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‘6:06 A.M.’ by Shane Brown


It’s 6:06 in the morning and I don’t wanna get up.

I don’t have to get up. My alarm is not going off for another hour and I want that extra hour of rest and sleep. But I have this new puppy standing over my chest and she is licking the insides of my nose over and over again. The licking was driving me crazy so I push her down to her sleeping spot under my arm where she was all night long. She immediately crawls back up and licks even more.

D*** it. Okay. I’m up.

I stagger outside of my little cabin where I am living at in Tula to put her down on the ground. The weather is warmer here this week, so now I can flop down on the steps in my boxers with a cigarette and lighter in my hand as I watch her do her business while I get my first smoke of the day. The puppy hates the chill from the morning wind and wants to jump back up the steps to my lap. I tell Lady, my daughter Rilee’s puppy that I’m raising, to go on and use the bathroom before we both could go back inside.

She whines a little bit longer but then does her job by my truck. I make her stay in the yard for as long as my cigarette last. I’m not gonna waste a cigarette on her just because she is cold when I know she can pee outside. I’m not gonna allow her to easily make me clean her messes inside the cabin.

Now it’s 10:49 p.m. tonight and I’m on the dock in Tula. I wanted to come down here by myself to write a little story but I couldn’t. Lady had whined and begged for me to take her with me. She’s still whining despite being covered up in a blanket while sitting in my lap. Again, she doesn’t like this slightly chilly wind. I don’t mind the wind though. I could hear crickets and bugs bring in the summer. Bullfrogs are glad about today’s weather and birds are still chirping. Lady start gnawing and scratching at my belt buckle right now. She’s whining again too. I hear her and feel her, but the dock and sounds in Tula have my attention. It’s not time for bed yet anyways, not for me.

There are always so many things in just a day that I don’t want to do, but I do it.

I didn’t want to pick leaves one by one off a flower bed, but I did that today. My boss asked me to do it and so I did. He’s gonna ask me – or tell me – tomorrow to pick a thousand weeds out of another flower bed. I’m not gonna want to, but I’m gonna do it.

When I’m working for my brother tomorrow and milking his cows, there are certain things I don’t wanna do. I don’t like all the steps I need to take to make the task perfect for him. I do ask myself: ‘Why could this be necessary?’ But then I stop thinking that question and simply do what is asked or told – what I need to do.

It will be 6:06 a.m. soon and I know what’s gonna happen. It happens every morning. I don’t want it to happen, but I do want it to happen. It’s going to be another day regardless of whether I want to do something or don’t like something. I’m lucky I get to choose. I’m lucky my life is good, and that I have some puppy breath to annoy me every morning. I’m lucky too that Rilee loves her. I like that. Now, I don’t like my alarm not going off.

Shane Brown

Shane Brown is a HottyToddy.com contributor and the son of noted author Larry Brown. Shane is an Oxford native with Yocona and Tula roots. Shane is a graduate of Mississippi State University. He has two children — Maddux, age 9, and Rilee, age 7 — and makes his home at “A Place Called Tula.” He can be reached at msushanebrown@yahoo.com.

Copyright Shane Brown, 2015.

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