I feel like I have just run a marathon. Today was THE day. The day to quit the hedging and second-guessing and put my money where my mouth is. Or, try to get someone to put money into my mouth. Or something.
This morning at 3 AM, I was stacking and patting down the last of the documents I had collected, copied, polished and printed for my presentation to the bank. To get the money. To buy the business. I had assembled, as best I could, snapshots of my life—old and new—that I hoped would tell the story of a competent, experienced restaurant manager on the threshold of realizing her lifelong dream of buying a place of her very own. It felt like walking down the runway in the bathing suit competition at a beauty pageant. Half-naked, exposed, wishing real life could be air-brushed…
I dragged myself out of bed at 8:30, attended to my chores, and rushed upstairs to get ready. It was so bizarre…superstition ruled my toilette. I hunted down my "lucky" shirt and built my dress-for-success outfit around it. I thought about lucky earrings, and realized I had one small pair left from the days of my late lamented dream job. They’re tarnished, bent and sticky with old hair-spray residue. But they had to be part of the ensemble. I even found, under my vanity, an old bottle of the cologne I used to wear back in those days. After a cursory test-sniff to determine whether it had gone off from age, I splashed that on as well. Liberally. Like holy water.
In the end, after all that trouble, I never even got to see the Loan Officer. She was busy with another client, so I just dropped off that folder full of my life’s blood at the front counter. She never saw my casual-yet-conservative power outfit, never glimpsed the sticky little onyx hearts that dangled from my ears, never got a whiff of Victoria’s Secret’s "Her Majesty’s Rose." It didn’t matter. All that mumbo jumbo had comforted me. It made me feel as if I had wrapped myself in a robe of positive ions. Old positive ions, but positive ions, nonetheless.
Arriving back home, I had a moment of panic that the ineffective-looking receptionist might not realize how hugely momentous was the information that I had entrusted into his hands. How direly it needed to be relayed to the all-powerful Loan Officer. I walked around the house,making coffee, scrounging up breakfast; but it was no good. I couldn’t get shed of that electric knife in my gut until I made the phone call. Called the Loan Officer, made sure she knew the packet—my life—was in her hands now. Casually, she laughed. "Oh, I haven’t seen it yet. They must have put it in my box." In your box? I wanted to scream. Go get it, woman! Have you no ken of how vital this is to the continued existence of the universe? But, no, that wouldn’t do. So I merely stuttered, "Well, I just wanted to make sure you knew I had dropped it off…"
I hung up the phone, and felt like all the air had just gone out of me. Like someone pulling the plug out of one of those big multi-colored punch balls we used to play with as kids. You’d pull out the cork, it would make that loud, flabby flatulence noise and go limp. And everybody would giggle.
Yep, all the spunk has just farted right out of me. Right now, I’m going to sit with my feet up and stare at…well, maybe nothing. Even television doesn’t sound appealing right now. I don’t want to think or worry or even move. For about an hour or so. And then I’ll blow some life back into myself, get up and go on to the next thing. Carrying around that little knot of apprehension in my stomach. Which is not likely to become untied until about 4:30 Monday afternoon. When I get to hear what fate the mighty Loan Officer has assigned my dream.