Creatures of Credit by Mark Antony Rossi

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Photo credit: 401(K) 2013 via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Character: Heath, a military veteran, in his late twenties, struggling to navigate the arcane financial underpinnings of credit and home ownership.

Time: Present day.

Creatures of Credit

You need credit to get credit.

If someone checks your credit points are lost which hurt your credit.
You need the right score to be the right risk.
Your life distilled to a decimal.

I am working overtime to buy a home for my family without having to vomit
every numeral in the existence of western civilization.

But numbers is all these bloodless bean counters care about.

My ID number. My driver’s license number.
My debit card number. The number of children I feed.
The number of times I disappoint my wife.
My employer’s number. My military service number.
The number of prayers I pray to give me strength
To hold back the violent outburst so desperately needed
To rescue my dignity from the sass of soulless bankers.

I’m tired about hearing about personal responsibility
When it’s really only an excuse to ridicule past imperfection
And justify higher interest rates.
Too many believe upward mobility
Is strictly for the upwardly mobile
And not a goal anyone else dare dream.

Yet Dream is the genesis of every successful goal
You must see yourself There before There is even possible
Before There is a costumed vision in the naked eye
Before There is a grumble in the gut no longer tolerant
Of your Place--Of your Station--Of your Status

I complied with the fixed rules for my fixed rate
I signed every document three times over my personal objections
I held my tongue, pinned my nose, shut my mouth
And did everything I could possibly do to make the deal happen
To make my family happy
Regardless of my emotional well-being
This is my first duty as a husband and father
To make my family happy

I’m very proud to have served my country
Yet military service can steal parts of your humanity
And what remains must battle a jaded credit juggernaut
Intent on reducing your personhood to decimal point

In the aftermath I don’t recognize that person
He slightly registers on the slimmest margins
He barely belongs on a scale of numbers

And in one final spit
He gives his spirit to a gust of wind
That mercifully whispers a defence

To A God

He hopes will weigh his actions
In a fairer light than his earthly brethren
Who know the price of everything
And the value of nothing.

About the Playwright

Mark Antony Rossi’s poetry, criticism, fiction, creative nonfiction and photography have appeared in The Antigonish Review, Anak Sastra, Bareback Magazine, Black Heart Review, Brain of Forgetting, Deep Water Literary Journal, Dirty Chai, Enclave, Expound, Farther Stars Than, Flash Fiction, Gravel, Indian Periodical,  Japanophile, Journal of Microliterature,  Kulchur Creative Journal, Mad Swirl, On The Rusk, Purple Patch, Scrivener Creative Review, Sentiment Literary Journal, Snapdragon, Syzygy Poetry Journal, The Sacrificial, Toad Suck Review, Transnational, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Wild Quarterly and Yellow Chair Review.

Visit Mark Antony’s website to find out more about him and his work.

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