I sat in my apartment wondering what the dumbest face I’ve ever made was. My phone rings.
“What’s up Hank?”
“I need you, help!”
“Where are you?”
“On my way.”
He doesn’t live far. Five minute drive. He opens his door in a sweaty panic.
“They took my car,” he says.
“The insurance people.”
“Why did they take your car?”
“I didn’t pay them.”
I sigh. “Alright. Well, first let’s get to the lot. The longer it’s there the more you’ll pay.”
Hank puts a jacket on over his bare chest and closes his door behind us. We drive.
“You know, like, when you’re in school and bullies come to you and tell you to give them your lunch money?”
I turn down the music.
“Well,” Hank fidgets with the window controls. “It’s like that. Except that the bullies are far away and they are just sending letters.”
I light a cigarette and crack the window.
“So you didn’t pay them? That’s not how bills work Hank.”
Hank sighs. “I know. I’m useless. You know, I grew up too privileged.”
We sit at a red light.
“When I was younger my Dad was a doctor. But, then he cheated on my mom and so my mom died. Then he lost his practice, started getting stoned all the time and moved in with a Rastafarian man named Bo. So, then, I had nothing, and no clue what to do.”
He rolls the window all the way and sticks an arm out into the cool air.
“It’s alright Hank, we’ll figure it out.”
He nods. We get to the tow company. I look up some car insurance agencies and get them on the phone. Hank scrambles around in his brain for the information they need. Eventually, he is insured.
Before going in, I stop him.
“Hank, you have to pay now.”
“They’ll take it again.”
“Alright man, I’m gonna go,” I tell him.
“Thanks, I wouldn’t have been able to figure that out alone.”
He turns and starts walking.
“And Hank!” I call after him.
He turns, “yeah?”
“Remember, it’s just how life works, they aren’t bullies.”
He frowns. “Yes, they are.”
I pause a moment.
“Well, yes, they are. But they are bullies you have to pay.”
“Some things never change,” he says before walking into the office.
*For more conversations with Hank, click here.