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.