Seventy-nine degrees and almost humid. An abundant scent of something cleansing fills the air. Crowd noise sounds like it’s coming through a taut scarf. I am in a bank line, small bald woman presiding.
“May I see your identification, please?”
“But I’m just making a deposit.”
The passport in my rear pocket is well-used – shredded edges, sun-bleached, photo laughable.
“Anything else I can do for you, sir?”
God, when did I become a sir?
“Yes, can I get into my safe deposit box, please?”
Turns into five as she shuffles papers. When pressed for time and in regards to financial matters, red-faced expressions and anxious jitters are not inspiring characteristics.
“Sir, can you please provide that safe number again for me.”
“Are you sure, sir?”
“It’s what your teller wrote on my key when she gave it to me, so yea, I’m pretty sure. But then, she no longer works here and since you appear close to requiring a diaper, I’m assuming there’s a problem?”
“We have…um…no record of you having a box here, sir.”
“Just so you know, the fact that you lost the records to my safe deposit box doesn’t bode well for my trust in the whole “safe” part of this deposit box thing. And since I am standing here with a key, and in your bank, with a lot of money in that box, I am fairly certain we are about to have a serious problem.”
“One moment, sir.”
“May I help you, sir?”
Are all bank managers blessed with less than the normal number of eyebrows and the uncanny ability to push their body odor through thick security glass, or am I just lucky?
“Apparently you have lost the record to my safe deposit box.”
“Are you sure the box is here, sir?”
“It fucking better be.”
The sight of one massive eyebrow rising, looks like a caterpillar trying to jump.
“I mean, are you sure you purchased the box at this bank branch?”
“You mean, did I spend thirty minutes with your boy, Josh – over there – filling out paperwork and listening to a truckload of B.S. legal jargon while waiting for Marcel, the fellow who clearly needs a season or two on The Biggest Loser, to waddle his way over to the main door and take three minutes to explain how to insert a key into lock, before I walked over to Mary, the teller with the overly-low blouse line and the surgically-enhanced lips that make her face look like it’s being attacked by swollen earthworms, and signed the final document? Because if that’s what you mean, then yea, I’m in the right bank. Seriously, buddy, I’m not trying to be an ass, but it’s been twenty minutes and I expect access to that box, now.”
“Sir I –
“Don’t even think about finishing that sentence. I know what’s coming and it’s unacceptable. Here’s my key. Here’s my I.D. Open the door.”
“Sir we can’t do that.”
When the police arrived, the whole innocent until proven guilty assumption-thing went awry. With patrons watching and one uniformed arm well-attached to my left bicep, I explained that the bank was either A: stealing my money B: withholding evidence or C: committing false imprisonment of funds, and I’d expect the officers to act in accordance with the law.
Police laughter sounds like metal cheese-graters.
I’d love to post bail but I can’t get into my safe deposit box to get the funds.
Somebody help me!