Bryan, the truck operator for the lawn and pest control company, arrives for his monthly treatment of the lawn. He’s been coming now for about 5 years. He wears his customary, dirty, oil stained Alabama Crimson Tide cap pulled tightly and low on his head. The cap is old, worn and he is never without it.
Bryan’s ritual is to back his big, liquid, lawn treatment filled truck into the driveway and pull into the space we reserve for him. Before doing anything, he saunters over to the front door and rings the doorbell just to announce that he is there, a practice I think is pretty cool.
Bryan walks slowly. He talks a lot. He talks slowly, has a deep voice, and is never in a hurry. Did I say he talks a lot? It’s not good to get caught out in the yard when Bryan arrives. Thirty minutes to an hour, gone. If he was getting paid by the word…
Today isn’t my day!
Bryan catches me driving in. He waits at my car door. Ready to talk. I slowly exit the car. Before I can speak, he begins.
Bryan: You didn’t tell me. Man, I can’t believe you didn’t tell me!
Bryan: You played at Auburn!
TG: Oh. Man. Yeah. It was a long time ago!
Bryan: Naw! Really! Wow that’s cool, dude. But you know, I keep up with it, but… I’m not really into it like that.
TG: (Starts to walk off) Hey, Okay.
Bryan: I wear this Alabama cap. (Beat) I follow Alabama. (Beat) Watch all the games. (Beat) Wear my jersey on game day. (Beat) Get the kids all psyched up. My ole lady, she a Bama fan… (Pause) But, You know. Some people just can’t let it go.
TG: (Again starts to walk off) Yeah, I know.
Brian: (Following TG as he starts to walk toward the door) People see me with the Alabama cap, (he shrugs), but… I’m not really into it like that.
Brian: (Confesses) (Pause) Got a couple of stickers on my car, well at least four stickers…. I started to put a Saban sticker on it but… I didn’t want to overdo it.
Like this cap. Had it twenty years. I got a Alabama room in my house. Posters. Pennants. Got some neat stuff. My friend got his whole house decorated.
TG: Okay Bryan, I’ll see you. I’ve got to get to work.
Bryan: You know I try and keep it all on an even keel. Not get too much into it like that. You know.
Bryan: So did you want to play at Alabama? (He laughs). Hey! Hey! Hey! I’m just kidding. Hey! Hey! Hey!
TG: No. Not really.
Brian: Well, ya’ll got some good recruits this year. But Hey! We got another number one class. Hey! Hey! Hey! So, we starting out the season good. (Beat) Hey, you guys lost a tough one. Hey! Hey! Hey!
TG: Uh uh!
Bryan: You heard about this prospect in the second grade. I mean I don’t keep up with it that young. But…Think we gon offer him. Say he gon be real special. Let’s go ahead and sew him up. You know. May as well. Mama went to Auburn but hey, I betcha in ten years you see him in a Bama uniform. Hey! Hey! Hey! You know what I’m saying.
Bryan: (pause) I guess I better get busy.
TG: Okay! See you buddy.
Bryan: (Heads toward the truck). Put my cap in the truck, don’t want it to get sweaty. My Daddy got this cap for me one time when he was on campus doing some construction work. Never been myself.
Bryan: …to the campus. You know. One day I’m going. (Beat) What cha think about the game this weekend? We twelve point favorites. I don’t bet though. Saving up. Told the ole lady we gon get a new flat screen. Sit in my special room. She come in there some time. You know. Hey! Hey! Hey! She ain’t really into it like that.