PATRICK NEENAN - PAPERWORK
On an outdoor patio with the sun shining bright, a caucasian middle-aged man with a polka-dotted tie sits across a middle-aged African American woman, hunched forward with her hands to her face, a golden band sits on her left ring finger.
The man pulls papers out from a brown leather suitcase all while saying, “Ms. Linda please work with me here if you don’t sign these papers you’ll lose more than the house, and trust me the people who’ll be in charge from now on will not look at this place like it’s someones home, they’ll just see it as a dollar sign.”
“Look around Mr. Festus! I don’t have anything left! My husband ain’t here no more since the divorce, and he took our child with him! I don’t have anyone left, and this house is the last thing I have of my father! I sold everything else, so look around, cause this is all that’s left!” Waving her hand back in forth to the room, Where only two offset beds with yellow-stained sheets can be seen, and with a phone being the only thing separating the beds.
“I know things are hard for you Ms. Linda but you have to understand that this is the best choice for you. We both know that in these times, a woman of black skin would be taken advantage of by the banks and the system will not defend you. Maybe things will be different in the sixties but we still got another ten years to go.” He looks her in the eyes, flipping the papers over to her side of the desk, the word LOAN bolded in the print towards the bottom of the document. “Please, take the loan. I know it’ll be hard to pay off, but if you sell some more stuff and get a job, you’ll be able to pay it off in no time.”
“What job could I possibly get where they would hire a black woman?”
“Women are starting to work more than you would think. it shouldn’t be too hard to find a decent paying job that would help cover a house this small.”
“And how do I know you’re not just trying to get me in an even deeper debt just so you can make money?”
His face lowering. “I believe in the words of the bible Ms. Linda, that all men are created equal, with no separation in heaven. How can I say that I follow such teachings when in life I discriminated against others.” He put the pen on the table and looked at the room that leads into the house. He took a sharp swallow then spoke again. “It’s the safest bet, Ms. Linda, please, if you want to save your father’s house, I would recommend signing the papers.”
Through teary eyes, she mutters an, “Okay,” And signs a loan that would put her in debt even further.
He smiles and says, “Very well then, You’ll have your money, and I hope to see you in high spirits if we meet again.” Packing up the documents into a suitcase next to him, he shakes her hand and moves on to his next assignment.