Fought the great credit illusion and won
The great credit illusion
Money. A simple enough word that gives most people a warm glow when they hear it. It can also send chills down your spine when someone is hounding you for it. But what if you could escape its grasp for a little while and feel truly free of its taunting and beckoning call.
Is the system that feeds its ferocious apatite (that could consumer countries if left to run-a-muck) simply turning it into an uncontrollable monster that will some day gobble up the planet when they run out of resources to feed its ever growing hunger.
Is it simply an urban legend, that someone once stood their ground and found that the beast was not quite as scary as we have been led to believe it is.
Could someone actually have fought it and lived to tell the tail.
I am here to tell you that I went to battle with this monster and found, to my surprise that it is nothing more than a windmill. Its giant movements once thought to be its arms from a distance that caused widespread panic when they moved are in fact blown by the gentlest breeze. The resources that you sacrificed to it that disappeared in the night were eaten by bulls and bears and its huge body is nothing more than bricks and mortar. Its stomach is a machine that refines raw material into consumable substances and its tail is a barn filled with enough resources to feed every hungry mouth on earth.
This is the monster you fear so much.
This machine and storehouse you see as a monster was actually built by the hard labor of your ancestors FOR YOU! but the greedy bull and bear farmers told you scary stories to frighten you so far away from it that you could no longer see it for what it truly was or the abundance that it was meant to provide you with, even though its right before your very eyes.
My accidental battle started in part out of frustration but mainly from a state of temporary insanity, as most wars do.
As a successful business man that has earned millions of dollars over the years to feed my seven children, support my 3 wives, pay for my many abodes and to gratify my own need for glory and praise from others, I have paid my duo’s to the system.
My hard work had a price to pay greater than the money it had earned me and I was facing my second divorce.
Separated from the very thing I had work so hard for, I relocated to an apartment in the city and went to buy a bed at a local department store.
I had just signed all my rights to any property in my divorce agreement and of course changed my status with my local bank; and the bank accordingly made an adjustment to my credit rating and the battle began.
It was a nice bed and I deserved the comfort after my hard labors and at that time a good night’s sleep was the least I could ask for.
I presented my credit card and the department store gave me that ‘call security’ look and with a grin said; “I’m sorry sir but your credit card has been declined.”
“Let me speak to them there must be some mistake”. There wasn’t; my credit had been “pulled back to reflect your readjusted true net worth SIR!”
I think I actually felt the click in my brain as the temporary insanity button was thrown to the ON position.
“What more do I have to lose now anyway?” I thought as my blood pressure turned my face to purple-red, which the shop assistant mistook for embarrassment.
“What is the maximum available on my card?” I ask the NICE lady at the credit card company.
“$1000 SIR, but you can always apply to have it increased when your financial SITUATION changes”.
My pre readjusted limit was $20,000 and my balance was at $10,000 so for three nights I slept in my bedless new apartment, the hard floor reminding me of why I was formulating my battle plans with such vigor.
On the fourth day I put on my camouflage suit and headed to the front line.
“Good morning SIR how can I help you.” The disguise was working.
“I would like to discuss increasing my business line of credit please.”
“Of course SIR step this way. Would you like me to convert your line of credit to a short term loan which would save you 2% on the interest you are currently paying?”
Interest was something that mattered a hoot to me as I knew any checks in the system would set off the banks alarm system and the place would probably be instantly surrounded by cops.
“A line of credit will be fine, that way we don’t have to go through all that time consuming paper work. You know me; so how quickly can we arrange this as I have a deal I need to complete this week.”
“I can do that for you right away SIR. You’re at $50,000 currently and I can extend that to $100,000 without a problem.”
“That will do nicely thank you.”
I felt like asking him to put the money in a brown paper bag there and then as I felt I would be arrested by the time I got to the counter to withdraw it; but I kept my cool.
I figured the only way out of this was make-or-break and business was not so good as I had neglected it for so long in my misery. So I made the only rational decision a temporary insane man can make when he has nothing to lose and needs to feel the rush of life again. I HEADED FOR VEGAS!!
Surrounded by the luxuries of the Bellagio hotel and the flashing lights of the Vegas strip I could almost forget my problems but was sharply reminded as the money slid through my fingers like a handful of Nevada desert sand.
I thought to myself that I had finally hit rock bottom even though I was still freefalling without realizing that I was actually only a third of the way down and rapidly heading towards a hell that was hotter than I ever could have imagined. Especially when you’ve been sitting in heaven for so long.
Three months later I finally hit a cold slab of concrete like a lead balloon. And as I tried to struggle to my feet and regain my consciousness there it was standing before me. A screaming monster the like of which I had never seem, waving papers in my face threatening me and my family with tortures no soul should ever have to injure. It wanted what belonged to it and it wasn’t about to walk away without what it came for. Money!
At first I tried pleaded with its sense of compassion but found it had no emotions. Then I bargained with its sense of reality and found that reality was not a concept it had yet experience. Finally I pacified it with the sweet music of a the only sound it seemed to understand and repeated it over and over again. Money. Money, Money, Money. Until it seemed to calm down just long enough for me to do the only thing a beaten, temporarily insane, penniless, homeless, jobless, creditless retch could do to find a little rest from this cruel beasts torment.
I HEADED BACK TO VEGAS
Now Vegas and being broke don’t normally go together and I was broke. I mean so broke that I was getting phone calls from the repo man as I hadn’t paid my van payments for 4 months and they were coming for my van just as soon as they could find me. I figured as they had my phone number it was a matter of days before the toe truck pulled up; which was yet another good reason to head to VEGAS as I was sure they wouldn’t find me there and it’s a happy place.
I had a grand total of $300 in my pocket a full tank of petrol and my credit was totally shot; so I hit the road.
As I had no idea how long it would be before I made more money I had to spend as little as I could. I removed the back seats from the van, bought a blow up bed from Wal-Mart $25 and through a quilt and pillows in the back of the van; some cloths and I had my home on wheels. I bought a gym past $30 for the month in Vegas so I had my showers and could keep fit into the bargain.
I remember sitting in Kinko’s (my temp office) thinking about how I was going to eat without money. I looked across the street at the Holiday Inn and thought maybe I can get a free coffee there. As I entered the restaurant I saw a sign that said; “Please show your room key if you are having breakfast.” I noticed that nobody was showing their room keys and had found my oasis in the desert for the next month.
I remember looking around the room and thinking; I am free! I don’t need money or credit. The world is so full of abundance that I could live this way for ever and nobody would ever know. I lived that way for 3 months and found it liberating beyond my wildest imagination.
In my happy place I reflected on the fact that I truly had nothing and therefore the monsters taunting would be in vain. It was indeed the dagger that pierced its heart.
The monster slapped me from time to time but could never solve the riddle of how to get blood from a stone and it finally flew away taking its demons with it.
Money, the need for it and the crazy system that propagates the lie that we are nothing without it, is, (if you are prepared to step out of the box) an illusion you will quickly see through. But you have to stand up off that cold hard slab of concrete and walk towards the monster first! And you may discover as I did that it is nothing more than a storehouse and a windmill ever turning to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Vegas may not be your oasis but strangely it helped to remind me that heaven still existed even when hell is biting at your heels.
I like to say 'when you’re at the bottom it's nice to finally feel the ground under your feet.'