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Picture of the Day
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May 24, 2004

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marketa zverinova, self-portrait, NYC, 197?

i've been trying to express what i'm about to express
for a long time and this installment won't be the end of it,
but it feels like time to get over the embarrassment & break the silence:
for years i lived under a crushing burden of debt. now i'm out of it....

...not through hard work and perserverance, although i did work very hard--
long hours, shit jobs, all my time draining away just so i could stay in place--
but due to usurous interest rates the debt quickly compounded past the point
for honest labor to eliminate. no, i made my money the old-fashioned way:
i inherited it. or, more accurately, a share of property which it took three
years to liquidate. now it's done, everything is paid off, and i feel i can breathe
freely for the first time since i signed my first student loan 17 years ago, when
i was 17 and unquestioningly accepted the "necessity" of giving my last penny
to a multibillion dollar research arm of the Dee-oh-Dee--Cornell University.

 are there support groups for the indebted?
 if not, there should be. debt affects every aspect
 of life--how we live, work, recreate, relate. it put
 a strain on my relationship with sarah that i wasn't
 even aware of until it had been lifted. for anyone
 considering climbing the stairway of credit for a
 dose of instant consumer satisfaction, don't do it.
 when the dream fades, the stairs disappear,
 you're left hanging, staring into the abyss.

credit is the crack
of the middle class.
even worse, because
even after you quit
you're still stuck with it.

like melle mel said,
d-d-d-d-d-don't do it,