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An Open Letter to Xerox College Loan Corporation and Sallie Mae

Let us begin by apologizing.

For a long time we didn’t return your calls, didn’t open your mail, didn’t send you any checks. And for this we are sorry.

We were working hard for a dying bookstore and still not making enough money for beer and rent and weed. And food. And your messages were always so scary. So we ignored you, hoped you would stop calling, hoped you would forget about us. And then you did. And then you didn’t. The messages scarier than ever, you started harassing us at work and on facebook. So eventually we just stopped answering the phone. Stopped checking the mail. Our mother didn’t hear from us for many months.

The dying bookstore finally died and sent us off to whence we came and life suddenly became less complicated without the ocean and buses and customers always trying to kill us. And we called out to you, on our knees, begging your forgiveness, begging for the chance to start making it right. And like the benevolent gods you pretended to be during orientation, you granted us forgiveness. You gave us six months to breathe. We thanked you, promised to be a better citizen, and bowed ourselves away never once looking into your shining malevolent faces.

Now you send letters telling us we aren’t forgiven, that there will be no deferments, no forbearance. Letters commanding us to send several seven-hundred dollar checks or our wages will be garnished. We plead to you that we’re unemployed and you threaten to garnish even our unemployment. But we know you’re lying. The googles tell us so. We may be a deadbeat, but we’re not a deadbeat parent.

Such changeable gods you.

Maybe one day we’ll just walk away.

Come look for us in Ireland, land of fair haired maidens and violent drunken debtors. Come find us in Mexico, our finger heavy on the machine gun trigger. Come look for us deep in Russia where even the mail don’t go, where the only law is the cold. This world isn’t so small we can’t disappear even from you. You only trick us into thinking so.

Let us take back our apology.

Fuck you, Sallie Mae.

Fuck you, Xerox College Loan Corporation.

Your bubbles will burst one day soon and we’ll whistle a happy tune while sweeping your paper remains from our floor and out the door. Perhaps the squirrels will use them to build nests and you’ll finally become useful.

Very Sincerely,

The Angry Bookseller

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