mirror. ‘Right, time for the smellies.’ He sprayed a large amount of Adidas deodorant all over his body. He then lavishly splashed his dad’s Brut aftershave over his face and neck, followed by a good pat with both hands. After cleaning his teeth, he wrapped the large bath towel around his waist, and went back to his bedroom. He closed the bedroom door, removed the towel and threw it onto the bed. Reality was now kicking in big time, as he began to feel a little anxious. It wouldn’t be long now before he was meeting Julie Richardson, and he still couldn’t really believe it was happening.
He put on his clean underpants and socks, followed by his best denim shirt. He left the top two buttons open and widened the collar, to reveal the top of his chest. (He wanted to look as cool as he possibly could.) He then pulled on his black pleated trousers and tucked his shirt in, before putting on his loafer shoes. He bent down and took out his savings jar from the bedside cupboard, and emptied the contents onto the bed. He picked up nearly two pounds in various coins, shoving them firmly into his right front trouser pocket.
Finally, he stood up tall and proud like a Queen’s Guard standing to attention. He was now all suited and booted and ready for action. He went downstairs and walked in the kitchen. His mum Carol was ironing a big pile of clothes. Her nostrils twitched curiously, as she caught a whiff of Jimmy’s overpowering odour. ‘Pooooh! What’s that smell!?’ she said, as she looked up and saw Jimmy standing there, looking like an escaped mannequin from C&A. ‘Where on earth are you going dressed like that? And is that dad’s aftershave I can smell? It smells like you’ve put the whole bottle on.’
‘I’ve only used a bit mum, dad won’t mind,’ said Jimmy. ‘I’m off to the park to meet mi mates, is that ok?’ Carol folded a thick sweater, and carefully placed it on top of the pile of clothes on the kitchen table. ‘Why are you dressed in your best gear Jimmy to go to the park?’ Jimmy had to think quick on his feet. ‘Oh….. err….. all mi other clothes are dirty mum.’ Carol looked at Jimmy in disbelief.
‘I doubt that very much love. You’ve got more clothes than Littlewoods catalogue.’ Just then Mel walked in the kitchen. ‘He’s not meeting his mates mum, he’s meeting a girl.’
‘Shut it Mel!’ shouted Jimmy. ‘Keep ya big nose out!’ Carol stood the iron on the ironing board and folded her arms smiling. ‘I thought as much. I didn’t think you’d be meeting your mates love dressed like that, not to mention smelling like an aftershave salesman. What’s her name love?’
‘It’s Julie Richardson mum,’ said Mel. ‘She’s my friend at school, she’s the one who belted him with the hockey ball. She’s meeting him at Barkers Park at ten.’ Carol smiled once again. ‘Oh is she now, in that case, why don’t you invite her round for tea love?’ Jimmy stood there red-faced and angry. ‘Leave it out mum! Why would she want to come here!? Anyway, I’m only meeting her because she asked me to. I don’t even know what she wants.’
‘Oh, so she’s not your girlfriend then love?’ Jimmy was getting increasingly irate and on edge. ‘Mum! What av I just said!? How can she be my girlfriend!? I’ve only spoken to her once, and that was on the school field, after she belted me with the hockey ball. And I only said a few words to her anyway. So how can she possibly be my girlfriend!?’ Carol tried to calm Jimmy down a touch, but she didn’t do a very good job. ‘Oh I’m sorry love, I didn’t realise. So have you got a girlfriend then?’ Jimmy shook his head violently. It looked like he was about to self-combust any second.
‘Mum! Stop asking me questions like that! Why don’t you ask our Mel questions like that!? Ask her if she’s got a boyfriend!’ Now it was Mel’s turn to get angry and all defensive. ‘It’s none of your business whether I’ve got a boyfriend or not! So keep your nose out of my business Jimmy Spence!’
‘Then keep ya nose out of my business Melanie Spence!’
‘My nose isn’t in your business, Dummy!’ Jimmy was enraged.
‘How many times have I told you to stop calling me Dummy!?’
‘I don’t know Dummy! How many!? Fifty!? Sixty!?’ Carol intervened. ‘That’s enough you two! I can see I’ve hit a nerve, and a very volatile nerve at that. What time are you meeting Julie anyway Jimmy?’
‘I’m meeting her at ten mum.’
‘Well you look very smart and handsome love. I’m sure Julie will be really impressed.’ Jimmy needed a bit more reassurance.
‘Do ya think so mum? Will she really be impressed?’
‘Of course she will love. I’ve told you before, you look like a young Tony Curtis, and no one could ever resist a young Tony Curtis.’
‘Who’s Tony Curtis mum?’ asked Mel.
‘He’s a famous American film star, very dashing and handsome.’ Mel burst out laughing. ‘A film star!? Our Jimmy!? Dashing and handsome!? What are you on about mum!? If anything, our Jimmy looks more like Tony Grimshaw.’
‘Who on earth is Tony Grimshaw?’ asked Carol. ‘He’s the smelliest and ugliest boy in our school. He wears thick rimmed jam jar specs, and stinks of chip fat, and all the boys and girls tease and bully him.’ Carol was dumbfounded. ‘Sometimes Melanie I wonder about you. How would you like to be called horrible names? Not to mention being bullied and humiliated.’
‘Well I don’t bully or humiliate him mum, it’s the others who do that.’
‘Right, I’ve had enough of all this, I’m off,’ said Jimmy.
‘Ok love, hope it all goes well,’ said Carol.
‘Yeah good luck Jimmy. Tell Julie I said hello. And by the way mum’s right, you do look like a young Tony Curtis.’ Jimmy knew that Mel didn’t know what Tony Curtis looked like, but he accepted the compliment anyway. ‘Yeah thanks Mel, thanks mum.’
Jimmy then left the kitchen and opened the front door. As he stepped outside into the big wide world, he knew there was no turning back. He was about to go on his very first date, that would inevitably change his life forever.
An Extract From The Book: Jimmy Spence 8th Of June 1974 By Kelvin Rush.