He was mean, redneck mean. He worked hard for it. He was just a little guy, little banty rooster and tanned a deep dark red, dragged his feathers state to state. He used to say he was part Cherokee, said he was Welsh, said his granddaddy rode with Mosby for the Confederacy but he used to say a lot of things. He looked more Irish than anything, with blond curly hair, flattened nose, bandy little legs. Those white trash blue eyes, washed out eyes. Took you in before you could hide. He bore maybe a passing resemblance to a young Merle Haggard and he told that to everyone he met.
He’d show up drunk. He’s show up with his shirt off and this stupid red bandana tied around his neck. He’s show up swigging bourbon out of a Styrofoam cup, all pissed off and looking to start something. Those eyes would scan the place, just daring somebody to meet them. And, Brother, you’d be well advised to look away.
He fought dirty. Of course he did, a man that size. Man that scared. Voice used to fall down to nothing when your mom would pull up in the driveway. But he remembered, always would. Catch you later outside the bathroom and smack you in the back of the head just to let you know you were noticed. And you were always noticed.