I always put my head in my hands as I talk to the bank customer service representative, who is, as you know, the minotaur at the center of the labyrinth.
A year or so ago, when I was panicked, I provided three details of my life that, I was urged, would only be known by me. When it came time to speak to the minotaur again one of these details, picked at random, would be used to verify that I am who I say I am.
It’s a little unfair. The minotaur never has to prove its a minotaur, for example.
Further, why would I share a life detail with a minotaur that I had kept from every other creature, the preponderence of them completely deserving of my trust?
So, yeah, of course: I stammered before obeying.
Can I change my authenticating questions? I asked as the business of the conversation came to an end. There was a bit of static on the other end, had security been breached? No, no, I said gently, time has gone by and I’m in possession of new details. The details you know about are hardly important to me now.
The minotaur broke into a conspiratorial whisper: I talk to this one lady nearly every week, and although the authenticating detail comes up on my screen at random from the three she provided, it’s always the same detail. So every week I have to ask her:
Who did you take to the senior prom?
And she always answers me:
I didn’t go to the senior prom.
There was a pause of about four beats as I thought about what I had just heard.
Are you there?
Do you think she’s glad she didn’t go to the senior prom, and wants every minotaur providing her with customer service to know she thrived in spite of not going to the senior prom? Or do you think she’s beating herself up about this twenty years after the fact?
It’s got to be thirty at least, offered the minotaur.
Did you go the prom, minotaur?
Who did you go with?
Like I remember.
You can’t wander back out of the labyrinth, using the stroll to ponder what’s just happened. With a click you are ejected and you land on the other side of the planet with a thump. Usually, the sun is burning down on you relentlessly as you blink and cough and relocate your thumb back in its socket.
I sat there a while longer, letting the dust settle, swaying to a woeful mantra:
All those enterprises. All those accounts. All those details.
- I started wearing glasses in kindergarten.
- The license plate on the dodge dart reads CHOK UP.
- My porn name is Shannon Mariemont.
See you on the inside.