The bank

There is no one in the bank but the tellers, the manager, and the disembodied voice of the drive-through customer in the first lane. The customer has neither a dog nor a child, so she won’t be getting anything from either of the two treat containers hidden below the counter.

I don’t have hair on my face which means I look different than I have for the past five years and a lot closer to what I looked like when I was thirty. Except now I am graying near the temples, have a few wrinkles around the eye, and wear my hair in a way that wouldn’t necessary make it on proper television. It made me think of the tatted-up girl at the bar from Monday night who read Tucker Max and laughed out aloud about every second paragraph. She ordered from the gluten-free menu and declared herself a stylist at a local spa. Later, those men with hair among us compared how much we pay for our haircuts. I answered “Thirty.”

“For that haircut?” Rick asked. I laughed with everyone.

“Tucker Max is a misogynist,” I said to the stylist, who didn’t want to debate me. I figured when they do finally start serving beer in hell, she can be the cocktail waitress.

Though I look different when I walk in the bank, the lady behind the counter greets me by my first name. I’m cashing a check to get some expense money for a trip.

“Do you need my license?” I ask.

“The size of the check,” she says by way of explanation. “Even if I know who you are, I need to write down your license number.”

She punches some keys on her computer screen and makes small talk.

“How is your business doing?” she asks.

I look down the counter at another woman I know and give a half wave. It doesn’t escape me that the lady behind the counter can probably guess how my business is doing. In front of her sits 90% of my financial life on one computer screen. The lady at the bank probably can figure out more about my life than 95% of the people I know.

“Doing just fine,” I say. “Going to London today for it, in fact.”

“Oooooh, London” says the lady at the other end of the counter. She was listening, and I think I probably knew that. I don’t laugh at myself like I should.

We start talking about London, how everything costs so much there, and how one of the ladies’ friends once went to the city without a jacket, had to buy one, and was aghast at how much it cost.

“I don’t have a jacket,” I think to myself as the money gets counted out in front of me.

The lady thanks me and wishes me a good trip. I thank her and turn to leave. She speaks one more time.

“I can’t see you walk in that door without thinking about seeing you at the courthouse after my [family members] were murdered,” she says.

I nod a little sadly and wave goodbye.

As I drive off, I wonder about how much a person could learn about me by standing in line at the bank.

And about how much I can learn about myself.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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8 Responses

  1. Jay says:

    This wasn’t Brad S.’ girlfriend, was it?

  2. otis says:

    Jay…wow. Good catch. Or close at least. Same case, different member of the family.

  3. change100 says:

    The goatee is gone? Pics or it didn’t happen 😉

  4. Otis says:

    Change…I’m headed to an EPT event. It’s 10-1 in favor that a pic of me shows up on FB. If you wanna tease the 10-1, parlay it with “pic of me doing something stupid.”

  5. AgSweep says:

    Safe travels Otis. I love London.

  6. CJ says:

    “And about how much I can learn about myself.”

    That you need to buy a jacket for London?

  7. Jay says:

    Well, in fairness, we didn’t have all that many high profile multiple slayings in G town in our day.

    Still haven’t solved Blue Ridge Savings, have they?

  8. Da Goddess says:

    Have a safe trip!

    And yeah, I’d totally wonder about you if I overheard that conversation while waiting in line behind you.

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