Post Road Magazine #26

Loan Suite

Emma Healey

Miss Healey:

Per your letter of the 28th we have noted your assertion that your school has already sent us your Confirmation of Enrolment documentation and will be contacting their Financial Aid & Awards office to confirm. Please allow up to 3 business weeks for processing. In the meantime we have made the necessary adjustments to your personal file; however, we still require your signed declaration & consent forms as well as your parents' signed declaration & consent forms in order to complete the processing of your 2012-13 application for full-time financial aid (federal and provincial loans and grants).

RE: your other questions, the smell of toner is nothing like the taste of human blood. Revenue Canada requires that you send us original copies of your T4s and not photocopies, which is why we have not yet been able to complete our assessment and verification of your yearly income. We bear no grudge against you personally. "Processing" refers to a series of internal administrative actions the details of which we cannot of course go into here and not whatever that thing is you said. Freshly shredded paper does not sing like a bonfire does and we while we are on the subject have never held an orgy or any kind of ritual/sacrifice in the staff kitchen especially not on this government's time or payroll and plus for your information there are in fact four large and near-bottomless pits located at the centre of our Incoming Accounts & Mail department which actually we don't even refer to as pits but now you have got us doing it look the point is only one of them is an incinerator which is something that nearly every important federal financial institution has these days which is a fact they do not teach you in Liberal Arts we'd imagine and the other three are more just like lightless chambers where the facts of your total gross income and rent are lowered gently (not thrown) down to marinate in the gasoline-swell of our ignorance and eventually within up to 3 business weeks are exposed to low heat and turned gracefully particulate before being sucked back into the ducts and eventually settling in a thin layer along the surface of our afternoon. Plural. Or blinds.

All this to say we have looked at your forms; they come in with the light. At this time however we are unfortunately unable to release the estimated details of your potential funding at this time and request that you consult with your school's financial aid officer if you require further clarification on this or any other matter.



  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Feelings of dizziness, unsteadiness, lightheadedness
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • There are truly people in this world who believe poetry is as worthy an object of study as business, engineering, refrigeration technology. Why shouldn't, we encourage each other to ask, we provide some measure of caution against this? If not us then who? The Centre's floors' near-imperceptible grade was calculated to let consensus roll swiftly from one side of the building to the other; the ventilation system is notoriously porous. We picture our sons years from now, given only the options of critics, drop ceilings, several women with weak eyes, walled hearts. What becomes, we all wonder, of souls in a world such as ours? and return, newly charged, to the work
  • Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
  • Hyperventilation
  • Sensation of choking


A year ago my mother mailed me a newspaper clipping about a Megabus somewhere out West whose driver, sleep-deprived and running late, had tried to cut across his usual route to save time. The bus was, obviously, too tall to fit under the overpass. There was a picture. Everybody died. Flames, luggage, pluming. Glass across the blacktop, glittering like knocked-out teeth. We take risks for the people we love and give something back also. Last summer a sinkhole opened up downtown, during the protests, swallowed several local businesses and their owners. A month or so later the Ville-Marie collapsed onto a zoobound schoolbus, pinned the kids inside for days. Two went feral. Last winter a large pipe burst under my school and froze half the library through. News footage of guys in orange vests chipping a city bus out with blunt shovels. There are different kinds of love in this world. When you cross in a ground vehicle from this province into the next you can feel the new, softer highway sighing straight into your knees. My last apartment collapsed, from the outside right into itself. Different kinds of exchange.


Don't think we don't understand. One time you convinced your friend Michael to let you write a story for his school-sponsored magazine where (in the story) there was a fault line running under the building, not long or active enough to cause any serious disruption or be of significant interest, but something. You said. Little tremors. A high pitch through the brutalist hallways. Things, intermittently, on fire. They mislabeled your story nonfiction. You loved that. Don't answer. Do you know the difference between geological time and the way we are doing things now? How they measure a fault, its activity? Hours on Craigslist, cheap movies, nail polish, a two-hour nap. Your father still paying your phone bill. There are two uncracked eggs in your fridge. You do not yet know trouble like you will know us. The difference is how long it takes countries to shift, crumble into the sea. Are you scared? Do you see us? Okay. Here's the edge of the thing.


  • Of course we wonder. We have children of our own. We have fielded our share of tearful phone calls, felt their fear echo through parts of our selves we had long thought cordoned off, disused. Some of us, separately and without consultation, have developed a theory concerning the work: that it most closely resembles the act of being given a severed limb by the person to whom it once belonged. We have no use for the arm, or the leg, of a stranger in this way—we are, in fact, possessed of our own, of a surplus—but etiquette and common sense all dictate we must accept it nonetheless, and gracefully set it atop of the pile with the others, send its owner limping out into the treacherous sunset still only half free. Our children, to clarify, do not ever call us at work. In the idler moments—choking our lukewarm coffee, searching for holes in the protective glass—we find ourselves thinking about the people we decided, lifetimes ago, we would belong to. How we watch them recede further with each passing day, as we do our best to bring these strangers closer in. We wonder. Of course we wonder. Of course we do.


If you're unable to pay back your loan according to the terms in your Consolidated Loan Agreement, a Revision of Terms could help you decrease your monthly repayment amount!

How it works:

The room is white. The walls are white. The curtains, which fan slightly inward with the breeze, are white. Thin and gauzy. Clean light. You are standing in front of us. We are sitting in a chair. Outside through the window you can see an endless field. Green and blue. The light is perfect. You are wearing your best shirt. Your hair frames your face. You are noble and rested and warm. Your skirt's hem sways in the breeze; is not white but is like a white flag. We stand up from the chair. Your self is a light like the light outside. Touching all edges. Diffuse. We are here in this room. We let things pass between us. We add years to it. Interest. Some longer. But for now there is nothing to think of. It comes of itself. Your self scatters a new light. Some things are resolved. We are met. Here, outside, in this room, in the grass, it is coming, it comes in to meet us.

Dream: the National Student Loans Service Centre. Not calling you. Engulfed in flames. Bright and fast and on purpose. Picture someone running their tongue all the way up your neck while pinning you to the wall with their free hand. Thirteen thousand slow miles of telephone cable sparking like stars at the ends and then melting together. A shame. Fourteen floors, sixteen ghosts, twelve square acres of ill-hidden mirror. Enough shattered glass. Set apart from its roots and adrift in the St. Lawrence seaway. Declining. A pyre. The horizon. In the morning in one sense the country will wake and be lighter one building. Not you. You'll be pulling its mass in your lungs circulation particular you will spend all of your life breathing letterhead in. Old T4s, bills, receipts. All that proves. Your own balance outstanding. Ontario's air signed and dated and sharp in your throat when you swallow. The whole country's reluctant permission enrolled in your bloodstream. Again and again. The National Student Loans Service Centre may die but knows nothing of death or escape or consent. You'll assume its ghost daily. Like prayer. A new organ. To be anxious in all is just only more breathing.

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