The Mortgage Broker

by whatsthatyousaymrsrobinson

I’ve never met the mortgage broker in person, although he is the most important person in my life right now. Everything depends on him.

The mortgage broker was referred to me by a friend who told me that he specializes in finding lenders who will part with the ready for people in ‘unusual circumstances.’

That would be me: A freelancer who can’t put the words ‘job’ and ‘security’ in the same sentence and who in past years has been happy to potter by on an income that meets my modest needs.

I need the mortgage broker because I want to stay in my home. Which means refinancing so I can buy out my future-ex husband, which means doing a reasonably solid impersonation of a grown up.


Some survey which I’m too lazy to google, says that life’s most stressful events are death of a spouse, divorce, and moving. It is my earnest desire to have to check only one box on that list this year.

I like my apartment—it’s big, it’s sunny, it’s in a great neighborhood that suffers no shortage of strollers that cost as much, and are about the same size as, a compact car—but it’s more than just four walls and stainless steel appliances. There are people in my building whom I could call from a Turkish prison—if you needed bail and a kidney. In the past few months they have made sure that I stayed off the ledge. They kept me company in the excruciating first days and nights after my husband moved out, when they only think on my to-do list was ‘keep breathing’. They nagged me to eat. They cooked for me and they took me out to dinner to make sure I did. The ones who own a country house told me to go there and invite whomever I wanted to go with me. Anytime.

They called, they texted. They made sure I was never alone unless I wanted to be.

I don’t want to live far from them. I don’t want our relationship to be ‘let’s make time to come over for dinner.’ I want them to be able to knock on my door and borrow whatever they don’t happen to have for dinner that night. I want to get a text an hour before they’re barbecuing in our communal garden and join them with a salad and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.  I want to be able to water their plants and collect their mail when they’re out of town.

I don’t think it’s too much to ask, but what I think doesn’t matter. It’s what the numbers think.

So I have to call the mortgage broker. I trust my friend’s recommendation; I know that if anybody can pull this off, he can—he’s the Harry Houdini of mortgage brokers.

Yet I’m putting off making the call and laying the numbers in front of him. Because then he’ll whip out his calculator and do the crunching thing and it won’t matter a bit how attached I am to the people who live around me and how greatly they have enriched my life and how awe-inspiringly freaking fantastic they are. It will be only about numbers.

I don’t like numbers; they frighten me. I’m a word person.

So I’m putting off making the call: I don’t want to hear that this, I hope, soon-to-be-happy-again life is going to end.