Thursday, November 19, 2009

Living with Dominicans

So I just moved to NYC. After bumming around Providence for the past 5 months it's time to make a serious attempt to get a trading job in finance.

I live with 2 Dominicans on the Upper West Side near Columbia (no, not the fancy apartments visually associated with the area - I'm on Amsterdam Ave).

(M) One is a disciplinary dean at public high school, is 41 and recently ended a 10-year relationship 6 months ago. He's sociable and has that serious-passionate Latino thing going on.

(A) The other is a freelance technician, is 31 and focused on audio visual production. He's more of a quiet laid back sort of guy.

M is having money problems. More specifically, a cash flow issue at the moment.

Overdraft and credit card bill. Borrowed 200$ from me (for a week - for date that seemed important to him). Owed $700 that he is trying to get back. Cable and internet was cut for day. No savings aside aside from a 401k retirement fund and college fund for his two kids he pays child support for. A is 2 months behind rent. Had $15,000 in savings that was paid to a lawyer that lost a court case over a fire in the apartment last year.

So I stand there in the kitchen, watching him chain-smoke his Marlboro Lights as he then talks about how he's still not moved on from the relationship- that he still can't stop comparing, that he has to explain he's still recovering emotionally. That women can hide better, are better liars.

'Us men? We can't hold it in bro. It shows on our face.'


'so I had to take out money from the school fund to pay for the cable, but it's just gonna come out of my next paycheck. And I got a huge credit card bill, and this fucking guy... and A is also 2 months behind. It's just gonna repeat again in a month man. Maybe I should stop going out for a year, save up some money. But I have needs man, - I need shoes, clothes- I can't just cut them out.'

As I stand there, I can't help but think: the extremities of American life. I'm 22 and broke already in the this city, dreading the moment when I have to ask my Dad for some help. But I day-dream of the high paying finance job I'll (hopefully) have, and the business I'll start in my career. It's only up for me.

For M? He's already the dean of a high school - what's next, principal? He has a decent salary but it can't possibly go up more. No investments. Lives paycheck to paycheck from work. His expenses aren't dropping anytime soon and yes, he does have needs. He's 41 but youthful and single. He's a decent guy and doesn't spend irresponsibly. He has no easy foreseeable solution out of this.


Lesson 1 of American life:

-Have supporting assets by 30.

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