Even though I’ve spent exactly no dollars in three days, and live no where near Ohio, it isn’t until the part about the hot dogs that I am sure this isn’t me.
“Did you have a failed transaction for $238.26 at a Kmart in Toledo, Ohio,” she asks me. I am standing in the bathroom at work, where I go for all my serious conversations, and sometimes handstands on double shifts.
“No, that was not me,” I say.
“Did you buy something at a Toledo Express for 38 cents,” she asks.
“No, that was not me,” I say. The speakers in the bathroom are only two turns less loud than the downstairs bar, and both spaces have played this same Mumford and Sons song twice since I got here today. Before man-buns were cool, Mumford and Sons came through Boston and hung out with one of my then-roommates, who told me they planned to go back to the same bar again the next night. Two of my friends and I posted up at the bar and waited to see them for two hours, during which time Kenzie decided she had a crush on some guy sitting next to us. Ron and I looked over to find a hulking man twice her age with what Kenzie herself called a “samurai bun.” We left. My roommate ended up hanging out with them again, but in their trailer after the show instead of mingling with us plebes. Apparently one of the Mumfords wore a head-to-toe purple fur coat and I decided it was all for the best.
“Anything after the transaction at the laundromat on Tuesday isn’t me,” I tell my bank’s fraud claims lady. “Can you tell me every transaction since then?”
“Sure,” she says in her full-blown Southern that makes her sound a hell of lot nicer than me. “The 38 cents at the gas station, the $238.26 at Kmart, and the $36.88 for all the hot dogs.”
In my second year teaching, I walked out to the parking lot of my school one day to find hot dogs in pieces, all over my car. Smeared on my window, oiled up on the roof, like some finicky baby-giant spit them everywhere, but only on my vehicle. No one ever owned up to it.
Here they are again, following me everywhere and ruining my Friday with a slick of deceit.
The last time I went to Paris, I called my bank and told them to expect foreign transactions on my account. They told me it was lucky I called, because they were just about to suspend my account. Someone had stolen my information and tried to buy a bunch of electronic toys on Amazon. I had to get a new credit card and change all my passwords in the five days before I left.
“We’ll make sure you get refunded, but it’ll be five to ten days for a new debit card,” she says. This time, I have almost a month until I leave.
The red, marble, bathroom sink, the one that knows what my forearms feel like when my heart is heavy, bears the weight of me again. It isn’t until much later, 2 AM, that I realize I can’t take an Uber, I have to take a regular cab like the Amish, and I decide it’s for the best.