For some reason Jeff tended to scare the shit out of most people. Maybe it was that barely checked look of rage in his eyes. The I-could-kill-you-in-fifteen-ways-and-enjoy-doing-it grin on his face. Maybe it the fact that he was perfectly content to sit and stare at nothing for hours. Maybe it was his detailed technical knowledge on exactly how to take apart a human body.
Or that he never passed up an opportunity to make an unbelievably obscene remark. For example, we watched on the Oprah show once a pair of female Siamese twins, who were simply two heads on one body (a very rare thing). Jeff’s insight into their medical condition? “Imagine the kind of blow jobs they could give in porno films.”
Now there were many first impressions with Jeff. One friends comment was, “His biceps are as big as my head.” Everyone else seemed to steer clear of him. Certainly no one made comments to me.
In my mind though, the best first meeting was my friend Rob’s. I was dating a young lady at the time. She, Rob, and several others were renting a house on the bad side of Bailey Avenue. Jeff and I were hanging out until the late hours, and he drove me over to Mary’s place. Both of us were feeling kind of tired, but I invited Jeff in to meet everyone. However there was no one home, so we waited around for a bit. The place was easy to break into and we entered. Jeff yawned mightily. He asked if there was a place he could catch a few hours sleep before driving back to Oakfield.
“Oh sure,” I said, always magnanimous with someone else’s material goods, and flung open Rob’s room, “Help yourself.”
To understand the powerful sleep that Jeff was under, I must state that Rob’s personal hygiene was horrific. It wasn’t a bed or smell that invited a person. Jeff curled up on Rob’s scratchy sheets and passed out. I entered my girlfriend’s room and waited for her to show up.
Eventually she did. She came into the room delighted and surprised to see me. We embraced and talked about what each of us had been up to. Then Rob burst in, fear playing across his leonine features.
“There’s a large bald guy sleeping in my bed!” He squawked.
My friend had curly hair at the time and I found this reverse Goldilocks incident hilarious. I explained the situation to Rob and, as he tended to take things in their stride, didn’t get really upset. Rob did have one question though.
“Why did you say he could sleep in my bed?”
“I don’t know. I figured you wouldn’t mind.”
“Can I wake him up?”
“Ohhh, I wouldn’t do that,” I said, grinning internally, “He gets kind of violent when startled.”
Rob diligently, internally thinking “Not in the face,” waited on the living room couch until 4 in the morning, when Jeff finally stirred, and with a brief nod to Rob on the way out, went home.