- Family and Parenting
Jeffjones Don't Care
This is the companion piece to www.hubpages.com/hub/Markreynolds-Jeffjones . Please read it first if you haven’t yet.
And then there’s Jeffjones. Where to begin? When I was extremely young, Rolling Stone magazine labeled Keith Richards as “the world’s most elegantly wasted human being.” For my money, that title now rightly belongs to Jeffjones. Keith Richards tried altogether too hard to portray himself as a wasted, shambolic wreck of a human. Watch Johnny Depp in any of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films and you’ll see what I’m getting at. Depp admittedly patterns his Captain Jack Sparrow schtick after Keith Richards. Conversely, for Jeffjones, there’s no effort involved in achieving elegantly-wasted status. It’s simply a state of being; the path of least resistance.
Although he’s Midwestern to the core, Jeffjones exudes a laid-back southern Californian vibe. It seems that his blood-alcohol level is permanently frozen around the 1.2 mark with several other chemical variables competing for his central nervous system’s attention and affection as well. Either despite that fact or because of it, Jeffjones remains pleasantly non-committal regarding most of life’s vicissitudes. He just flat don’t care. (Yes, I realize the previous line is technically ungrammatical and it should be “doesn’t care.” But Jeffjones don’t care and his disregard becomes infectuous at times.)
Memory lapses back to Markreynolds and my departure from East Harlem on a chilly fall Saturday morning. Somewhere in between handshake and full embrace, we utter hasty goodbyes. Markreynolds sneers sarcastically, “Great! The awkward man-hug.” But Jeffjones offers no such resistance. Mildly narcotized most evenings, he’ll hug you right back without complaint. But lest you visualize Jeffjones as merely a huggable, vegetated zombie emanating positive vibes, we must set the record straight. He’s neither apathetic, moronic, nor ill-informed. Indeed Jeffjones holds a degree from an accredited institution, is gainfully employed and a tax-paying sort. Yet, he’s more deeply committed than anyone I’ve ever met to not investing much emotion (i.e. not giving a flying fuck) in anything. Colts lose? Who cares. Economy crashes? Roll with it. Bar announces last call? That’s why Walmart sells liquor.
Within this persona, Jeffjones embodies another prevalently current male trait: my gender’s ability to delay the onset of adulthood. Jj is somewhere in his mid-30s and like Markreynolds and millions of others in that demographic, children don’t appear to be on his horizon.
“I like children in theory,” Jeffjones said recently while rolling dice during a crude form of barroom gaming. “Like communism, children are best viewed from a safe distance. I like watching documentaries about them on the History Channel.” Then Jeffjones laughed, but not too loudly and at a slow rate of speed. Minimized effort, maximized subtlety. Very smooth. And given the magnitude of parenting, perhaps he’s onto something far more profound than mere laziness or fear of commitment. “Any idiot can make a baby,” he adds. “It takes a real man to pay child support.”
We find ourselves in an overpriced Broad Ripple sports bar that apparently can’t afford windows. Fumes and street noises – tame compared to East Harlem, I must admit – intrude upon our conversation. But Jeffjones remains unperturbed, unruffled, unflappable. “I like to go with the flow,” he explains, reminiscent of a boozier, more pharmaceutically involved version of Eckhart Tolle, the prominent “accept what is” author. If you cut him open, I suspect Jeffjones’ veins might ooze Mellow Yellow instead of blood.
The next time I cross Jj, it’s at a strange wedding reception held at a country club. Strange because it’s a Sunday wedding for one and even more strange, the reception starts at 7 p.m. but liquor is banned until 9 p.m. The two-hour prohibition leaves assorted wedding guests grumbling and fidgety, checking their watches every few minutes. A homely sort tells me earnestly that he’s often mistaken for Tom Brady. The lack of alcohol is turning reality a little too bare for all concerned. But Jeffjones is prepared for this bullshit, above the fray as it were. He’s traveling with his own supply of various mood enhancers. Screw 9 o’clock. Jeffjones believes that time should be a servant rather than a master.
He smiles most serenely after leaving the confines of the country club, feeling decidedly upbeat. Just how upbeat became clear when he jumped into a stray golf cart, ignited its engine and embarked a wayward tour of the various fairways, greens and sand traps that the golf course offered. Flying around the course on his unauthorized sojourn, Jeffjones was most assuredly joyriding – enjoying the hell out of his ride before being accosted by various country club officials. Jeffjones was simply practicing his chosen faith: he plain don’t care.