Getting rich was never a major motivation for me or I should say, hasn't been since my twenties and early thirties when I got wealthy for a period of time. I wasn't real good at it and managed to lose my large pile fairly quickly, through a combination of divorce, serious illness, taxes, bad decisions, outright squandering and giving the damn thing away.
I rebuilt my life, with the major help of my wife, in the nineties and things were very good for a long period of time but the situation changed dramatically in 2008 when the recession hit and the art market collapsed. This was due to a host of reasons that I believe I have already adequately addressed and don't really need to get into again.
But now my life is bordering on threadbare. There are holes in my jean pockets and the nicer slacks don't look so good either. We haven't had a decent vacation together in over two years. But hey, a lot of people worse off than we are. Those of us not lucky or smart enough to be in the upper 1% or now nestling into a well earned retirement, we know what is in store for us, toil. Have to hustle until we croak. Way it is. My kind tends to die with our boots on.
I live in a beautiful place, have wonderful friends, live a great life, count my blessings daily but I am still grinding. Every month. Praying for a little tail wind, like the old days. I need a miracle or two every year to make it work and keep the wheels greased but miracles seem to have their own timeline.
I mention all this because I sort of got called out at breakfast. My pal asked if I thought that my van would make it to San Francisco and back and I gulped. Bad juju. In my mind the van still looks okay but in a town increasingly upscale and affluent like Fallbrook I guess I stand out like a jew at a klan picnic.
There is the front end damage from the unfortunate incident a few months back at the gas station, the antenna is now snapped off courtesy of the Italian cypress in the alley, various body scratches and the constant dirt patina on the back end. Engine runs reasonably well, passenger door window did a weird number the other day that I hope won't continue, rats chewed through a sensor cable or two but it basically functions well and gets me where I need to go. Or did until my friend called it out this morning.
Funny thing is that the van will be paid off in about seven days. Last payment on the mortgage. Chrysler dealer sent out a letter telling me that they could get me into a sparkling new ride and give me x for the van but I was planning on driving it for another 100k miles or so and risking public opprobrium and scorn. Fuck it, I am not buying a new van and at least I'm not living in the bushes yet. If I embarrass you you can always pretend that you don't know me.