CHAPTER 8 Roll Over and Die

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copyright 2017 Chris Smith  All rights reserved.

I made it through a somewhat minimal breakfast. It was a proud moment when my stomach complied with a few bites of toast. I had convinced it there was hope. But hope could be so fleeting these days. It was like one moment I had it and the next it was gone with the wind. Part of me wanted to just give up on food altogether. Fuck it.

Why even bother?

I stood there for a while leaning against the kitchen counter contemplating a lunch when the phone rang.

"Hey," I said.

"We just got back. You want to come down and we'll tell you how it went?" Dad asked.

"Okay. I'll be right down."

Well, good. That took care of any worrying about what to eat. Skip it all. I had to be a little careful. I couldn't stop meals for long periods. I didn't have the physical reserves.

I slipped my shoes on, grabbed the house keys, and locked the door. It was only a two hundred yard walk to my Parent's house on a makeshift dirt road through the old apple orchard on Parcel A. The sun was shining. It felt good to walk. I was nervous again though and glad I hadn't put much food into my stomach.

I got down to their house and changed into my sandals and went upstairs to the living room. They were just sitting down to eat lunch.

"You want something to eat?" Mom asked.

"I don't think so. Not right now."

"So?" I said looking at my Dad.

He started in with the story. The firm assigned a Paralegal, Nancy, to the case. Nancy greeted my Parents and they sat down together at the board room table to start working. Dear Nancy didn't hold back on expressing her personal beliefs about the situation my Parents were in. She felt it was well within her right to communicate her beliefs.

Weren't we just the luckiest human beings ever?

Thank fuck Nancy was on the job!

"You should move on. Forget about the property. It's a lost cause. Any attempt to try to save it is useless," Nancy told my Parents.

She sat there, behind her title, behind the guise of helping, tucked in by safety of her own life, and proceeded to judge the very people who had come to her for help.

"You better make sure you pack up all your stuff and move it off the property before the deadline otherwise they're going to take it all from you," Nancy continued.

"I wanted to reach across the table and choke her out," Dad said to me.

"Jesus! I can't believe that Dad," I replied.

"Yeah, I couldn't either. I was in shock," Dad said.

"As if we're all in denial about everything that's going on. As if we don't see it everywhere we look on the Farm," I said.

"I started to get upset. Your Mother was already upset. This woman was not helping at all," Dad told me.

We weren't in denial. The wheels of our apple cart were shifted into a downward slope. Seriously honey, we aren't blind. It's amazing the advice people give to you during hard times. They must feel like the hand of God is pushing them to tell you how badly you fucked up your life.

But the truth is you'd rather suck a rotten egg then hear another word out of their "Just Give Up" and "You Can't Do It" attitude. They must have never gone after their Dreams or had to overcome big challenges in their life. If they had, they'd know better than to come from a defeatist mindset.

They've never stood in the path of a storm and shook their fists as if to say, "COME AND TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT! FUCK YOU IF YOU THINK I'M GOING TO JUST ROLLOVER AND DIE!"

I mean, someone should tell them they can take all their fucking "Roll Over And Die" advice and go fuck themselves.

Good thing Dad decided against choking her out. It was a good call on his part. He was showing incredible restraint these days considering the mounting stress. I was proud of him.

"So we finished the paperwork and then headed down to the Clerk's Office at the Courthouse to file it."

I could tell by the way he was explaining it, there was more story coming.

"The filing fee was three hundred dollars," he said.

"Oh shit."

"It took every penny left in our bank account to pay it. Your Mother got upset."

"Uh oh."

Mom was sensitive about money. So paying, what in her mind was a high fee, would be like someone ripping her off. The poor woman almost went off on a Level 4 Episode right there in the Clerk's Office. For sure it was at least a Level 3.8 according to Dad.

Though that's not what Mom was upset about. She was angry that all this shit was happening to her and she had no control over it. She was sitting in the passenger seat, watching her heart be ripped away all because of money. And probably beating herself up for every decision she'd ever made.

Hell, we were all upset. You can beat yourself up all you want for the past, for the mistakes you've made, but it does nothing to change the repercussions of the reality you're facing. It's like beating a dead horse. You can beat the horse all you want but it's still dead. If you can't find some way to feel good about yourself even in the direst of circumstances, then it makes the pull of just giving up and rolling over and dying all the stronger.

I'm sure the group of women working in the Clerk's Office sympathized. But there was nothing they could do. They must be seeing a lot of tragedy flow through their offices to the Court System these days. I'm sure it saddened each and every one of them.

After all, they were on the front lines of an economic crisis that was ripping through communities all across America. All they could do was watch another family drowning in the loss of their home. The piles of paperwork that the Clerk's Office had to deal with on Foreclosures and Evictions must have been endless.

I'm sure they hoped for happy stories to come out of all the loss they had seen. One story that they could say, "See that family made it!"

Maybe our story would be the one story to break through?

Maybe we could get a happy ending?

We still had two more Parcels, Parcel C and D, at risk on the Farm. But we knew money didn't grow on trees. If it did, we might have had an orchard or a forest full of it.

So some of the Farm had been auctioned off but our game plan hadn't changed one bit. We were still heading in the same direction with the same goal. We wanted to fund ourselves and pay off the debt on all four Parcels of the Family Farm and live happily ever after.

Now, you tell me, how hard could that be?

Seriously. Easy peezy.

"The size of the total consumer debt grew nearly five times in size from 1980 ($355 billion) to 2001 ($1.7 trillion). Consumer debt in 2009 now stands at $2.5 trillion."

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