Monday, December 24, 2007

My Ghost Haunts the Walrmarts in Florida


I got my identity stolen. It happened sometime last Sunday. Or at least that’s when I think it did. I don’t know for sure. I found out when I checked my bank balance online. I’d just deposited some cash I got for this DJ gig. The day before I’d written a check to the gas company (they sent a man in a blue jacket and a tool belt to personally tell me to write it. my back was against the wall, there was no way I could ditch this caller. So I scribbled out a check for some money I didn’t have and hoped he’d take his time cashing it). I wanted to see if it had gone through.

The check hadn’t gone through yet, but the balance wasn’t as high as it should have been, and there was a strange charge I didn’t recognize. It appeared I’d made a purchase for $400 at a Wal-Mart store. And this Wal-Mart store was in Florida. This is weird, I thought, I don’t think I live in Florida. And I can’t even remember the last time I was in a WalMart. Huh, I mused, curious.

So I called the bank and told them there had been some sort of mix up. I told them I lived in Brooklyn, not Florida. And I shop at Target, not WalMart. There had been a blunder somewhere along the line and I was mistakenly charged $400 for it. It is no problem, I said reassuringly, I know it wasn’t your fault. Some fat cat in a white shirt with a fancy tie and a kick ass parking space is probably the fuck up here. You’re ok buddy. No worries. I just want my money back.

He checked my account (after asking a few probing security questions) and calmly told me my identity had been stolen. This has been happening a lot, he explained, they make a fake card with your info on it, and then buy gift cards from WalMart until the card gets declined. Usually they get thousands of dollars before the card is no longer good. With yours, he went on, they only got one gift card, then they went to a gas station and the card was rejected.

They picked the wrong identity to steal. Mine is practically worthless. oh well. I get my money in early January. Like a little new year’s gift, bittersweet as it may be.

In the meantime I’ve been working and finishing up with school. I handed in my final Final on Friday. The shackles of academia have been broken. I am finally fucking free. Well, at least for a month. I start back the end of January. So it goes.

While walking to a store my main man called. He said he was feeling better; he’d been pretty low for a while. I said I know. He told me his wife might be taking him back. That they spent the night together and he had pleaded his case and she’d resigned in the end. The next morning though, she got cold feet and said she had to think about it. But he was fine with it, he said, he felt good about it now.

I didn’t say much for a while. I just let him tell me, breathlessly, that he was not sad anymore. Then I sat quiet for a moment. I thought about how he worried me. How close and intimate of friends we were and how I knew he was just a shattered man, weak and boneless. I knew he felt he’d lost the inside of him and was now a brittle shell. Just a man with a voice that spoke words that meant nothing. I knew how he felt, but I didn’t know what he wanted to hear, and I didn’t know what I wanted to say, so I just made a joke about him finally getting some poontang and we laughed the whole thing off.

Then next day he called me at the bar. He said it was over, once and for all. He said he just wanted to call and tell me that. I asked why the sudden change and he said she hadn’t stopped seeing this other guy. I sighed. He reminded me he was ok with it. That he felt good. I sighed again. Lies. They’re all lies. He told me he was driving from Miami to pick up his mother’s mother who he doesn’t really know and they are going to celebrate the holiday at his crazy aunt’s house. Its balmy there, they might barbecue by the pool.

I know he still smarts from the break up and I know it stings that she’s given herself to another man. That’s an ugly scar and a wound that takes forever to heal. But I don't know what I could say to change it. Best I can do is answer the phone. This is going to be a painful Christmas. They don’t make hallmark cards for this kinda shit.

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Creative Commons License
:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at downtownalleys.blogspot.com.