July 11, 2016: The Day I Met an Android and a Poet (Part 1)

87 3 2

Dear Diary,

I am dead tired.

I wasn't tired a minute ago. I was brimming with gumption and verve. There are problems to solve! Houses to save! Pies to bake! (More on that later.)

But then I sat down at this desk and wow, I am tired. Today was draining in every possible way: physically, intellectually, and emotionally. I feel like I just ran a 5K while filing my taxes and playing therapist for a friend who's going through a horrible breakup.

And now I have to bake a pie to suck up to a mortgage lender.

The receptionist for Collins Mortgage Company called me back as soon as their office opened this morning. She told us if we could get there by nine, we could meet for an hour with the head mortgage advisor, Mr. Collins himself.

I helped Dad gather the documents that Google said we would need: tax returns, credit reports, and the letters from his current lender. I made copies of the letters because the originals were wrinkled and splotchy from Mom's tears.

After the blow-up yesterday morning, Mom locked herself in her room for the rest of the day. When Jane brought her a sandwich for lunch, Mom refused to eat it. She said she'd soon be starving to death on the streets, so she'd better to get used to going hungry.

When I visited her to talk about my plan to refinance the mortgage, Mom shooed me away because she couldn't bear to look at me. I reminded her too much of That Man who broke her heart to pieces after thirty years of marriage. Thirty years! Thirty years of trust, all gone in an instant...just like this house!

When Lydia texted Mom to say that she and Kitty were going to order pizza and watch an all-night marathon of Pretty Little Liars, Mom texted back that they should do it on the big Ultra-HD TV in her room. Presumably, her reasoning was that the repo men would soon barge in to take the TV away, and we should get as much use out of it as we could before then.

The Pretty Little Liars marathon lasted all night, as advertised, and was accompanied by two whole bottles of wine. And so Dad and I decided to let Mom sleep it off while we drove downtown to meet Mr. Collins.

Collins Mortgage Company is located kitty-corner from the Deschutes County Courthouse, in that cluster of red brick banks, boutiques, and fashionably rustic restaurants south of the river. Last summer I met Charlotte for lunch at one of those restaurants, and I spent nine dollars on a roasted potato. Nothing else. Just the potato.

(When the server brought the check, I asked if this extravagant vegetable was grown at the top of Mount Olympus, fed with holy water from the river Styx by Zeus himself. He said no, it probably came from Idaho.)

I could tell what sort of clientele Collins Mortgage Company was out to attract from their strategic choice of neighboring businesses: a microbrewery, a sushi bar, a fancy bicycle shop (excuse me, "cyclery") and an exotic natural beauty store. They might as well have hung a sign on the door saying, "Enter forthwith, all ye Silicon Valley hipsters!"

Inside, the receptionist greeted us with a bright smile. She said Mr. Collins would be with us in just one moment. She spoke into an intercom and, indeed, just one moment later a man strutted out of an office to meet us.

Are you familiar with the word "android," Diary? No, not the operating system for smartphones. I mean "android (n.): automaton resembling a human being in form and movement." Robots that look like people.

Androids are fantastical beings invented by science fiction writers to explore dramatic themes like the nature of humanity and the ethics of artificial intelligence. They don't actually exist.

Lizzie Bennet's DiaryRead this story for FREE!