I forgot my PIN number.
Actually, it’s not my PIN number I forgot.
It’s their PIN number. Whenever possible,
whenever I have the choice,
I defy all accepted wisdom about PIN numbers
and use a number transparently connected
to a simple fact about me
that any amateur thief could uncover in five minutes.
Again defying all wisdom,
I use this same number on everything.
But they’re tricky little fellows,
those banks and airlines and web pages
and telephone companies.
They’ve taken to assigning their own PIN numbers.
Then you have to write to them.
Or call them.
And request that they change their PIN number
to your PIN number.
And then you have to remember
which ones responded and which ones didn’t.
Yesterday I tried to withdraw
some frequent flyer miles
for a trip to San Diego.
Sorry, wrong PIN number.
I swear I shuffled through
my entire Continental Airlines folder
and tried three different numbers
from various correspondence
before I hit the jackpot.
I’ve had it.
So here, published and public,
in print and unforgettable,
is a complete list of all my PIN numbers
for all my money, mileage, credit cards,
phone cards, web pages and e-mail accounts.
And just in case,
the last four digits of my social security number
and my mother’s maiden name.
No, wait a minute,
maybe this isn’t such a good idea.


©Ellen Azorin