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Make Bank photo


1. Teller


as a teller i tell people things


like no

but mostly yes


can you wait a minute i need to ask my manager

and i smile and give dogs treats


i didn’t know you could bring dogs into banks

but people bring their dogs in all the time and i begin to pretend to love dogs

and some of the people love me they wait for me every time


i love counting the money

i touch it with my hands and i think

that everyone in the whole state who sells

drugs or puts them up their nose using a rolled up bill

or works for tips

or strips has touched money that i’ve touched and i love that


it’s like holding hands but dirty


when people bring in coins it’s dirty in a bad way

if someone brings in an old jar full of coins there will be weed in it

and fingernails

sometimes a bullet


when we find a penny on the ground we say “teller 50!” and throw it away


i never stole money from the bank


i am a professional person


the state certifies that i am a person so i can watch people sign things


this is called being a notary


i’m notoriously being flirted with by men in their 80s at the bank


i have regulars i love at the bank


i see how much money everyone has at the bank


i’m telling you all this because i have to



2. The Vault


when patty tells you a secret she says


this is in the vault okay?


the vault is just a room with a safe in it


it’s a pretty big safe


the safe is full of cash


but not as much cash as you might think


most money doesn’t exist


at least corporeally


like all ideas it is real


but also there is some cash


it gets counted by hands


the vault is guarded by timed passcodes


upper and lower


meaning each person knows only half the code


and you have to wait


it is supposed to make robberies inconvenient


is it easier to steal non corporeal money?


of course


but not as exciting in the moment


you cannot roll around in it


unless you are also an idea


like me, the vault


a carpeted room pretending



image: Aaron Burch