I was going to tell you about overdrawing my checking account and talking to a nice lady from Montana on my cellular telephone about it, about how I saw my hairdresser today, and how we always talk about death in only the most cheerful ways as she snips artfully at the mass of dead cells tethered to my head. How I walked around Soho and ran into someone I knew from college who I hadn’t seen in four years but have run into twice in the last two weeks in two different cities and we did not talk about death, how we instead talked about the quasi-sexual undertones of the conversations we have with the rich New York parents to whom we provide various services. How as we discussed this we sat on the street in the unseasonable warmth at a natural foods restaurant, how I ordered scrambled tofu and he left to see a casting director. How as we talked the 6 train rumbled just below, audible through the vent, how we ignored it as we all must ignore the constant rumbling that accompanies our daily lives, even as it rattles the pictures on our walls. How as I enjoyed my alfreso meal I was attended to by no less than three Latin American busboys and an aging hipster waiter, how I ate my scrambled tofu with brown rice and mesclun greens and drank my fair trade Peruvian coffee and read the Talk of the Town. How I walked up the block repeating portions of the conversation I had last night with my Ecquadorian cabdriver, practicing the pronunciation. How when I blew into the dispatch office of the car service last night to ask for the cab my umbrella had turned inside out in the warm rain, and how I righted it and held it over both of our heads as we ran to the luxury car I had chartered to take me home to North Brooklyn. How he asked point blank if I liked America and I answered that I liked some things about it, and he said “like the natural things, the mountains and rivers and ocean and land” and I said, yes, yes, but I do not like the government and I do not like the president and I do not like the war, and how pleased I was that I could say everything I needed to say and in Spanish no less, and somehow the rudimentary simplicity of my poor command of the language did not impoverish my meaning but enrich it, and then I said exit here at Exit 32 turn right at the light and go three blocks and then turn left and here is where to stop, please, and I had slipped into the place where the pleasantries of another language come to you without too much effort, the thank you’s and nice to meet you’s and good evenings and goodbyes.

The woman in Montana was so nice about it, so reassuring. She assured me that I was in very good standing with the bank and of course I had only made a miscalculation (I did not tell her my miscalculation invovled a $120 shopping spree at a discount liquor warehouse), and since this was my first offense it was quite likely that the overdraft charges could be reversed and she had no doubt that as soon as I was paid after the first of the month I would certainly restore a postivie balance to my account, and I marvelled to her that negative balances are in fact depicted in red with negative signs in front of them, just like I use to teach negative numbers to the kids whose parents, who apparently haven’t paid me enough to maintain a postive, black balance in my account, to quite literally keep me in the black, as it were, and she was so kind and oblivous, she asked if Brooklyn was in the metropolitan area or was it in upstate New York and since she had been patient with me I was patient in return and explained the difference between the five boroughs, the metropolitan area and “upstate.” “I’ve never been to the East Coast,” she said, “and I’m here in Montana.” “Come to the East Coast,” I wanted to implore her, come and we will drink exotic martinis mixed with top-shelf vodkas, you must have some passwords or access to funds there at your terminal in the telemarketing facility, there must be money that will not be missed, and we seem to be two people of like mind, come and I will take you to meet a hairdresser who is also a shaman and I will interpret your opinions to cabdrivers as best I can, and we will have such a time, overdrawing someone else’s checking account here in the metropolitan area.

I was going to tell you all of these things, but they seem so irrelvent now.

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