I was surprised how easy it all was. No-one suggested there should be a wrench, a tearing. Instead the officials dealt with it all coldly and efficiently. Thirty minutes in a small nondescript office, a couple of signatures and twenty-two years of fidelity and connection were ended. Just like that.
I walked back out onto the wintry Belfast street, filled with frantic shoppers and eager party-goers and weary, homeward bound workers and felt nothing, really.
The truth is, that for most of the twenty-two years we existed comfortably enough together. There were the occasional spiky moments, but nothing that would ever induce a break. I flirted with others, threatened infidelity sometimes, but always came back. Until recently.
For I’ve become utterly sick of your greedy wandering. Your promiscuity. I’m hurt that you eventually just took me for granted while your eye wandered. I have learned in recent years that I was not enough for you. Not exciting enough. I didn’t deliver the thrills, the risk, the breathless returns. I was too safe. It makes me angry to realise that I no longer satisfy you and that this was your excuse to look elsewhere. Maybe it was always this way, but we both lacked the wherewithal to extend our reach. But recent prosperity released your shackles and new friends and relationships promised so much more that I could ever give.
The sense of powerlessness I feel is frightening. You have emasculated me. And in my struggle to articulate what you have done, I have taken the only action left to me, to end the whole thing.
You were my first, you gave me a sense of rootedness in a new place all those years ago, but I no longer need you. I’m in that last generation who entered these relationships believing they were for life. How foolish we were, and how exploited. In this new time, I’m happy to start all over again with someone else. And that’s what I’m doing.
Within a matter of two or three weeks I’ll have a new bank account. It’s not an earth shattering thing. It’s not going to change the economic circumstances of the State, but it gives me back a voice. It allows me to make my own statement.
And it’s goodbye Bank of Ireland.