Writins of Weakeyes Cody
Talented and witty writings
A Magnification Of Imagination @2003
Billy McGehee, had a head like a black walnut and just as hard and he knew how to best use it in a fight. He was about a head taller than me and his best amusement was to find me and pop me on the jaw. I could depend on meeting Billy at least once a week in summer and when I did I knew he was coming to hit me. Pa said to me one day, "Just walk up and bust him in the chops and it'll hurt 'im bad enough that he'll leave yuh alone." This took a lot of intestinal grit 'cause I knew Billy would really work me over. But I did it. I met him on the road coming back from the river one afternoon and just walked straight up to 'im and busted him in the nose. I should'na done it 'cause he staggered back and came at me with that walnut head and hit me right amidships. I seen sunshine and dirt and grass and sunshine and dirt. I tasted it too. Along with the rusty taste of my own blood. I told mama I had fell out of a mulberry tree hitting the limbs as I fell. She believed me too 'cause I looked like that.
I had resigned myself to the fact that Billy was the better fighter. But I still wanted to get something up on him. One Saturday afternoon in town I met him face to face and all I could think of at the moment was to call him a dirty name. Then I ran like a bay deer and if there was one thing the good Lord blessed me with it was endurance. I could just run farther than Billy. He gave up after about six blocks and turned around and went back to town. Now what was I to do? I had the whole of the afternoon to hide out and couldn't even go to the movies. After an hour of piddling in the creek I slowly made my way back to Main Street. I was looking at the new bicycles in the hardware window when I saw his reflection in the glass. I spun around but it was too late. I seen sunshine and cement and gravel and sunshine. Not to mention those explosions in my head several times. This time mama could make out the knuckle prints on my cheek. Several of 'em.
I was living in dread now and started taking paths that would avoid Billy McGehee. I was looking over my shoulder at the crack of every bush and scrape of every foot. Then one Sunday afternoon as I was looking for the cookie jar, I came upon pa's jug of cold remedy. This remedy was a composition of white lightnin', a boiled egg floating in it, brown sugar, lemon, honey and mint. I took a sip of it, knowing full well the ingredients, and then another. In fact, I took that jug's contents down about three inches. Then set it carefully back in the cabinet.
Well sir, after about fifteen minutes that remedy began to take affect. The spirit of my ancestors rose proudly up in me and clearly told me to go lookin' for Billy McGehee. So with pride, strength and confidence I strode along the dusty road bound for the McGehee's place. I even went so far as to walk right up in their yard catching Billy drawing water from their well. He wore a surprised look on his face because I was coming at him. He dropped the full bucket of water just as I swung at him. I would really have hurt him too had I connected. But I missed. He sent a hard fist into my chest but it didn't hurt none, so I swung another mighty right that caught him alongside his walnut head. My hand felt like I had hit an anvil. And I think this made him mad 'cause he lowered his head and here he came. Then I sent a smashing left straight into nothing as he hit me between the eyes. No problem I was invincible and grabbed his overall bib and spun him around while he was laying lefts and rights on my face. I knew I could best him if I could just hit him so I kept trying and I think I was beginning to make headway when Billy's mama came screaming to his rescue. She was a nice lady, and very unselfish. Instead of seeing to Billy's wounds she came straight to me and walked me over to the porch and began bathing my face in cool water. Billy stood nearby, arms folded until she banished him into the house. She cleaned me up and told me to skedaddle home. I did. Mama looked me over and decided the swelling would go down in a few days.
Every tale ought to have a moral. Or at least a point. But about the only one I can think of for this one is, that corn whisky is a hell of a lot more mind expanding than spinach. Moreover, Billy McGehee had a head like a black walnut. He still does I bet.
~ Weakeyes Cody