Bay-Bay Frazier is 400 pounds or more. He still manages to get from the living room to the kitchen or to the bathroom or out to his truck, but only with a shortness of breath. This summer he was rushed to the hospital. He found out that his heart could hardly keep up with his body. He eats too much. He doesn’t exercise enough. He has a beard, but only because he doesn’t shave more than once a month. He wears a t-shirt and shorts with an elastic waistband almost all year; he throws on a coat and jogging pants during winter.
Bay-Bay only offers one useful thing to society. Once a week, he goes to the local mechanic and picks up his scrap-metal. He then hauls it off to another town to have it scrapped. He earns a few bucks doing it, but not any kind of a living. His other skills are dipping and dominoes. Not many people can fit nearly a half can of Copenhagen into their mouth and dip it for more than an hour, long after the flavor has ran out. He can though. He can put up 40 points in a game of dominoes without hesitation after the player before him sets down his domino. And he couldn’t fill out a basic multiplication table to save his life.
His trailer sits amidst a junkyard, mostly scrap from the mechanic that he thought would be useful in some project one day. It just sits there. Junk. His truck fits in with the rest of it like it’s something that should’ve been hauled off years ago.
Bay-Bay probably earned his name as a teenager, and it just stuck. It’s one of those nicknames people get in the South, and it stays with them forever if their careers never go beyond the local sawmill. His brother all have names they can’t get rid of — Prettyman, Poo-Poo, Poo-Jack, and Tony-Wayne.
Bay-Bay has managed to move about a mile outside of the dirt road that runs through what people call Frazierville. But, he’ll always be a part of that place. Every Sunday he’ll pull his truck out of the junkyard and make his way to my grandfather’s house to play a game of dominoes with a mouth full of Copenhagen. He’ll throw out cuss words every other sentence, and he’ll block a few games before half the dominoes have been played. He’ll grunt and breathe heavily if he loses a game and has to give up his seat, and he’ll finish off a couple of cans of dip before the sun sets and his day is complete. The next Sunday, he’ll do the same thing. It’s the one thing he can look forward to every week.