The American Dream is a fractured fairytale. To most people, its definition means home ownership. A place to call your own complete with a lawn to mow, and a driveway to wash your car.
But underneath all that landscaped perfection are mortgages, interest rates, paperwork, and banks. Conspiring and plotting. Dangling keys in front of your nose. “Don’t you want to live here?” “Can’t you just picture yourself living here?” “You can’t live in an apartment forever!”
These same banks smiled and nodded as we took the plunge into home ownership. “It’s going to be all right, isn’t it?”, we asked. The bank patted us on the top of our heads, fatherly, comforting. “We have nothing to worry about, right?”
But where is the bank now? The one I trusted with my dreams? My hopes are now turning into fears. I thought you said I could count on you, call you anytime we needed help? We need help now! We can’t afford our mortgage anymore, but we don’t want to lose our home. Why won’t you return our calls?
Suddenly the bank deigns to communicate. They will work with us! The word “modify” is thrown around. We plead our case. Send in paperwork. More conversation. More paperwork, signatures and fine print mixed with blurred vision and desperate tears. Prayers, laments, and promises. Please save our home!
But the numbers don’t work. The fatherly bank scolds us like schoolchildren. They say they are sorry they can’t help us. But are they sorry? They could help if they wanted. But they don’t want to. The bank tells us to sell our house. We don’t want to! We want to stay! Please!
But they shut the door in our face.
And we placed a “for sale” sign in our yard.