Before Scotty got laid off, he used to give Cookie money every day –leaving a couple of bills on the dresser before he left for work. She used to have to ask him for it; she’d say, “Scotty, gimme twenty dollars,” and he’d ask her what she wants it for. She’d say, in her head, “None of your god damn business,” but out loud she’d say, “Just need to pick up a few things.” And Scotty would mumble something about never being able to save, while reaching down in his back pocket for his wallet. Soon it got to a point where she didn’t even have to ask; she’d just put out her hand like a cashier.
“I gotta hand over my money to the ‘lectric comp’ny, the phone comp’ny, the oil comp’ny, the Cookie comp’ny,” he’d say, half-laughing at his own half-joke. But Cookie would suck her teeth and say, “I don’t find nothing funny. Now gimme my money.” And he did.
She never bought things for the house (light bulbs or toilet paper or orange juice) like Scotty told her to. Instead she’d come back with “women soap,” stockings, and pound cake. But she can’t do that anymore since Scotty’s been laid off.
“All he does is lay up in bed plucking my nerves,” Cookie told her friend on the phone one day before hanging up and going upstairs to ask Scotty for a couple of ones to buy lottery tickets.