Easy MoneyMature

When Tyree came home, pulling Lyn’s laundry bags behind her, Sofia excused herself to go back downstairs.
Tyree sat at the long kitchenette. Near the herbs growing in the big kitchen window was a ceramic cookie jar in the shape of a lazy-eyed frog. She opened the frog’s mouth to retrieve a prescription bottle stuffed with a green plant. He had a prescription for medical marijuana, which he had never smoked before moving to California and was seldom seen without since.
“I talked to that Christian boy. Says he got a job for you.”
Tyree's long, bony fingers took a manila folder out of her leather messenger bag. She handed the contents to Lyn but kept the folder to use as a rolling tray.
“He gave you paperwork? You’re, like, having business meetings with this kid now?”
“Apparently he lives nearby. At that crazy house, with all the wind chimes? You know the one. Hand me those scissors.” Ty was disassembling a clove cigarette. Lyn handed her the scissors which hung on a hook.
"Look here, Lyn. You know I like you. I'm not trying to be a bastard here. But," and she said this kindly, "I sure as hell ain't going to let you live here for free. This is how I make my living. I got a special skill for not letting people walk all over me and you ain't going to be the first." Ty was cutting the marijuana into tiny pieces, and mixing it with the contents of the clove.
“So first you have me drive the guy away from your business and now you like him.”
“I didn't say I like him. He's too young. The young suffer from their own…smug. So I know we aren't wild about this kid. But he for real has a way for you to make some cash. And this is easy money."”
“Smug's not a noun.”
“Noun-shmoun. You understand the words that are coming out of my mouth? You reading what I'm saying?”
“Then that's all that matters, honey. That's all language is.”
Lyn looked through the forms while Tyree took her time in rolling a joint with the clove and marijuana mix. The frog contained a subscription request form for Make magazine. He tore a one-inch piece off the thin cardboard to fold into a filter.
Lyn found it strange and improbable that this Peter guy could get her a job. The forms had some sections about nursing credentials; fortunately these were all crossed out.
Ty said, “For fuck's sake I wouldn't ask you to go out stripping…well, I might actually, but I'm just saying you should do this. You should take this job. Business at the bars will pick up, maybe, but whatever is growing in your womb—well whether you keep it or not, it's going to cost you." Ty's eyes swelled big behind her glasses. They were the type that lost their shading indoors.
It was more than distrust of Peter that kept her from committing. She’d claimed a certain identity as a bartender. There was a long history of unity between suffering artists and drunks, and in that world the bartender was, if not a king, then a shaman of sorts. Maybe she wasn’t a painter, but living with Alex, staying three shots and a beer ahead of his depression―that was her life. If she went and worked for this crazy guy, who was she then?

The End

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