Julia's thoughts were as tangled as the yarn in her mother's knitting kit. It had been a red plastic box with a lid. Her mother kept it by the easy chair for all the years since Julia's Dad had died, and she had chosen to pass her time in knitting.
For twenty years her mother had knitted. The small white house on Elm Street in St. George becoming a museum dedicated to the hobby. Everyone in the family was so fucking over her knitting. They all sent her family picture cards at Christmas with even the pets posing in one of her creations. They all wanted her to stop and marry one of the many eligible old men in the community who remembered her once fabled beauty and were willing to marry her.
The moment her mother passed away, Julia tossed the kit into the fireplace and burned it. She would have also burned the sofa cover, the dining room place mats, the hideous wall hanging that was supposed to look like John Kennedy but came out looking more like Jimmy Carter's brother Buddy, but her sister stopped her. She literally knocked the living shit out of her because she thought that Julia had finally lost her fucking mind. And that was close to being true.
Twenty years of watching knitting needles go at it like demented Samurai weapons will do that to you. Rumor had it that it was Julia tossing one of the needles out of the back door that had blinded Mrs. River's cat in one eye. No one could prove it though.
Mr. Grant had been a traveling salesman, and he was never home. Julia knew her mother had taken up knitting as a hobby because she was waiting for his return and knitting, along with daytime soap operas and TV gameshows, kept her from going out to the garage and sticking a water hose in muffler of 62 pink and white Coupe De Ville. When Buddy Grant passed away, the hobby became an obsession.
After the funeral, Julia would sit alone in the darkness and listen to the silence of the house. Up in her room, when the branches of the gnarled oak in the back yard would scratch against the rear of the house, Julia would close her eyes and whisper words to the moon she couldn't see.
All the neighbors knew that living with her mom had twisted Julia pretty damned bad. That's what they would say when they met for coffee. One of them would nod toward the house and then lean in say in conspiratorial tone, "That one there. She's pretty damned twisted. Then one of the others would circle her finger by her ear and nod knowingly. The rest would raise their eyebrows and nod too.
"You'd be twisted too if your mom knitted your underwear since you were six." It was Jimmy Peabody who added that bit of information. Jimmy was younger than the rest of the members of the coffee klatch. He dressed in a leather jacket and combed his hair back like the Fonz. He had a crush on Julia and seriously wished she would snap back to reality, so he could ask her for a date.
The problem was Julia hardly ever left the house. In her dairy, she would write the world outside her door terrified her more than the silence and sadness of her mother's home. She did write poetry, and it actually not bad. She started up a Facebook page, so she could post her rhymes.
Jimmy friended her and posted comments on her page. He told her nice things about her poems and complimented her on the images she posted. Once, some one criticized a poem she had written about loneliness. Really, it was some asshat clown just saying shit to be mean, but Julia was kind naive and very vulnerable and took it to heart. That night, she whispered sad words to a quarter moon and cried. She let the tears fall off her chin unto the notebook opened to the page where she had written the poem.
The night, she opened up Facebook and saw a picture of Jimmy Peabody being led out of the Lake House in handcuffs for the beating the shit out of one of the bar's patrons. When a reporter asked him what had prompted the fight, Jimmy said, " He's just a punk who needed to learn some fucking manners!"
Jimmy was surprised later that night, when he was sitting in the drunk tank by himself, and someone threw a knitting needle tied to a nail file through the bars of the cell where it opened out to alley behind the police station. He pushed the bunk that he was sitting on over to that window, but all he could was small dark figure scurrying around the corner of the alley.
A conversation developed between Julia and Jimmy on Facebook. Slowly, Julia began to open up her heart and told him about her fears and anxiety. Others from the community would listen in and give advice also, but it was always Jimmy's comments that bring some light into the dark shadows of her room.
One night, Jimmy asked her what she looked for in man? She replied, "Someone who would make me forget the sound of daytime soaps and the sight of structured wool."
She and Jimmy both shared a laugh when Esther Ruben, her ninety-five year old neighbor commented, "Someone with abs like Brad Pitt and hung like a Shetland pony."
When Julia typed in, "Esther that's not nice. LOL." Mrs. Ruben responded with. "Mr. Ruben died in a car in 1963. A old broad can dream can't she?"
Esther's comments had 235 likes and 7 shares.
Jimmy thought for weeks and weeks on how to make her forget about the past. Then one night in May, May fifth to be precise, Julia was reading her Facebook posts when she hears sounds coming from outside her opened bedroom window. When she walked over and looked outside her window, her jaw dropped in amazement.
There was a five member mariachi band beneath her window, all dressed in black except for one. Jimmy Peabody was the lone musician dressed in white. In his hands, he was clutched a large white sombrero.
The band played a song named "Por Un Amor." Many people over the years have sang the song but few with the the absolute abandonment and passion with which Jimmy Peabody sang it that night.
He sang with the ache of twenty-five years of loneliness that only someone who identified with the Fonz in an age where the Fifties were as irrelevant as horsewhip to a Formula 1 driver could muster.
In an age over populated with narcissistic human beings, Jimmy poured his heart and soul into the chill night air and taught a small sliver of the universe a thing or two about love.
When he got to the end of the song and sang,
"Pobre di mi.
No sufras mas.
Cuanto sufre de pecho.
Every man, woman, and child on Beeker street applauded deliriously. Jimmy then walked over and threw a single white rose toward Julia's open window. She leaned out and caught it.
Then musicians bowed and acknowledged the people of the neighborhood. Julia applauded the musicians too, then blew Jimmy a kiss and clutched the rose to her chest. When the applause died down and neighbors went back into their houses, Jimmy bowed and got into a white cargo van and drove off. The van honked the horn, and it played La Cucaracha before the van skidded around the corner unto Palomar Avenue.
Julia gently closed her window and heard her computer ping. She went to it and read a comment from Esther Rubin stating, " If you don't grab hold of that little romantic sumbitch, I know an old lady who's dying to teach him a few tricks."