THE CRASH OF FORTY-TWO
The price of silver dropped a buck last week after a long haul at a low price, and I spent the morning of my birthday at the refinery trying to get more. More silver. There is no more silver, as of this week, except for one guy who’s dumping everything he has on me to help his kid buy a new car or something. Everyone else claims to have none.
I know they have it. They just aren’t telling, and sure aren’t selling.
That’s been work. Last week, everyone wanted what they couldn’t get. This week, everyone seems to have given up, mostly. The mint isn’t making any more Eagles until mid-August. Maybe September. I don’t know and really, I do not give one good goddamn if another American Silver Eagle ever gets spit out the other end of the U.S. Mint. The guy who came in yesterday to tell me that he wanted a monster box of Eagles and would only pay two-fifty over spot? My dog hated him, and no matter how badly he wants that silver, he’s not getting it for any price, and I’m glad. My dog knew something, which was, this guy has already been everywhere looking for what doesn’t exist, and he thinks he can farmer-sweet-talk me into making a deal because he thought he had money enough to make a show.
No. Nope. Go tell someone else about your efforts to clean up the village park on your own dime, philanthropist. I do not have the silver you are looking for.
My job, my lovely, simple, bring-your-daughter-to-work job, has me strung out and ready for a day of no one saying the words “spot” or “dollar” or “collapse” or “delay” or “IT’S” combined with “HAPPENING”. Nothing is happening. It’s not happening.
Tomorrow, I’ll have been forty-two for a week. I’ll have been listening to disaster talk every single day of forty-two, and I am edging toward desperation.
Enough, already. I spent the first twenty-odd years of my aware life waiting for The Bomb, The Earthquake, The War, The End. Other unpleasant stuff went on while I readied my whole self for losing it all. Now and then, I was glad to have stashed a toothbrush and change of clothes and to have known where Pibble Bear was when it was time to get the hell out of a burning house. Only once on that scenario, but I was very, very glad that night. Now Pibble is busy taking care of a small person again, having survived his own forty-one years, and but I still know where he is at all times. Habits, you know.
There is a different way to live with what I do for a living. Other work at work makes me happy, like talking about what you’ve inherited from beloved so-and-so and how surprised we are to find a note full of sweetness tucked away in that jewelry box of treasure I’m appraising or from whom this ring came and what a low-down creep he was and what you’re going to do with the money I give you for the eleven and three tenths pennyweights of gold in that ring. (Most of the time, it’s a road trip.) But the silver shortage of my forty-second year has smooshed the fun all out of it.
In between days of fear-talk, I have evenings and mornings of green-eyed-boy smiles and small-person giggles. No one pisses off the dog. We plan little outings and plot our own non-revenge road trips for near and distant places, we sit and talk, we debate love and do not measure it. This lack of hard scope, this loose absoluteness counteracts the dollar figures and fractions of pennyweights that fill my head until I get into my Jeep and drive home.
My personal stock is as high as it’s ever been. I’m just going to live richly on its interest.