Monday, March 23, 2009

The Cliff and Countrywide's Rope

As I wrote in my post on Thursday "Freedom's Just Another Word for Nothin' Left to Lose..." we went all the way to the Office of the President at Countrywide to request a loan modification to be able to stay in the house, only to be offered something we can't afford. This was a very frustrating moment for us, to put it mildly. Bob was extremely demoralized. I suggested that he put his thoughts down on paper... that it might help. And he did. What he wrote really captured the experience for me. This is how I've felt many times throughout the last seven months. Here's what he wrote:

The Cliff
I’ve fallen 50 feet off a 500 foot cliff. I am holding onto a rock with my fingernails dug in, legs dangling, waving in the air with nothing between me and a 450 drop to death. I’m looking up to the ledge from where I once stood. Dirt and rocks falling from above, pelting me in the face and eyes. Someone is standing there. On the ledge. Looking down at me. “Here, I’ll throw you a rope.”

I become excited! Maybe I will get out of this. This person is going to help me! I nervously laugh. I am going to be ok now. The constriction in my chest begins to release. I can breathe a little.

He begin to lower the rope. It’s getting closer. Closer, closer. Almost here. I can see the frayed edges at the bottom. It transforms from this smooth distant object to a knotted and twisted preserver of life. So close now. Then it. Without warning. It stops.

“Wha… What happened?”

The rope is 45 feet in length. Just long enough for me to see the end- to give me a false sense of hope, but not close enough to reach.

I plead, “Can you please lower the rope further?” and then begin to panic a little. The grip that once was crushing my chest comes back quickly. It’s very hard to breathe. I feel weakness envelope my body. A sense of futility sets in.

“Sorry, that’s the best I can do,” says the person. Just staring down at me.

My mind begins to wander. Maybe I can jump for it. I’ll surely not get to that rope. But for some reason, some sick psychological reason, I want to try and grasp for it. Anything’s better than waiting. Helpless. Doing nothing. It’s maddening. It’s killing me.

Back at the top of the cliff, he has more rope. He could lower the rope easily another 10-20 feet. He has at least 500 feet of rope coiled up behind him. But he doesn’t. He won’t. Why?

He wants to see me try to grasp for it. That perverted desire to see the moment I let go of the rock, and reach as far as I can. Arms stretched. For something that can’t be gotten. My eyes widen in terror. It’s that moment. That singular moment where everything’s frozen in time. The exact moment right before I fall. Not falling yet. Completely suspended it time. Forever burned into his memory, to treasure.

Time resumes. Very slowly. It creeps along. As I start to fall. Down. While the man with the rope just watches. He tried to help. Really. He did. At least that’s what he’ll tell people. The people that weren’t there. They weren’t there to see him let me fall to my death. When he could have helped.

That’s what this "deal" from Countrywide feels like. If we accept this, it feels like I will fall. Like I will fall down. And I will die. And Countrywide will just watch.

1 Comments:

Kim Hooper said...

Wow, that was so moving that I had to create a Blogger account so I could leave a comment :) I'm pulling for you guys! It says so much about your love that you have persisted through this. I really hope things look up soon.

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