I’m so poor my online banking password is the laughing emoticon 😆
When you’re homeless you check your bank balance…frequently, as in 6-10 times each day. Why? Well, because it’s likely you have just enough to cover your room or food, and you want to ensure some douchetube didn’t do an auto-debit while you were sleeping, throwing your entire existence into even more disarray. Rarely do I put my head down for the night with more than $10 or $15 left in my account. But it does provide an adrenaline rush when I open my eyes at 5 AM and see an overdraft notification because my GoDaddy hosting was charged. A planned visit to Starbucks has now become a strategy session rivaling any military war room, just to figure out how and when I’ll be able to eat.
A good example of how frustrating living on the fringe of society can be is this…I lie down with $3.85 in my account, but safe in the knowledge the bills are paid, at least for today. 4:30 AM I wake up to pee, careful to step over the dog or else I’ll have to drag his ass for a lap around the motel. I check my account and see my monthly bank fee hit in the amount of $7.00, BUT because the account is now overdrawn, there is an additional $37.00 overdraft charge. Go to bed with $3.85, wake up in the hole -$40.15. That’s pricey urine. And don’t forget I still have that daily nut I must earn to remain sheltered.
The bank account is one of the barometers you use to tell yourself you’re still a member of the community. Each time you lose something everyone else takes for granted (bank account, car, phone, etc.), you feel less a part of society and more a member of the world’s worst fraternity. And with each instance it gets easier to say, “Fuck this, I’m done”. Someone once said it’s not how many times you get knocked down which counts; it’s how many times you get back up. I can understand how so many are simply tired of getting up again and again, knowing they’ll get knocked back down.
I know, usually to the penny, how much my meals cost. It’s a must. While some fast-food joints will forgive a couple of cents on an order, few will look beyond $.03, leaving me to state to the teen at the counter, “Um, let me come back”, then exiting to the parking lot where I peer at the ground for dropped change. With my hawk-like 20/200 vision, I have to get a little close to the pavement, and from a distance I must look like an anteater searching for that mounded colony, a Vermilingua Valhalla if you will.
Of interest, at least to me, is that while doing the modicum of research required to achieve the desired onomatopoeia, I learned the ants we espy most often are femaies. Males have a singular purpose; to mate with the queen. Before you Cro-Magnon types start high-fiving each other saying, “Fuck yeah! Ants rule!”, I’d like to also point out that after mating with the queen, often the males die. On a Friday night I would guess getting laid would be WAY DOWN on the list of suggestions.
- Watch Netflix
- Go drinking
- Hang out
- Find some yarn and do the world’s worst Cat’s Cradle
And then somewhere near the bottom is…
967. Find ant pussy
Eventually you learn to discard any feelings of embarrassment* when you run short of money. Perhaps the worst time was at Starbucks when I had to step back after my morning coffee (cost: $3.35) because my debit card was turned down. I had but about $1.78 in my account. BUT I had another $2.00 in my PayPal account, so I did some quick math while people behind were muttering, “Come ON Grandpa! While I’m still young enough to bear children!” I had the girl behind the counter put $1.75 on my bank card, and $1.60 on my PayPal debit. I did the shuffle of shame back to my computer, embarrassed but now knowing I had $.43 spread over 2 accounts with which to face the rest of the day.
* Embarrassment fades as your situation becomes more dire. It’s what allows the homeless to piss or burn a mule in back of a business, where it’s entirely possible they’ll be seen (Sudden thought: I wonder if that’s why the large trash container is called a “dumpster”…because that’s where some take a dump? Or perhaps it’s vice-versa. I might research and get back to you). So the lack of embarrassment is yet another signal you’re withdrawing from society.