Dunga Brook Diary

The rural life through the lens of an iPhone and notes from the field…

Archive for money

Angel In A Sharp Suit

Angel In A Sharp Suit


September 2005. Early. Sunday.

I am in a town car with a sharp dressed driver on my way to LAX to catch a flight to JFK…first trip with the new job. Funds are low but I have enough to get me to NY and back. For sure. Just to be sure I call B of A to get my balance.

I have that number memorized. When you live on fumes, this is what you do. You check your balance.

Instead of hearing what I want to hear, the robotic voice of the B of A lady informs me that I am in the negative by several hundred dollars.

In the back seat of the black car gliding through the green lights of an early morning Venice on the way to the airport, I can’t breathe. My fingers tremble as I dial B of A again, once connected I push random numbers until I get a human on the line.

The coffee shops and video stores and liquor stores are a blur as the B of A human informs me that my last check hasn’t cleared and won’t clear for days.

The driver has his eyes on me in the rearview mirror. He looks like Bill Cosby, a bit thicker, but about the same age and height, he looks like what I imagine Bill Cosby to look like. Where has Bill Cosby gone? I hang up the phone.

“Miss? I couldn’t help but hear…are you having money issues?”

How could I have stepped into this hired car this morning without any money? I thought I was finally caught up. After years of being underemployed I’d knuckled under and gone back to the corporate job with the big paycheck…this is my first trip to the big deal sales conference in NY. How can I be such a fuck up?

“Miss, how much do you need? I have $500 in cash, do you need more? I can get more.”

We are in Culver City now, the road goes from 2 lanes to 4, the airport is just ahead.

I look into his eyes, the review mirror is just big enough for his kind eyes. I want to wail. What do I need? I need so much. So very much. My mother just died of a horrible, unfair disease called ALS, right before that my love and I split after 4 years, my teenage son is spiraling out of control, not to mention all of my bills are past due and I’m on my way to NY to spend time with people who resent my new position in this voraciously stupid company that I just signed on to AND I have no goddam cash to get me there!

“Sir, $500 is more than enough.”

At LAX, he hands me $500 along with two business cards, one for the limo service and one that states in black and white that he is a minister in Watts.

I thank him from the bottom of my weepy heart. He waves goodbye and leaves in that shiny black town car.

I will never forget him, my angel in a sharp suit.

Wild Parsnip@12 degrees & Money vs Wild

Wild Parsnip@12 degrees & Money vs Wild

Dunga Brook, 8am, the dogs want out, the wild birds want to be fed, I want coffee but pack on my jacket, boots and gloves instead.

Outside, it is a wintry wonderland of deep blue skies lit by a fierce winter sun already half-way into its daily trajectory…spring is coming, it is inevitable, this repositioning by 8am says it all.

There is a fine frost on every bare branch and twig, making the trees white as ghosts. On the ground, the fresh snow twinkles in delight.

It is cold, I can tell because my iphone shutter is slow as molasses. Chevy has disappeared into the glen, so Plato and I amble to the roadside where the Wild Parsnips stand as tall and as straight as summer, each one coated with rough cut diamonds.

I do a lot of thinking out here. One thought is, what is money when all this beauty is free? Money didn’t make this happen, couldn’t come close to it…then…but money keeps me warm at night thanks to my Harman pellet stove, and money bought my down jacket and touch pad friendly gloves from REI and my Bogs for the army supply store in Herkeimer. I hate money. I love money. Argh.

Iphone in hand (money), I lose myself again to the beauty of central New York’s flora and fauna (free).

Lately, I have been ground up by thoughts of money because money is and has been flowing out faster that it flows in. By an extra long country mile.

One part of me, the Black And White me, feels like my money situation will never get better.

The other part of me, the one who is forever cleaning up after Miss Black And White, understands that hard work and time take care of most things.

This Wild Parsnip in front of me didn’t spring up over night, it took weeks for it to get to its full height of 6 feet. I took its lifetime. It also didn’t crumble up and disappear at the end of its summer season, it stood tall and dispersed seeds so more of it could grow in the spring.

What am I doing? Coaching myself through a rough spot in The Middle Of Nowhere with a Wild Parsnip as a mentor…isn’t that what you’d do?



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