It's not about the house.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Tramp's Story, Part VI: the people the people the people the people...

...con't from previous post...

It must have been a bad connection or something. The voice on the answering machine was so wee and small, it was like Horton Hears a Who (the book, I mean; I didn't even know there'd been a movie till I googled it. I am so sick of Jim Carrey screwing up classic literature, man). The only reason I didn't just delete it was that I managed to catch the words “Bank of America,” and I had to listen two more times before I caught her name: 

I've just met a—

No, I can’t say I heard the swelling of the orchestra quite yet. Even when I called her back, I could barely hear Maria's freaking voice.

I can’t hear a girl named Maria...

Yeah, that's more like it.

Seriously, she had a voice like a weak handshake. No force or inflection, no enthusiasm or punctuation. She just exhaled, almost simpered, only barely repositioning her lips. (I wouldn’t swear to that last bit, either, except I’m pretty sure you can’t say “Bank of America” without moving your lips at least a little bit. I can’t, anyway. You try it.)

“hello ms ellia," Maria said, "my name is maria k— I will be handling your [schm]e[scmh]inance and I was just wondering if you had any questions”

No. My best friend Henry was pretty clear about everything – oh, wait.

“Henry told me to verify my new loan number with anyone who called. Do you have it?”

She did.

Well, all right then.


Nope. Still no questions.

“okay well my last name is spelled xxxx and my email address is yyyy and my phone number is zzzz and you can call me anytime if you think of any”

Okay, but I really won’t. Henry told me to just sit tight and wait for somebody to call, so that’s exactly what I plan to do.

“have you received the package”

I have, but I haven’t opened it, because Henry told me not to send the forms.

“oh I do need you to send the forms”

What? No. No, no. I need to speak to Henry V—.

“do you want me to give you his phone number”

No. No, no. I have it.

“okay well call him and then call me back if you have any questions”

I’m not saying she wasn’t nice. She was very nice, and trying to be helpful. In a disturbing and uninflected sort of way.

“Henry?" I said. "I’ve got this Maria K— lady on the phone telling me I have to send the forms, but you told me I didn’t have to send the forms!”

“I told you not to send the forms until somebody called…”




“So now somebody did…”

“Yes, but – oh. Oh!” Der! This is the call I'm waiting for! “But you said it wouldn’t come for sixty days!”

“That’s the average. I actually have some people who’ve been waiting for six months. Yours is happening very fast. That’s good. So yes, you should definitely send in the forms she needs.”

I hung up and tore open the package, only to discover three mildly disturbing things:

1. The account rep who signed the cover letter was most decidedly not Maria X.

2. The person who prepared the package went by the name of Henry B—. Which is just weird. I mean, I forgave Henry his pair of first names, why'd he have to go and get a spare last one as well?

3. It said if I didn't get the forms back to them in twelve days the whole thing would fall apart, but I had no idea what day the FedEx box arrived. I suppose I’d better fax them to be sure – but which of these three (or four) people am I supposed to fax them over to?

Well, hell, you didn’t think I was going to put the brakes on this process just because everyone I speak with seems to be under witness protection? Come on, people! Let me remind you:


Although, now that I see it written out like that in bold italics...

Doesn’t it look like a bunch of cartoon swears?

Somebody told me once, a loooong time ago, that she got the sense just about anything could be turned into a good story in my hands. It was a very nice thing to say, and because of it -- because of her -- I’ve stuck with this little hobby through incomeless-years of shouting my barbaric yawp into the void. And, although god only knows why, she has stuck around with me as well. If she even remembers saying it anymore, however, I bet she’s regretting having thrown that particular gantlet down before me now. 8000 words (and counting) on schmeschminancing a schmortgage. Yeesh. 

All of which is a roundabout way of saying...

To be continued. Yet again.


Anonymous said...

I dunno, I'm still expecting the kicker at the end anytime soon where Henry turns out to have swindled all your money away and you're now living in a cave.

Sashimi said...

no no no...dont kill me please...i couldn't sleep all of last night! (worrying about Henry)