Happy Birthday Dave!
There are certain moments in life that are frozen in almost perfect clarity. There's the time I broke my arm jumping out of a swing about 12 feet off the ground. I sat there on the ground and looked at my right arm, which having both bones broken appeared to have two wrists that dangled my hand uselessly back in forth like a slinky.
Then there's a time about 11.75 years ago in Alabaster, Alabama in the mop room at the back of the FoodMax. I'd been working there with Heff for a while mopping floors for 20 dollars a night. We usually rode there together from Columbiana but since Heff had been dating a girl named Janesa we had lately been arriving separately. I was in the back filling up the mop machine when Heff walks in, taps out a cigarette, lights it and stands there like he's wanting to tell me something.
I wait patiently for a few minutes, then he looks up at me and says "Janesa's pregnant."
I stand there stunned for a second then my mouth opens and I said "Is it yours?"
I don't know exactly why I said that, even to this day. I never liked Janesa it's true, but I don't think I ever would have conciously said those words, even to Heff. A lesser friend might have taken a swing at me, but Heff just stared at me a second and incredulously said "Yeah!"
So about 9 months later James David Falkner was born. I was at the hospital when he came out and Uncle Hatch has always been proud of the little bugger. Happy 11th Birthday Dave! You're making Uncle Hatch feel really old today.