I have outstanding student loans. Outstandingly high amounts. I went through chiropractic school. I have the degree. I am technically Doctor Amadan. That and $4.75 will get me a Wild Cherry Mocha at Caribou. For reasons that are by turn semi-tragic and lightly comedic, I did not end up practicing that profession, but that is a tale for another time. A time when I have absolutely nothing else at all to write about. A time when generous amounts of Mr Jameson's special irish has been slipped into my Wild Cherry Mocha by persons of dubious character. A time I don't foresee anywhere on the horizon.
Now, I don't dispute that the debt is mine. Oh, it is. I also agree that I need to pay it back. Sometime. Like when I have an income that will allow me to make payments that actually have meaning. I try not to think about the fact that the original only slightly disconcerting five-figure amount has grown to a gargantuan six-figure behemoth. Every payment I make doesn't even dent the interest piling on. I would make as much headway against this debt if I just set the cash equivalent on fire and mailed the ashes in. The loan has become a giant, inflated balloon casting its dark shadow over the parade of my life. The Bloodsuckers walk right along with me, the long tentacle-like tethers hanging from my debt balloon held tight in their cadaverous claws, their noses raised slightly, sniffing the wind for any hint that I might have a dollar or two more this week than I had last week.
Every six months, I have to complete the exercise in humiliation otherwise known as a financial disclosure statement, in which I try to point out how the Bloodsuckers really are sucking my blood, and they show their pointy teeth and say "Oh, but it's really not that bad. It could be vorse." One of them really said that to me today. I think I added the bad accent in my head, but I'm not sure. She may have really sounded that way. Yesterday, I sent off my Papers of Poverty, my Documents of Destituteness via fax to Castle Bloodsuck, to await their decision on what amount they intended to suck out of my paychecks for the next six months. Sadly, I had entertained this fantasy that the amount I can barely afford right now might stay the same.. but.. alas! Countess Bloodsuck determined that because my last two paystubs showed I had worked a small amount of overtime, that meant that I had spare blood to give.
"But, Countess. It says 'Overtime' not 'Everytime'. And expenses have gone up, as I plainly documented." I thought I sounded reasonable.
"Vellllll...." the Countess drawled, if Bloodsuckers can drawl "But you live alone, at least you don't have family."
"I couldn't afford a family, unless I had it in mind to live like Fagin."
"Who?" I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that the Countess wasn't up on her Dickens.
"Oh, a guy who wore fingerless gloves." I said absently. "But he was a great one for assessing opportunity."
Countess Bloodsuck informed me of what my new payment would be for the next six months.
About another fifteen bucks a month. About three Wild Cherry Mochas. And I do owe the money. I just wish it wasn't all so futile. Making a payment only looks like I'm moving forward on retiring the debt, when the reality is Michael Jackson made more forward progress when he used to do the 'moondance' back in the day.
"Oh, but its really not that bad. It could be vorse."
I'll try to remember that.