The Indignities of Old Age
Baby, I Can Drive My Car (On the Landscape of Loss)

Why I Like Cheerwine (or What About Henry?) (Part Nine)

Cheerwine_8It was about 20 minutes later when J.D. rolled into the driveway with the red convertible, front wheels raised off the ground as it were begging God for mercy. Bringing it to a stop, J.D. jumped down from the cab, walked around the wrecker, and flipped the lever letting the car slowly return to earth. He spat on the ground and shook he head. Brigette knew that couldn't be good.

In a few minutes he had the vehicle unhitched and, along with Squirt's help, pushed it the remaining few feet into the single bay of the garage. Then J.D. turned and walked slowly over to Brigette, head down, chewing a toothpick as he went.

"It's gonna take awhile. Needs a new transmission."

How long is awhile?," said Brigette.

"Three, four, maybe five days."

"Now what am I supposed to do?" Brigette just glared at him. She thought I'm stuck in this hick town with very little money, and no way out. "Damn."

"Don't get mad at me, lady. I can't help it. . . . So you want me to work on it?"

"Of course I do. What else can I do?" Brigette stood up and looked down Main Street. You have a motel here?

"Well, not a proper motel, but Thelma Burgaw rents some rooms. You can try her."

"How do I find her?"

"You see that building that says "God's Holy Tabernacle Church of the Second Coming."

"The what?"

"The church right there."

"That's a church?"

"People say so. I haven't been. You go right at that corner, and at the end of the block her house'll be on the right. You can't miss it. There's a sign that says "Thelma's Boarding House." Thelma's a good cook, and she's cheap."

"Thanks." Brigette walked over to the car, reached into the back seat, and retrieved her red shoes from where they landed from her throw. Then she popped the trunk, pulled her suitcase out, and, straightening her shirt began walking toward the street, rolling he suitcase behind her.

"Hey. . . you want a ride over there?"

"No, I'll walk. Just fix the car, OK?"

J.D. just waved her off. He sat down on the single step of the entrance to the office of the station, and lit a cigarette, taking slow draws of it and exhaling even slower.

[I'm continuing a story I began some time last Fall. You can read the entire story, to date, here.]