Brady Fisher

by Margie Shaheed

"Sticks and stones may break mah bones but names will nevah harm me"

The flatness of another day had just settled in when about a dozen or so men sat around drinking, playing bid whist, and talking about the virtues of good pussy. They couldn’t agree if it was the depth of it, smell of it, look of it, or the way it quivered when making love, that kept men eternally fixed on it. Dousing fuel on the conversation was Theodis Ealey’s song, a cautionary tale, that lets men know whatever they think about doing to it, /you ain’t did a doggone thing until you stand up in it…/ Bobby looked up from his hand and placed his cards face down on the table. He scratched his beard and said matter of fact, "Ah remember my father tellin’ me it’s the smell of it that ropes you in. He said, boy, you can blindfold me right now, line up twen’y women in front of me, and I bet chu I can pick yo’ mama outta the bunch!" The men started laughing. The barmaid, who had been listening as she washed glasses, chimed in, "It might smell sometimes but baby let me tell you it ain’t spoilt! The men agreed as they burst out laughing again.

Just then a gaunt fellow walked into the bar barely noticeable except he had a tan-colored tool belt straddling his shoulders. He politely asked the barmaid if he could sell the belt in the bar. She said he could. He figured he had a good chance of getting rid of it because there were so many men in the bar. Cordially, the peddler stopped to ask the men one by one if they wanted to buy the belt off him. When asked, he promptly handed the belt over to Brady Fisher who examined it like a doctor would a patient. A few seconds passed and Brady placed the belt up on the bar. He stood up and turned his back to the peddler as if to go into his pocket for cash. Without warning, he turned to face the man and punched him dead in the mouth. The force from the blow sent the man crashing into the card table.

While he was still on the floor, Brady hovered over him landing punches to his head and face, and started kicking him in the ribs and stomach. It seemed like he was trying to stomp the tortured man in the ground as he called him every son of a bitch in the book. The bloody man laid on the floor helpless whimpering like a sick dog trying desperately to fend off the rapid blows with his boney arms. Stars and little bright lights circled his head. The other men in the bar pulled Brady off the man and begged him to stop beating the poor soul. The struggle was brief and fierce. In the confusion, the peddler managed to pull himself up off the floor and bolted out of the door like a wild animal. Brady took off after him but decided to let him go because he didn’t want any trouble from the law. The peddler ran away as fast as he could leaving behind a bloody trail and the tool belt lying on the bar.

Everyone wondered why Brady had beaten the man so viciously. When asked he angrily replied, "dat mothafucka broke the window outta mah truck and stole mah tool belt while Ah was aroun’ the corner at Bald Eagle’s drinkin’ last week. Ah know dis is mah belt cuz Ah burnt my initials on the inside. See?"

Everyone suspended judgment and gathered around the belt to witness for themselves the letters BF branded on the leather. "Sho is yo’ belt," the crowd harmonized.

"Hell, that nigga got some nerve, Brady continued, comin’ in here tryin’ to sell me mah own damn belt. I shoulda kilt him!"

"Nawh, one of the regulars said. It ain’t even worth it. Besides, he’s a dumb scoundrel—everybody knows, you don’t shit where you eat!" Everyone agreed as they turned over the card table and made their way back to their seats, where they continued to drink, play cards, and talk amongst themselves.

Brady Fisher by Margie Shaheed

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