Primordial (Chp. 37)

Here is the thirty-seventh chapter of my in-progress novel, Primordial: An Abstract, regarding a professor who has all of his degrees revoked and is subsequently sent back to college to start over. Throughout the course of the novel, the ex-professor experiences a slow devolution from "man" into "monkey." Coming in 2014 from Anti-Oedipus Press:


I got to go to the bank.

I got to get some money from the money machine.

I put in my card and press the buttons and wait and press the buttons and wait and my money comes out. I take it, count it.

The money blows away. It’s windy.

I go inside the bank to get reimbursed. The teller gives me a hard time and she has to talk to her supervisor and they go back and forth and at one point the supervisor makes a phone call and at last they look at each other and then they look at me and they decide to reimburse me.

I count my money on the way out of the bank and when I step outside it blows out of my hands. The wind has picked up.

I go back inside the bank to get reimbursed and the teller kind of laughs at me and her supervisor comes out and laughs at me and they call somebody on the phone and I can hear them laughing really loud on the other end of the line. I’m persistent, though. Eventually my persistence wears everybody out and they reimburse me just to get rid of me, although I’m careful to explain that I’m not breaking the law, that I didn’t do anything wrong, that I can’t help it if the goddamn forces of nature are against me, against all of us, and finally that I resent the allegation, veiled or otherwise, that I’m trying to take advantage of the bank and get away with something. Apologizing like henpecked husbands, they nod perfunctorily and they dole out idle reassurances and they call me sir and so forth and I back out of the bank staring at everybody with my jaw flexed and my eyes round and wet and mad.

This time I’m careful to hold on tightly to my money in two fists but I’m pretty angry now and I don’t like those people in the bank and I might have had too much to drink earlier and I can’t hold my liquor like I used to so I may just relax the muscles in my fingers and I may just loosen my fists a hair so that the wind can rob me yet again.

Nothing happens. The wind is gone.

I open my hands and the money falls onto the sidewalk between my feet.

I stand there for awhile, like a soldier at ease, observing the crisp bills and wondering if the wind will kick back up.

Nothing happens.

At some point somebody comes up to me and sees me looking down at they money and they look back and forth between my face and the money and my face and the money and then they bend over and reach down and take the money and run away.

I run into the bank. “Did you see that!”

Nobody saw anything.

Getting reimbursed a third time is difficult but not impossible. It never is. Given enough time, the patience, temperament, and psychological endurance of the human condition will always run its course.

“At any rate,” I explain to the teller, singling her out, “why would I lie?”