I’ve been quiet for a week. Haven’t really felt much like writing. I realize that Barry is just like the Ex. And Michael. He has an agenda too. His is money. My money. I called him as I always do, at 7 o’clock in the morning. It’s after he’s delivered the Bailiff Notices and clamped any offending vehicles. 7 o’clock is just before the morning rush. The morning rush being everyone ringing up wanting their cars unclamped.
“I tell you Madelaine, it’s the ones who give the credit card details, and the card goes through, that get my goat. They’re always shouting how they need to get to work and what time am I coming over to release their cars. If they had the money in the first place why didn’t they pay the charge when it was issued? The others are different, they’re the ones who don’t have the money. You’re lucky Madelaine, your debt, I’ve told, it’s an island. You can get round it. It’s the ones who aren’t as lucky as you, kids and debt. I worry they’ll go to loan sharks. I really do”.
Can’t you let them pay by instalment?
“I do. But if they fall behind… It’s a worry.”
Barry, you have a heart of gold.
“Yeah. I do. So how are we doing? On the subsidence?”
I told you they are monitoring.
“How long are they going to be monitoring for?”
Err. Six months.
“Six bleedin’ months. That’s no good, that’s no good at all. You’ll have to come up with something Madelaine.”
I am doing my best. There is no spare money.
“Well this set of circumstances cannot go on. You’ll have to think of a way to deal with the debt. Re-mortgage, that’s the answer.”
With my credit record.
“I am sorry Madelaine, I can’t spend all day sorting out your problems. I’ll speak to you in the orning.”
I’ve never seen this side of Barry before. He knows what the situation is. He knows I am not running away from the debt. He knows I am on the walk don’t ride diet, the make do and mend. I even stitched a pair of tights last night! He knows I will sell the house when I can. And then there are the other debts. I’ve rung them all, told them I am trying to sell my house, arranged a £10 a month repayment until I get back into employment. Barry won’t take £10!
So I am off to Pentonville Prison tomorrow. I wonder if I can get an advance? I’ve heard of robbing Peter to pay Paul, but I need to get money from the armed robber to pay the Bailiff!
I decide to take a look at E Bay. See if anyone has bought anything. I never did get my beautiful dress back. My beautiful dress was gobbled up for a fiver. I forgot to put a price on it. I cried for a week. I’ve lowered the price on the earrings, £350. No one wants diamond earrings. Damn it!
I open my depleted wardrobe. I know it was London Fashion Week last week. Harriet went. She emailed me, surprised I wasn’t there! I never go to fashion week. I go to affordable art galleries! I really don’t like that woman! I need to sort out what I am going to wear to go to the prison. What is suitable prison visiting gear? Jeans, high heels, a tee shirt and jacket. Maybe not the high heels, flat boots might be better. Make up? No, no make up. Hair up? Hair down? Oh this is stupid. I’ll speak to Barry in the morning, tell him I am off to Pentonville, take the lap top and just go in the jeans, the tee shirt, the jacket and the flat boots.
I lay out the prison visiting gear on the bed. Michael hasn’t been in touch. I want to send him a text. No, I don’t. I want him to text me. I have been wanting him to text me all week. I mind. My stomach feels like it has been hit with punch from a heavyweight boxing champion and my heart hurts. It actually hurts.