Thursday, October 31, 2013

What could have been

It's the end of the month, so I had to transfer money to my wife. As I was walking into my bank, I saw a balding foreigner in pretty good shape walk happily by. When I was done getting the cash, I came outside to see four young and fit foreigners, Americans from their accents, very excitedly discussing some future sporting event.

Keeping my hand on the $1500 in my pocket that I wouldn't personally be using, I drove to my wife's bank to deposit the money into her account. On the way, a scrubby foreigner hipster drove by, locked eyes with me for a fraction of a second, then did the "foreigner fakeout" and looked quickly ninety degrees to the side to avoid further contact. After depositing the money, I flashed back to the cabin restaurant in Then and Now 42 and remembered my old life as I returned home.

Six guys, at least five of them happy and abroad, all on the same night. And then there was me, the married loser with a fistful of cash that was as quickly frittered out as it was withdrawn from the bank.

- I could have used that money for a plane ticket to the next country I wanted to travel to and live in.
- I could have bought a high end laptop.
- I could have saved two or three dozen hungry children's lives for the month.
- I could have saved it to cover the next two months' living expenses.
- I could have bought every last game that I've ever wanted right now, and never eyed another one for years.
- I could have combined any number of these things in some form or fashion.

And I could have made every last penny back in a single month, when I would be free to spend it again.

Instead, I passed happy foreigners
who probably get more satisfying sex in a week than I do in a year
while I held money that I made but isn't mine
and returned home to chores
on the 37th straight day of work
so I can do it all again tomorrow
and the day after
for the next thirteen years and change.

Don't be me. Don't get married.

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