Thursday, March 22, 2007


I think of my debt as many things: mountain, vast expanse of ocean, a living person being pummeled by my fists. Also, a trap.

I used to work as a "wildlife rescue technician," going around rescuing wild animals that had the misfortune of making their homes on the property of suburbanites. One day I was checking a live trap and found it chock full of raccoon. As I walked up, the raccoon looked up at me and did not snarl, didn't pounce at the bars as many had, but instead looked at me with eyes that swam with guilt and sadness. I walked around the side of the trap and my breath sucked in as I saw that in its efforts to escape, the raccoon's right foot had somehow became entangled in the mesh. Extending from the hip socket was a perfectly cleaned set of gleaming white bones, from femur to toes.

There are days that, honestly, I feel like I am caught in a trap. I walked right in, snarfed down the Chicken of the Sea, turned around, and BLAM! That was it. Pretty soon the Chicken of the Sea was gone, but I'm still in the trap. I walked in. I was responsible. Like the raccoon, I knew better, but damn it smelled tasty.

There are days, I swear to you, that I feel like I would cut off my own leg if it meant being free of this financial prison.

But what can you do? Soldier on. Keep giving them the interest. Just do your best to avoid the traps within the traps, I guess.

And keep the leg. You'll need it when you taste freedom again.

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