Unlike most dark children, however, I did not keep this one secret. I mounted it on a pedestal framed in black roses, shouted from the interior of my office at work, "Your time is coming!" Announcements followed on social websites, something wicked was to be born, destruction and misery were to be its children just as it was mine, this evil spawn, this Anger.
We had been on a tight rope for months, juggling this, managing that, barely squeaking through the weeks as bills mounted and costs were cut on every--and I do mean every--front. But then one missed payment--one missed payment in 9 years by two business days--threatened it all. A deduction from the checking account far exceeding, three times exceeding, the normal amount, had been raped from my hands, torn from my life without so much as a whimper.
Other things fell into disarray, funds that should have been there were no longer, and the negative balance grew as quickly as my child, my rage, my Anger.
After two more business days, I located the documentation I needed in the gigantic pile that passes for a filing system and punched the numbers into the phone. I brought forth the dark child and it perched there on the edges of my mind, crouched like a cat ready for the killing spree. The endless automated computer menus fed its already insatiable lust for blood. I kept her on a short leash as the real human being finally came on the line, waiting for the verification circus to come to a close--and then the time was upon us! I ripped off her leash and threw her forth into the wireless void! A whirlwind of emotions were unraveling in my minds eye as mental images of blood and death navigated the intangible realms between here and there! And as breath began to explode from my lungs to execute--
What was this, some trickery? A trap? A desperate attempt to buy time? I don't think so! my mind shouted, and once again the wellspring of evil filled my lungs, about to spill forth--
Credit Card Rep: Oh my god...
So it's to be the "I'm new here" routine, is it? Battle strategies already formed, tactics planned, and Anger simply fed on the elevator music, growing to monstrous proportions!
Credit Card Rep: Something has gone terribly wrong sir. I'm assuming that's the reason for your call?
Me: I-- er... Well, yes, actually, I--
Credit Card Rep: Just one moment, sir. I'm not sure how this happened, but I need to get my coworker as this is only my second week here, but I know this isn't right, please hold on...
I felt my child dying. It wasn't prepared for this, an attack of decency and fairness, of understanding and compassion. It's a credit card company! she screamed in her death throes. They are the embodiment of my soul, my life! They are my god! Anger screamed as the essence of her dissipated into nothingness. As I watched her whither and die, I couldn't help but smile. A melancholy smile, to be sure. After all, for two whole days she had been mine. I had poured life and breath into her, prepared her for war, raised her for...
Credit Card Rep: Hello, sir, sorry to put you on hold, but could you just verify for me real quick the reason for your call today?
Me: You mean, besides the fact that you took three times the amount of my minimum due payment from my checking account two days ago?
Credit Card Rep: I figured as much. We are in the process of refunding that amount to your checking account as we speak. We're also lowering your APR by half, and we'll also be waiving your next months payment. We are so sorry for this inconvenience and I can assure you we are looking into this issue and will get to the bottom of this. Did you incur any charges from your financial institution due to this unfortunate circumstance?
Me: Um, er... Yes, three overdraft fees of $30 each--
Credit Card Rep: So $90? We will include an extra $90 in the amount of money we will refund to your account sir. Again, we apologize for this and want to assure you that this should never have happened. We will of course let you know immediately the cause once we are aware of what has occurred--
Me: So--you're refunding all of it? The entire amount?
Credit Card Rep: As we speak, sir. I'm getting ______ on the line from Accounts Payable as we speak to ensure that this isn't delayed. We will also be calling your financial institution first thing tomorrow morning to ensure that this money is available to you first thing in the morning.
Well, for nothing, it seems...
I thank the representative for her candor and her help, and after we hang up, I simply sit in silence and stare at my walls. Crisis averted, I thought, and took stock quickly of the other calls that now needed made knowing that the missing money would be there tomorrow morning. As I ticked off the short list, I buried Anger without ceremony into the depths of my mind, knowing that like the vampire she was, she'd be ready to suck my humanity from me once again in preparation for war...
But hopefully, just hopefully, Anger will remember this moment--and hopefully, so will I. To remember the moment I spoke to a human being who reminded me of my humanity as she used hers...