Friday, March 07, 2008

Fly away, Brett

Jonny Dave Floyd
Southerner


Momma was the one who told me. I was in the kitchen when she hollarred for me. I still remember the conversation like it was yesterday. When Jonny Dave changed and won’t never be the same.

Momma: Jonny Dave! Come ‘ere!

Me: Why, Momma? I’m busy.

Momma: Busy? What’re you so busy with?

Me: I was outside playin’ and I got dirt all down my pants. No I’m tryin’ to get it out.

Momma: You got what where? And you’re in the kitchen? Jonny Dave!

Me: Momma, how else am I gonna get the dirt out unless I pull my pants down. Just quit talkin’ to me right now and let me finish. I’m almost done.

Momma: Jonny Dave, you hitch up those britches right this minute and get in here. You know good and well that you’re not allowed to take your pants down in the kitchen. Now come ON. I got somethin’ to tell ya.

( I hitched up those britches and went in the livin’ room)

Me: What do ya want Momma? The dirt’s makin’ me real uncomfortable.

Momma: Well just quit pickin’ at yourself for one minute please and listen. STOP! Ok…I just saw Brett Favre on TV…that’s your favorite foot ball player, right?

Me: Yeah, Momma. He’s my favorite. But only because he’s awesome and smart and super hand-

Momma (interruptin’): Ok, ok. I get it. (sigh) Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that I saw Brett Favre on TV sayin’ that he’s retired. There, I told you. And he was cryin’ like a baby, too. Now you can go back to pickin’ dirt outta yer crack or whatever it was. Just please do it outside or in your room.

Me: Wait, what? Momma what are talking about.

Momma: Jonny Dave, I don’t wanna see your pimpled butt in the kitchen or anywhere near me or worry about you backin’ up against our food with that nasty thing. Please. Just take it up to your room or outside or somethin’.

Me: No, Momma. I don’t understand about Brett. He’s tired? Of course he is. They had a long season. Anybody’d be tired. He’ll be alright, though.

Momma (with her head in her hands): Jonny Dave, why ya gotta make stuff so hard? You know what I mean. Brett Favre ain’t playin’ football anymore. He’s gone! He’s retired! And he’s a crybaby, apparently. Deal with it.

Me: Momma, you better shut yer face right now. First of all, Brett Favre ain’t NEVER gonna quit playin’ football. He loves the game. He’s like a kid out there on the field. Or ain’t you heard? Second of all, there ain’t NOTHIN’ wrong with a man sheddin’ some tears. Brett’s a REAL man. Like ME. And the only retirement today is gonna be me retirin’ as your son and the ceremony’s gonna be takin’ place up in my tree in about 2 minutes! I HATE YOU!

(I stormed out, slammin’ the door behind me.)

Momma: I love that boy so much and I’m so proud of him. I wish I could be the momma he deserves. I’m gonna sit her and cry and think about how I can be a better momma.

Actually, I can‘t be for sure, that’s what Momma said when I ran out of the house because I was already halfway up my tree by that point. I like to think that’s what she said though.

I spent the rest of the day and the better part of the night up in my tree. I didn’t wanna believe it but, deep down, I knew it was true. I just kept thinkin’ about all the good times I had with Brett. Him playin’ football games. Him throwin’ footballs. Me cheerin’ him. Him runnin’ around like a kid out there. The stadium’s like a church or somthin’ to him, ya know? All the nights I stayed up late in my bed just thinkin’ about Brett. Those were beautiful times.

While I sat in my tree recollettin’, a little baby bird flew down and got caught in my mullet. He sure was wild and unable to be tamed. I untangled the lil’ fella and took a good look at him. He sure looked like a gunslinger bird to me. Right then, I took it as an omen and named the birdie "Brett." Brett had come back to me. I planned on raising that bird as my own kin. I would call Brett the bird “son” and he would call me “father.”

As I sat in my tree and pondered all the things I would teach Brett, things my daddy wasn’t around to teach me, I felt something slimy and warm in my palm. Oh no. This wasn’t good. I guess I was holdin’ Brett too hard and he, well, it was pretty nasty. He pooped in my hand. Daggum, there was a lot of it, too. I was so grossed out that I let go of Brett. He flew right at my face like a kid or somethin’ and pecked me in the cheek, almost takin’ out my left eye. I slapped at the wound with the poop-covered hand and smeared that stuff all over my face and in the peck-wound. There musta been some pee in the poop because it immediately started stingin, from the ammonia, I suspect.

Between the pain and Brett flyin’ aound my head like a little kid up there just havin’ all kinds of fun, I started to lose my balance. I swatted at him to he wouldn’t peck my eyes out in love. He was havin’ too much fun to worry about consequences, I guess. I yelled out, Son, leave your daddy be! But it was too late. My butt slipped off the branch and I fell outta my tree and landed right on my back.

As I lay there, I thought about what it all meant. I felt so alone. My heart hurt. I was pretty sure that I might never walk again. Then I saw Brett up there flyin’. He looked like he was havin’ so much fun. He was like a kid up there. Flyin’ around. Havin’ fun. It was beautiful. I was so proud of him. That’s when it hit me. I knew what it all meant. That bird. That bird that got caught up in my mullet. That bird was Brett. Or Brett’s spirit, rather. And poopin’ in my hand. And tryin’ to peck out my eye. And chasin’ me outta my tree. Well, that was just Brett’s way of tellin’ me that it was time to let him go.

So, I gotta let him go be Brett off somewhere else. And that’s alright. Because it’s time. And because I couldn’t catch him anyway even if it wasn’t time. And realizin’ that. That took me to tears even when I thought I was all cried out. Only these were tears of understandin’. Go your own way, Brett. We’ll always have football. We’ll always have Thansgivin’. We’ll always have poop. But I can’t never all the way let you go, Brett. THAT just ain’t in me.

I’m almost all cried out now. Y’all be good.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Mike D. said...

This was better than "Sling Blade"

March 09, 2008 10:49 AM  

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