That giant pit in the backyard of our mansion in this gated exurban community two hours from the city? No, my husband and I aren’t installing a swimming pool; that’s our home equity! And you, our longtime family banker, won’t believe what’s living in that hole now.
It started in 2007 at our housewarming party. You had just approved our ultra-super-mega-jumbo home loan. Our 75 guests were enjoying artisanal salami and sage ice cream when a small hole appeared in the newly laid backyard sod.
You said, “Oh that happens with home equity sometimes. It takes a little dip but then it goes right back up again!” You suggested turning it into a pond for koi—the rare kind, flown in first-class from Japan. So we did.
As you can see, the hole just kept growing. It must be 20 feet deep. The koi grew too. They’re huge. One even seems to have developed front legs.
Oh, don’t be alarmed. I’m probably exaggerating. I seem to imagine a lot of things now that the television has been repossessed. And the way this place echoes without furniture plays tricks on my mind. Sometimes I think there really is a giant fish slither-walking around the empty media room at night. It’s good you’re the only one who showed up for this party, considering there’s no place left to sit.
But if there’s one thing I’m determined to hold onto, it’s this house—and all our equity. Why don’t we get a little closer to it so you can have a better look? It’s feeding time for the koi anyway. Thank God for Costco bread. Just grab those nine loaves next to the artisanal salam—I mean, hot dogs.
Why do I feed the koi? I feel responsible for them. We’re responsible people after all, that’s why we have so much home equity! It’s funny I still say “we,” even though Jason left in 2009. You remember my husband Jason. You watched him sign his name enough times. He’s out fracking in Montana with a former real estate appraiser named Brooklyn now.
The odor? Yes. I never knew home equity had a smell but apparently it does. It’s quite fetid. Dead leaves and clay I guess. The soil has a lot of clay here. And of course the koi waste.
But the upside of having such a deep hole is that on a clear day like this the water actually looks blue. The pit seems bottomless, like it goes on forever. Or at least for the rest of the prime of my life. Ha!
You can get closer to the edge. Don’t be afraid of investments—that’s what you always told me. Now, toss the bread. The whole loaf, wrapper and all.
Oh, there’s one of the koi! As big as Shamu? You think? Breaching? Is that what they call it? You don’t have to start backing away. He’s gone back under. But you’re right; he did have something in his mouth didn’t he?
A human torso? That can’t be. Let’s get him to come back to the surface again. Throw out some more bread. You’re out? Uh-oh.
Oh, he’s coming up again. It is a human torso. And I recognize it. That’s the last banker who came over for a visit. And look at that—the koi actually can use those forelegs! He’s evolving for a new reality just like you said I should! And he’s coming right for you.
If you’re going to run, don’t run that way. Don’t hop the backyard fence. Our neighbors—you approved their ultra super mega jumbo home loan too, you must remember—their home equity goes all the way to their property line. And they bought iguanas.