The Vancouver rain poured down in sheets. It was a dreary day in December, the day I met Julia.
I was on lunch break, sitting in a diner down the street from the car lot. I stirred the soup that was in front of me and waited for it to cool. As I waited, I took out my pen and wrote the list of my creditors on the white restaurant napkin – six in total.
There were two credit card companies, the Bay, a phone company, The Brick and a credit union. With the list written and my soup still cooling, I stared out at the falling rain outside.
I started to imagine all the cars I would have to sell to pay off each creditor. I pictured them piled on top of each other like bundled commodities.
“Quite the list,” a voice broke in. I turned and saw the waitress refreshing my coffee. “What’s your plan?” she asked.
“Well, I don’t really have one. I guess pay it off slowly,” I replied.
She stared at the list again. “Probably drowning in interest payments.”
I shook my head slowly in agreement.
“You want some advice?”
“Sure, if you’re offering it,” I said.
“I’m offering, only if you are serious about repaying.”
“Of course I’m serious,” I replied. “I’m just a little frustrated about where I should start.”
“Start with this,” she said. She took a pen from her shirt pocket and wrote on her order form. Then she slapped the paper on the table in front of me.
“Check this site out. Come back tomorrow with your questions.”
Skeptical, I paid and walked back to work, wishing I had brought an umbrella.