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.