The nurse pushed Brett Favre to his usual spot by the window, and locked the wheels of his chair. She pulled a soft blanket over his legs, gave a kind whisper before leaving: "Have a good day, Gunslinger." Brett responded with a slow, trembling nod.
The day crawled by. Shadows cast by the card tables and IV hangers lengthened and rotated slowly around the off-white room. Brett watched the street through the window, the movements of a younger world scored by rattling coughs and the tinny voice of the television.
In the evening, the nurse returned with pudding. Brett ate slightly more than half his cup, dribbled none. "That's my Mississippi Miracle," the nurse said, and patted his stubbly cheek. Brett's hands stirred in his lap. "Look, he's celebrating," the nurse said, and all the staff within earshot stopped their work to watch.
Quaking and slow, but with the conviction of a bridge rising to abide a passing ship, Brett's arms lifted to the sky. He clenched his spotted fists. "Touchdown!"
Brett's voice was thin and soft.
Photoshop trickery courtesy of Christopher Berry