Of Mice and Money

How much to guard? How much to reveal? This very public forum has me second guessing things I’d probably once have written about without pause. Well, I have some new plans which feel pretty good, and as I’ve no support whatsoever from my husband nor his family, I’m going ahead with it. I’m filing for bankruptcy.

I’ve learned that the legal firms who now handle my debts can attach the money in my checking account. Once they’ve done their legal thing and followed the proper procedure, they are entitled to make the next step towards recovering the debt. Not that I wouldn’t pay the debt if I had an income, or the means, but I simply don’t. And I need the little I have to keep the electric on. So here we go…

I’m surprised at how matter-of-fact this all feels. I feel slightly detached, as if I were gliding through a dream. What the hell is real anyhow? I’m not doing so well economically for the time being, true, but I live comfortably, and surrounded by beauty. So am I truly poor? (Often, when I remark to Elihu that we’re lucky in many ways, citing our ownership of the land on which we live as proof – make that my parent’s ownership of the land on which we live – my son will correct me. He reminds me that people do not own land. We agree to leave each other to enjoy our own little pieces of it in our own ways, but, he reiterates, we do not own the land. Ok. He’s right, I know, but still it buoys the spirit to think we have ownership of something.) My ego-driven self really wants to know I still have something to show for myself here, yet in the end I do know that nothing is truly ours, and despite our best efforts everything will change form and cease being what it once was. I offer my beloved Aerosoles mid-heel slip-ons, frayed at the edges by gnawing mice as example. Looks like Jesus was right. All our stuff is going the way of rust, mice and moths at some point. So perhaps wealth – or at least the perception of  having stuff – is rather a shifting mirage.

So here I go. I’m starting over. I can only buy things that I have cash in hand for. Thankfully, that’s not really a new challenge; I’ve been living like that for nearly three years now. My needs are fairly modest, and I’m good at being frugal. Who knew? This is a reality I would never have dreamed of three years ago this time. I admit I get to feeling sorry for myself when I pass the patrons seated on the sidewalks in front of the wonderful Saratoga restaurants – I covet their elegant-looking salads and thin-stemmed wine glasses, but hey, I’ve been there, done that.

Not to worry, I’ll taste the arugula again.

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