First Posted 21-Jul-2014
I have people in my life who narrate certain events in the most emotionally dissonant way possible. Suggesting that parasitic space aliens are infecting family members through transporter beams embedded in cell phones has them nodding agreeably. It totally explains the voices in their heads and their secret urge to eat live silkworms as a primary protein.
Someone I know checked their bank balance and saw that $900.00 was gone. This was not a transaction they had authorized. Panic. An hour in the bank, nuke everything that may have been compromised, new everything in its place, and the bank said, after investigation, that they may give back the $900.00. This is somebody like me, who lives paycheck to paycheck, so this was a huge loss for them. That’s the back story. In the meantime, his financial life has taken a big hit and important bills like rent, car payments, insurance, groceries, and utilities and so on, are now harder than usual.
Last I heard, he’d gotten some help here so it’ll be ok. Still, in the early moments of this, life was scary. Along the way, wanting to understand why he took a $900.00 hit on his account, he tried checking his credit score to see if anything was there. This guy, though, is young and so far, except for checking and savings, does not have a credit history. He grew up in a family that operates with cash, usually without a bank account. What they own they save for and pay cash. Credit just isn’t in the plan for them. So, being a good son, he also has cash, mostly, though the checking and savings accounts were/are necessary for payroll. Now, that’s the mellow, reasonable explanation for browsing to a credit reporting agency’s site and finding nothing.
This site likes parasitic aliens. It explains a lot. We know there is no such but parasitic aliens is such a seductive lie it’s hard to ignore. I mean, Ray(bert(a)) is a thing in this space, just saying. The lack of a credit report and the questions the site asked along the way can’t be spoken of as a normal thing. Nope. That doesn’t have the requisite emotional heat. Better still is this: Russian Separatist Rebels had hacked the credit reporting web site and put up a page to phish for this guy’s data so they could get more than $900.00. The rebels, having been cut off because the old accounts were nuked, were now pissed and thus, sending Mexican gang members infected with alien parasites to educate this guy with knives and baseball bats on proper humility and cooperation with the rebel’s need for more money. Crazy, right?
We write novels and make movies with stories like that. We spend good money watching them. But, in life, such stories can be a problem for us. The emotional energy in them, that makes great fiction, can drive us to behave in ways which generate trouble and could manifest a version of our insane narrative. My friend is ok. He did the needful and now has his bills paid. The bank has said that it’ll take time but it looks like he didn’t do this and so they’ll be giving him his money back. It could have gone differently, perhaps if he’d taken on the “Russian Rebels” narrative. It didn’t, though, and that’s a good thing.
We can’t always control the circumstances we find ourselves in. We can control the way we narrate those circumstances for ourselves and for others. We can also control our choices in those circumstances. Please, before you start hating on cell phones & family members, ask yourself if this isn’t a little nuts. Maybe the story you tell about cell phones & family members needs a little fact-checking. Also, it’s probably not true that Russian Separatist Rebels would put that much work into a web site to attack just one young guy. Just saying.