Sunday, November 01, 2020

The Closing Ceremony

A covidious closing ceremony
For the mortgage game of thrones.
We needed her stamp of approval
To buy a loan for our current home.

In front of our house, we staged the chairs
And tables, and offered some face masks.
She said, "Come near, it's too hot,
I don't have the time to go back and forth"

Perplexed by the stance of this notary public:
Forgoing social distancing during a pandemic?
"I beg your pardon, Ma'am, I didn't catch that. What did you say?"
"I don't know about y'all but I have my temperature checked every day."

Suffice to say, there was visible unease
"It's not that we're anti-social, Ma'am, we're just anti-disease"

Also immuno-compromised, you see
Your daily temperature checks don't mean a thing
When asymptomatic transmission is key
And the source of much superspreading

"I teach the history of disease", said the Wife, "it's our duty of care"
"Well I had some nurses sign for me last week, and they didn't care"
"Well, we'll stay over here at a distance, we're happy to go back and forth
Right there on the table are our drivers licenses, the check, and the passports"

What's this? You're really threatening to leave in a huff?
About to dial the title company to call the whole thing off?
Packing the precious documents and unlocking your car
A performance worthy of a b-movie star

Enough already, that wouldn't solve a thing
And, really, you're uncomfortable with our social distancing?
Think, lady, you'd go home and lose your commission
And we'd merely rage at the micro aggression.

We're protecting not just each other
But also our loved ones, do consider:
Those two terrified kids up there looking down
From behind the bedroom window glass
I'm trying my darndest here to remain calm and to not frown
Thinking of a broken health system and The Grand Reopening of Texas.

At length, she relented and deigned to stay.
I think my level headed posture saved the day
Somehow the sparkle in my eyes was up to the task
Seeing as my usual smile was hidden by my face mask

But, still, as the signing proceeded there was no small amount of tension
With The Wife, strained and visibly upset, throughout the interaction
I took the pen she offered. The Wife brought out her own.
Ah to be a middleman in this business, I just needed a loan
Refinanced promptly, a house is not a home.

Poised between capital's representative and my lover
It was just a few weeks earlier, if you remember,
That we read about the incident with that bird watcher
Threatened on the nature trail: a tale of two Coopers
But the front of my home is not a park, it's quite a flight of fancy
To have to sit here and appease the whims of Notary Nancy

It was hard to break the ice, I hasten to mention
Quite a struggle to complete this real estate transaction
At times, I must confess, it was touch and go
Gruffly she barked, "Sign with full name and initial any typos"

But where The Wife was getting increasingly alarmed
I was rather focused on turning on the charm

I read the fine print and saw that I could walk away for any reason
"Ma'am, does anyone really go through with this... recission?"
"You'd be surprised, it's your right, that's what you sign on the line"
No wonder the mortgage company has you on speed dial.

The closing ceremony involves notarization and liens
The whole process can make you feel like an illegal alien
15 years a debtor, you harken back to the plight of some ancestors
But it's worth going through this business, they say it builds character
You sign your life away for want of a stamp, it's quite the show
I've packed my bags already, Ma'am, they call them Ghana must go

You had confused me at the outset with that other Ghanaian
You dealt with earlier in the week named Ofosu
What are the odds of this out here in central Texas?
The name's not too common back home, but there are quite a few
Well, I hope that his experience notarizing with you
Was better than mine for, straight out of the gate,
What we've had here was a failure to communicate.

There's a nagging thought at the back of the mind
That perhaps our interaction might have gone much smoother
If only our names had been Chuck and Julia
And looked a lighter shade of brown
But no matter, the deal is done
I'm sure you're happy to leave this open air station
Let's double or triple check to see if any papers were missed.
I had to call The Wife back to clear up a form before we were dismissed

Our rituals are in upheaval
What paradise have we lost?
I wonder if the two percent interest rate
Savings we got were quite worth this cost.

The Wife was done, she couldn't end this business fast enough
Couldn't feign your African nonchalance, she wasn't that tough
She wears her emotions on her sleeve, I feared she'd go beserk
For even with my patience, I'll say you were a piece of work

A historian, though, she was thinking about preserving the moment
And to protect herself in case you later escalated the argument
Thus she took a surreptitious photo to document
And even transcribed my parting comment:

"You know, Ma'am, I find your job quite interesting
I'm curious about how those in your profession do your magic.
I should also add, for the record, something that I bring
To the table: I have a patent disclosure on the digital notary public".

mortgage refinancing home closing with notary public

Soundtrack for this note

A closing ceremony playlist, notarized to make it official. (spotify version)

Previously: America's social studies syllabus teaches some of us mandatory lessons in civility.

This note is part of a series: In a covidious time.

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