Blue-grey clouds drift toward me from the horizon. They smother the sun with a mass heavy with future thunder. Watching them through the plate glass window matches the ominous mood as I sit in the car salesman’s office. I re-read the loan terms – zero down, 60 months at 12% interest. How did I get here? I’m paying an extra third of the purchase price in interest on a 2013 Toyota Corolla.
Later I’ll get a letter from the lender explaining how they justify usury on an auto loan. The letter will be four pages of tiny print, but the only relevant item is a single three-digit number. A number that reminds me of my status and worthiness.
My mind does one last lap for alternatives before I scrawl my signature on the loan paperwork. Visions of a bus pass flash as I slide further down the middle-class scale.