Jamie Easterly

May 25, 2007

I Need You

Chapter One

I had a friend in 7th and 8th grade who had thick aviator glasses like those modeled here by Jamie Easterly. Later, after we began drifting apart as friends, he also grew a sparse Jamie Easterly puberty-stache. But before that there were a couple years where I guess he was the closest to me of the homely acquaintances I sat across from in the cafeteria and at the library. In other words, I guess he was my best friend for a while. His name was Jeremy.

Both of us lived far out in the country and took separate buses to school. One day, by prearranged plan, we both brought our boom boxes to school and decided to stay after school to “go upstreet.” This meant trudging about a half-mile from the combined junior high/high school, past the concrete wall with the anti-school graffiti from the Pink Floyd song that unironically misspelled a key word (“We don’t need no educatin”) to the couple streets in town that had stores on them. I never really figured out what you were supposed to do upstreet. Go into the mini-mart and play asteroids, I guess. Go to the hamburger joint and eat french fries while “Rock and Roll Fantasy” and “Two Tickets to Paradise” played on the juke box. Stand around. Maybe steal some candy from the old mostly blind Italian guy.

Anyway, that day we brought our boom boxes constitutes the sole specifically memorable time I went upstreet, and I only remember the first couple minutes, when we walked with a couple of our other lurching, bespectacled library colleagues and tried to play the title song of each of our new cassettes of AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” in synch on our boom boxes. We never were able to time it right, however, so finally I just shut mine off (Jeremy’s boom box was bigger) and just lugged it around the rest of the afternoon uselessly while Jeremy rewound and played “Big Balls” over and over on his superior machine. Eventually I wandered back to school and caught the long and winding late bus home through the dusk. Jeremy didn’t live on the late bus route. Maybe the weird guy who lived with him and his parents came and picked him up.

Jeremy got a girlfriend near the end of our days as a dynamic boom-box carrying, chess-playing duo. He said he was having sex with her, which I believed. I believed everything anyone told me, especially about sex. One day Jeremy went on at some length about how great sex was, how it was his favorite thing on earth, but instead of describing what actually occured during sex he emphasized the need, during a long night of constant sex-having, to take lots of showers. A huge part of the whole allure for him seemed to be getting to clean off at the end of each sexual inning. Jeremy’s other major contribution to my mind’s growing museum of hazy conceptions of sex came in an anecdote he told about getting two girls from the grade behind us into one of my town’s many gravel pits one night. He claimed they both insisted on ripping off their shirts, at which point he discovered that the brown-haired girl’s nipples were brown while the blond girl’s nipples were white. I not only believed him completely, from that point on my fantasies often included me coaxing girls from my gym class or the women from WKRP in Cincinnati into a nearby gravel pit, where shirts would fly off and I’d be guided lovingly out of the prison of virginity.

(to be continued)


  1. 1.  Now, what the world TRULY needs is a Dan Clowes-illustrated (http://urltea.com/mse) sketchbook of the Museum of Hazy Conceptions of Sex.

  2. 2.  Can you imagine running into Jamie Easterly in a bar and trying to hold your laughter in while he makes ridiculous claims about being a “professional athlete.”

    If I hadn’t seen this card, I’d have thought the only “sport” he was good at was stalking school children on there way to and from the bus stops he passes by.

  3. 3.  1: I once waited on line to meet Mr. Clowes for an hour or so with fellow funnybook enthusiast Chuck Chance, and when we finally got up there I presented him with a Dick Pole (note to non-initiates: “Dick Pole” is not a euphemism but the name of a player whose brick-faced visage graced the front of many an enjoyable card from the Cardboard God era). I had wanted to get him to sign the card, but we were told with some vehemence by a bookstore functionary that Clowes would only be signing copies of his books. So I just gave him the Pole, or, no, it was a LaCock, come to think of it. Yeah, a Peter LaCock. Clowes accepted the gift hesitantly, unsure what to make of a grown man presenting him with phallic-themed gifts, and everyone in the vicinity was sort of embarassed. He mumbled something about seeing LaCock play at Wrigley when he was a kid. Then I slinked away, another in a small series of vaguely humiliating meetings with heroes complete.

    2: Easterly was a Texas high school phenom, according to the back of this card. I actually don’t have the card on me right now, but it said he struck out like 270 guys in 110 innings or something his senior year. It’s just hard for me to imagine this character being a fearsome entity on the baseball diamond at any level. Once he got to the majors whatever aura of dominance he once had dissolved, leaving the pained, inward journeyman you see here. He lasted an incredible 13 seasons in the bigs, despite winning only 23 total games.

  4. 4.  Dick Pole is now the pitching coach for Cincinnati where he offers his tutelage to Jon Coutlangus, among others.

  5. 5.  When I was in the Army, I remember some dork claiming that he was good at fingering his girl and he made us smell his fingers. But he wasn’t to sharp. I spotted that can of Nine Lives on his windowsill.

  6. 6.  Is it just me or does Easterly look like a dead-ringer to Kip Dynamite?

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