Uno, nessuno e centomila


It was a fine day for banking. I walked into the branch taking a deep breath of the air or pecuniary fornication, a discrete Bacchanalian at the temple of Mammon.

I presented my identification, a ritual not designed to establish I was who I said I was, but rather to prove I wasn’t someone who wasn’t myself. There’s a difference.

The clerk looked at the image of that specter of many years past, then at the embodiment of me standing in front of her, and back at the colorful plastic rectangle. And from behind her stained teeth came the question.

“What happened?”

I felt a passing feeling of gratitude. She wanted to know. But I now realized so did I.

“What happened? A locust of small disappointments and everyday indignities, unwitnessed heroic feats, rain and drought, wine and vomit, the others. That’s what happened.”

She looked at me understandingly, those bovine maternal eyes. I saw the breach in the flank.

“Do you think you can waive this overdraft fee, just this one time?”

She didn’t think so.


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