Depression Glass (part one)

Digital painting of glass creamer

 

 

 

 

Depression Glass
(part one)

 

 

“Hey, you know me. Check your list.”

She checked, the dash bracket where her phone sat. But she kind of knew.

“Mr. Reynolds, you belong in back. And if you came to lie down, I don’t want you in back either.”

“Am I against the rules?” He went right on getting inside, and closed the passenger door.

“Open that,” she said.

“Nah, I’m gonna sit this one out, cause they’re gettin skunk in there.”

“What…?”

“ I thought we could talk. Tell me your name.”

 

Your driver, Merrilee Nixon

Loves: Nature trails and vintage cookbooks. And meeting all my cool clients!

Song: If I Could Only Have That Day Back, Howard Hewett

Quote: “Each of us is responsible for everything and to every human being.” Simone de Beauvoir

 

She toadied a little, for the sake of the business… For her mom’s sake. Her clients, many, were bound to do something nasty on her upholstery before she’d got them all home.

“Call me Jate,” he said. “I like mister. Maybe you’re the only person who ever called me that. You know what?”

“I don’t know anything about sports, and I hate sports.”

“Yeah.” His head kept nodding, as though they were back to an old thing. “Yeah, I don’t play. Sucked too much. I’m graduating sports broadcasting, on the film crew, but they’re kicking me out.”

“From the college?”

He laughed. “No. I mean like…cause…” He gestured at the venue, the back of which they were sitting behind, between two other limos.

Oh, you dumb drunk kid, she thought. “You’re graduating. Well, luck.”

He opened her glovebox.

“Quit that right now. And I mean it, if you’re gonna throw up, get the hell out.”

“I was seeing what your name is.”

“Jake. My name is Merrilee. Go talk to your friends.”

“Jate is like my initials, J. T. That’s why. What I was saying.”

He stopped again, chuckling to himself.

 

 

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Merrilee measured possible answers. Yell, grab him by the arm, or…

He said, “You know what?”

“Your initials are J. T?”

“No. Yeah. My last name is Reynold, not Reynolds. Nobody gets it. Jeffrey Tyler.”

“Reynold.”

He reached up to scroll on her phone. “Where you got your music?”

They had sat, and listened, to songs she liked.

 

She did the bookings, gave four hours in the mornings, gave a full shift after lunch to the driving. But there were days her slots were empty.

Jate came to her apartment, and she showed him her mother’s dog.

“She got spayed. She oughta be herself tomorrow. Then she goes back.”

“You allowed to have a dog, though?”

“I could. ‘One small pet.’ I have fish.”

She showed him the aquarium.

“Where’s the food?”

“Don’t feed them.”

He also fed Bella, pepperonis from the pizza, one after another.

“Stop that.” Merrilee was in the kitchen, fixing coffee, not letting him keep beer in her fridge…because he was basically still a college boy. Her corrections, these days, came lukewarm.

“You know what your mom should name this dog?”

“Jate. People don’t name their dogs when their dogs have names.” But she moved to lean on the doorjamb, laughing.

 

When the wedding came up, she was eager to go. Or…

“You’re cutting.”

She shouted from the bedroom: “I’m not cutting. I’m on speaker. No, Keeks…” Her own sister had this nickname, after all. Once Monica, then Kika, then… “Yeah, come if you think. I don’t need help.”

“I wanna meet him.”

“I know, but I don’t want you to.”

“I gotta make sure you don’t wear pants, jeez.”

“I’m wearing a dress. And clogs. Shut up.”

Merrilee felt more on a mission. You had to hate weddings, pretty much, but it was a chance to mingle with some old people, see people’s kids, dress up a little, get free cake and champagne, spy all over someone’s house.

She thought the Reynold clan were rich.

 

 

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Depression Glass

Oil painting of city inundated by flood watersThe Blue Bird (part one)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(2021, Stephanie Foster)

 

 

 

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