Love (and Death) at the ATM

I emailed Tano at work because I couldn't look at him when I told him I wouldn't have enough money for rent. I wrote, "Can you cover it? Also, can you lend me $1200 until my tax return comes?"

I want him to take a cash advance off his credit card. I want Tano to take a cash advance but he says he can't do it at an ATM. If I had money I would tell him I'm not discussing this any more because I know he can do it at an ATM. Now I don't have enough money to be right. I just wait.

He calls around to the gazillion credit card companies that have begged him to sign up for the I-have-great-credit plan. After a few calls Tano announces that he can use the card at an ATM. "How much do you want?" he says, like I haven't already told him.

I say $1200.

He says he can't take that much out. He says the ATM doesn't give that much.

It's not like he isn't like this all the time. Like he'll tell me we can't do a wash because we don't have enough whites. And I'll say you can do half a wash, and he'll say no, that is bad for the clothes. And then I'll do an eighth of a wash with just my clothes. I could do that because I had my own quarters for the wash.

Now I have to hear him say he'll take out $600 now and $600 later. I cry on a pillow on the floor by the table.

I say, Can we do it in the morning.

He says no, ATMs run out of money. Maybe all the ATMs will be out of money by tomorrow, he says.

Tano puts his arm around me and we march down the stairs to his car, because I don't have enough money to pay for gas to go to the bank. He rubs the top of my hipbone because that's my favorite spot, but it's not the right time.

This is what Tano's wallet looks like: two platinum Visas and an Optima card with a fifty-gazillion dollar limit. This is because Tano made a film on his Visa and has almost paid it off. Credit card companies love that. And Tano's wallet is organized: all bills facing the same way.

My money is scrunched and sloppy. Well, when I had money. We walk from his car to his bank and I cross my arms and walk rigidly like the time I had to model nude to pay my rent and I knew it would be gross but I couldn't think of anything else, so I just kept walking to the photographer's apartment.

Tano looks at me while he waits for his money to come out. Then it will be my money. I look away from the ATM and tell myself the only way this situation could be worse is if I cry. Tears at the bank. Its not like this hasn't happened before. It's like the time I used my ATM card and I didn't have enough money to pay the fees on the bounced checks so my account had been closed. I cried then.

I sleep on the floor. I feel too dependent on him to share a bed. I sleep on the futon that I slept on when I thought I was breaking up with him. I remember when I first was dating Tano and I didn't have enough money to eat so I didn't feel like dating him. I want my own money more than I want my own boyfriend. I never want to be like this again.

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