Thursday, February 2, 2006

All right, so unless my paycheck comes in today instead of tomorrow, I will not be going to see Young People this evening. This, because of my nemesis in this city (aside from Ada), Washington Mutual. I looked at my account today online to see that not only do I not have fifteen dollars, but that I am negative one dollar in my checking account, and negative three in my savings account. The reason for this is because I was charged sixteen dollars for a set of "deluxe check checks," whatever the fuck those are. And then I was charged a five dollar fee for not having a savings account of three hundred, even though a couple weeks ago, some teller set up an automatic monthly savings transfer that would negate the requirement that I keep a minimum.

So I picked up my phone, dialed and waited. The guy at the other end said that I had called and ordered these deluxe checks. And I held back profanity, even though I wanted to say, "What the fuck are you talking about? Why in the fuck would my poor ass order fucking deluxe checks, whatever the hell those are, when I had a free checking account?" Elimante the fucks and the hells and that is, in essence, what was said. Then I explained to him how that teller had set up that transfer thingy and he said that that had not been set up.

I almost screamed here. I knew that teller didn't know what she was doing. I spent about twenty minutes with her, feeling like she had just started there, that she didn't ahve a clue, and was getting frustrated that it was taking so long. I remember leaving the bank and calling Ben to complain about this woman. The proof is in the fees: she definitely did not know what she was doing! So then I get transferred to this guy's supervisor, who tells me that I have to wait for these deluxe checks (that phrase enrages me) to arrive and return them to the bank for a refund. And that there is nothing she could do about the five dollar charge, but she could set up a savings transfer so I would not be charged in the future. And then she had the gall to say that she hoped she could get it so that I wouldn't be charged for the next month. Again, I had to suppress my tendecy to throw around fucks and fuckings.

This isn't what I wanted to talk about. Not what I want to. There are all these petty things that inflict so much stress on me and prevent me from being concerned with grander things like life and love and being the best I can. I went to the Strand the other day and did something I shouldn't have done. I bought a book. I have been trying to only have one that needs reading at a time, because otherwise I get in the habit of collecting a bunch and having three or four all calling my name and I waver between which one I want to read and choose the newer one and leave the other book there at the bottom of the pile where it gets more and more sunk underneath new concerns, new acquisitions. So D.H. Lawrence was sidelined by Henry David Thoreau and Walden, and really, I don't care too much because this is the book I needed right now. It's got stuff to say to me, and is saying it and making me think fairly hard about my own methods of living and whether I might be leading a life of quiet desperation like that mass of men he chides. This interaction with the bank leads me think that this very well probably is the case, and I don't want it to be.

Last night, I listened to Gillian Welch's Time (The Revealator) over and over again. When I first put it on, I wasn't expecting it to hit me so hard, but it had been a long time since I had heard it and I had dranks lots of coffee and yerba mate (thus emotionally volatile), and midway through that song about the day Elvis died, I was curled up in fetal position on my bed trying to cry. This album is so amazing. I wrote some stuff I am pretty happy with last night and I do like being alive.

But yes, everything is not doom and gloom, far from it, because I am happy and I am alive and I have an interview on Tuesday at a bookstore in Harlem. I have no clue what the deal with that publishing woman and why she has not returned my second call to her. But, there is coffee for the cheap and books for the same, and so much simple pleasure, and of course, music music music.

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