Ah, the bank! I was waiting, I stood, for someone to come and collect me from downstairs and propel me upstairs to talk about Matters. An elderly gentleman with thin ankles, and a crooked face sat on the sleek grey couch. The couch faced a television screen that explained the name of the bank on the flat surface. The couch faced away from the view of the Dam, a place tourists pay money to visit. Outside a mechanical organ chirped, boomed and clacked out popular songs. The staff of the bank hid, whispering, in a corner away from the windows.
“I have a bad back,” said the old man in a shapeless beige jacket. “I just have to sit down.” He said this to virtually no-one. His not shaven in two days chin looked up and around for someone to address.
Exactly, such a company policy of making the bank feel a second home should invite lonely senior citizens to come in and have a cup of coffee and a chat.
The old man was served a cup of coffee. Milk and sugar, please. The slender bank employee was accosted by stories of what the doctor said, and what ailments were under treatment.
Exactly, no potential customer would be turned away. Come on in and have a hot drink, and specifically a conversation about medical advice and complications and there you go, away you go from the bank feeling so much better.
Later I was led upstairs in airless cubical. I came out none the wiser, come back in a few days. I began to sense that perhaps I should have come for an oracle reading.
I keep thinking, by next week I will be put together: getting a haircut, this support hose comes off my left leg, a facial, the rest of my moustache permanently removed, excel sheets filled out, banking issues tackled, bills paid….You know the race after the falling apartness of ageing, and maintaining some level of attractiveness so that the nurses at the old folks home will want to peel me an apple because I don’t have goat hair growing on my chin.
While I was waiting for a soothsayer, I noticed that the bank was promoting the sale of a bed. There was certainly enough space to display a double bed, staff had been significantly reduced and reduced some more, counters to take business no longer existed, three computers meant for emergency internet banking faced the touristic view with no one behind them. I examined the bed, half hearing the drone about dialysis next to me, it could be anyone’s bed for around 2,100 Euros. Had the bank taken over this particular brand of exclusive sleeping facilities? I wondered who wandered into a bank to buy a bed.
But then seriously, as there was nothing else to buy, I began to consider purchasing a bed. Not for me, I don’t need a bed, but for some space that needed a bed. Say, a room, someplace. I began to imagine the people who would sleep in such a bed and the mess they would make throwing their clothes around the bank floor and over needless chairs placed here and there for effect. The headboard, an upholstered rectangle, was sold as “Dublin.” I began to imagine the designer assigned the task of inventing headboards to go with various European cities. The headboard looked the color of “oatmeal” which is the name used to sell expensive and unexciting carpet. Why was Oatmeal “Dublin”? It could be anything, I decided firmly and went through my banking list again in my brain, remember three things I slowly inhaled: Transfusion, New Hips, and an Eye Exam.