THE bank machine ate my card, gobbled it up somewhere between transferring $160 from savings to checking and pressing "OK" to perform another transaction.
A hostile message flashed across the screen: This machine is shutting down (or words to that effect): All transactions will be canceled. And then the glass shield slid into place, the screen darkened and the white "Open" sign turned red and said, "Closed" -- rather angrily, I thought.
A feeling of powerlessness swept over me, of disenfranchisement. I wanted to claw at the machine, to dig at the slot, to pry back my card. I wanted to pound on the door of the bank (closed, of course) and turn to strangers on the street. "The machine ate my card," I wanted to scream.