Friday, January 4, 2008

Brian Young

When Melinda Young was nine months pregnant she looked like she could burst at any moment
She was already a small pale woman and with a little being tucked in her guts the skin over her stomach was stretched to the point that it almost looked transparent
It was as though you only had to breathe on that belly and rub the heat off to get a window to the tiny driver inside
She was transformed into a mobile snow globe displaying a jiggle'n little elf next to a gingerbread house illuminated by a plastic ray of sunshine
And that thought made me smile
It made Melinda smile too when I told her
When Brian Young made his entrance into the world Melinda made her exit
Died right in the middle of child birth, never even got to see the blues in that boy's eyes
She was a single mother and her father Jacob took custody of him after that
Jacob was a crabby old bastard that shook so bad he spilled half his whiskey when he poured it into a glass
When he would sit outside in his rocker and I was feeling particularly cruel I would find amusement in watching how long it took him to find his mouth when he'd take a sip
I heard he was a pretty decent guy before his wife passed
I also heard he was a sniper in Vietnam and once crawled through the grass for two days just to get a shot on some unlucky high ranking officer or something
Then he spent the next two days just edging himself back
I don't know if there is any truth to that cause from what I saw he hardly ever left the house
Around the time Brian turned six he started terrorizing the neighbors cat after running outside wearing only a pair of Superman undies and a blanket with cigarette burns wrapped around his neck like a cape
I'd hear him scream "this looks like a job for"
Which was usually followed by Jacob yelling "stop running around dressed like a goddamn queer and get your ass inside"
One day I caught Brian bolting out the door with his two piece costume on and right in the middle of his catch phrase he tripped over a rock
He immediately crumbled over and balled himself up, crocodile tears running down his little cheeks
And I swear to God I've never seen an old man move that fast, swept him up and rocked him in his arms, gave him a big kiss on the cheek and carried him in
I walked past the house once while that old badger was sitting out said hi and asked him how he was doing
And he just glared at me with his glass in the air fishing around for his lips
I was sure that asshole had enough piss and vinegar left to keep him alive and puckered for the next 50 years
About a week later I realized that the neighbor's cat had the courage to venture outside again so I asked around and found out that Jacob died
He was found laid out on the kitchen floor with a fifth of Old Crow in his hand, most of it sprinkled around the glass on the counter above him
I don't know what happened to Brian but if he grows up to be anything like his grandfather I'm sure that little prick is going to be a senator or something
And that thought makes me smile when I think about it
I bet that would make Melinda smile too

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