The World We Live In

It’s been a pretty mellow, run-of-the-mill Friday here in Brooklyn. I went to yoga class with one of my favorite yoga teachers. I’ve been yoga-whoring around lately, trying to use up a book of yoga coupons that expires at the end of the year. It turns out that a free yoga class is not necessarily as good as a yoga class with someone who you, like, trust as a spiritual leader. After yoga class, I had lunch with my yoga teacher and we talked about Oprah and karma. We talked about the spiritual corruption of the West in which we expect objects to satisfy our need for spiritual fulfillment. After lunch, I decided to put off dealing with my bank overdraft by telephone and instead go shopping at the one place a person with a negative bank balance can go shopping, which would be the vintage clothing store that accepts clothing trades. I traded in an itchy scarf for a long-sleeved silk Neiman Marcus dress printed with butterflies.

My boyfriend arrived from the faraway city where he for some reason lives. I finally called the bank and did not speak with the lovely lady from Montana who assured me that all charges would be reversed and instead spoke with some bitch who totally screwed me by reversing one of the charges and then informing me that there were four more increasingly escalating charges on the account (which I knew) that she couldn’t deal with because they hadn’t posted and now that she had reversed the one (which I had specifically asked her not to do) it was unlikely that anyone would reverse the others. I cried with frustruation about my general stupidity and general financial uncertainty to my boyfriend, who reassured me that I was not a worthless human being because I had overdrawn my checking account. We ate some tuna melts. We took a bubble bath. We watched some M*A*S*H. I experienced the clearheadedness that comes after an adult-frustration temper tantrum (a temper tantrum related to cellular telephone overcharges, bitchy bank representatives, fear of total artistic and financial failure, or hormones, none of which play a role in the temper tantrums of toddlers), and relegated the bank overdraft charges to The Stupid Fund.

The Stupid Fund is a Fund I have set up for the inevitable hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars I will lose in my lifetime due to my own stupidity. The Stupid Fund is where money goes when you just fuck up. The Stupid Fund is now large enough to sponsor several children in the Third World or many months of rent-free living in the First World. It contains thousands of dollars in cell phone overages paid to the AT & T company (now fucking Cingular), hundreds of dollars in unecessary fees paid to Fleet Bank (now fucking Bank of America), $50 paid to the New York City Police Department for trespassing, $547 dollars paid to the town of Port Washington by my parents for the parking meter I destroyed during a rather ugly–but thankfully only mildly injurious–car accient in 1997, as well as countless other sums I have racked up simply by being lazy, unobservant or generally stupid. Luckily, as they say, it’s only money. Dent a fender? The Stupid Fund. Accidentally make a $200 phone call? The Stupid Fund. Need to hire a lawyer to defend you from criminal charges?–hopefully, your Stupid Fund is endowed by some kind of genius grant or inheritence.

Then there’s also the Sooner or Later theory. Even if I had that money now, Sooner or Later I would need to make more. Even if I hadn’t bought that stuff, Sooner or Later I would have bought it. Sooner or Later, money was going to bite me in the ass. That’s the problem with living in a capitalist society and not being Paris Hilton. Sooner or Later I was going to have to hustle, sooner this gravy train was going to end. Freudian analysts say that money is tied up with sex and death. I don’t know about that but I do know I want a lot of it all the time and I am sure am afraid of what will happen when it all disappears.

It’s now just after midnight and there’s only one thing I’ve come away from this day with to ponder, and that is:

Not too long ago, a man who had run for president of this excuse for a great nation appeared on television advertising a pharmaceutical drug that gives impotent men erections. He was on television making horribly transparent innuendoes that Britney Spears was giving him an erection, even though he was, like, ninety. He said, “Down boy,” ostensiably to a dog, but everyone knew it was really to his penis. I believe he was advertising Pepsi at the time, and only referencing the advertisement he had done for the drug that gives impotent men erections, which had by that time become a cultural touchstone.

Well, as one of my favortie professors used to say to me in college, “It’s the world we live in.”

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