Monday, July 13, 2009

The wolf at my door

Every day of my life is a delicate ballet of debt avoidance, debt strategy and debt management. Every day on my lunch I decide who to call and who to avoid, who've I've already spoken to and who I need to remember to call. Today I was on the phone with Bank of America who have decided to put me as a hardship case for a small payment of $700.00. Then I spent 45 minutes on the phone with New York State and the IRS to find out what forms I need to order tax transcripts. Now I'm basically procrastinating --- b/c I've got to download those forms and then get my bank statements in order--- all to prep for my first meeting with my lawyer. Of course I haven't figured out how I'm going to pay him, but all in good time.

This goes on and on. This is now my life. I am no longer a writer, no longer the brilliant straight A student at NYU writing her brilliant thesis on female archetypes as revisioned by feminist theory. That lofty, precious, beautiful world is now closed to me. One hopes not closed forever, but for now, kaput. Do I question the sanity of that degree? Friends, I do every day of my life. Who could guess that three months after graduation the economy would crash. Was I wrong in trying to build a better life for myself? That story has yet to be told. The irony is I will be living the same life I lived before the degree, the life I tried to get out of--- the life where I had to work four or five jobs in three different boroughs just to survive. I said to myself in 2005, I've had enough. I need to make a change, a BIG change.

One would think that with all the publications, prizes, productions, reviews, teaching experience and now a Masters, that finding a full time job would be easy. This is what I thought last May. I confidently set to work: I made an appointment with an NYU job counselor. She reviewed my resume, my cover letters. I worked with her for three weeks. I gained access to their data base. I was managing my bills with work and savings. All would be well! Week after week passed, weeks become months, and now its been a year. This could well be very humiliating if I let it, but I won't. I know how hard I've tried. I've got a stack of applications four inches thick.

I ran into a colleague of mine today who passed on my CV to a friend in a high place at another college. I had applied to the $80,000 a year job running the writing center. I had recently gotten a form letter stating: we've decided not to interview you. I asked her, what's wrong with me? Who could be better qualified. She said, all those jobs are about who you know. And she added, the problem is you're too qualified. They know you're not a bureaucrat. In a way, I'd rather be filing for bankruptcy. Honestly. Because at least its a change of venue. I'm sick of sending out job applications into the world. They've fallen on deaf ears. I do believe however that the universe rewards an honest effort.

For now I will continue my ballet--- to keep my assets safe, to keep the wolf at bay, scratch, scratch, scratch, hear him? He's at the door. But don't let him in.


  1. I was going to say, "hang in there" but decided to go with goddamsonofabitchthatreallyblows.
    If it was easy, then we would all be [fill in your favorite idol]. What the hell, back to shitassbitchcockgrommet.

  2. I've been hanging in there. Actually things get better in September but I wonder how much longer the media will refer to this a "recession" as opposed to a "depression."

  3. Do hang on as long as you can. We did bankruptcy last winter and the laws are so in favor of the creditors that it's sickening. House gone, car gone, but the credit cards are getting their money in a garnishment of my paycheck every month. And I can't have any money in any kind of retirement savings until the debt is paid off (4 years). A total mess.

    I'm hoping that that laws will be rewritten to give consumers some leverage, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Here's hoping for better days for you.

  4. thanks Lisa for your kind words.