Sun Nov 11th, 2007 at 06:24:18 PM EST
I attended a dinner at a fine Italian restaurant with a group of older mostly retired people who made their money by long term stock market investments. They seemed totally upbeat and enthusiastic about "the market". Little do they know, I think.
I was sort of an outsider,having zero money and only attending because of my parents. We took our assigned seats as I met "John", a regional sales manager for an investment firm. His mannerisms were, well, rehearsed but my first impression was so powerful I will remember it until I die. The black emptyness of this man's soul literally shook me. God, this man needs more joy in his life. Two young children he has, yet the mundane conventional conversation topics prevailed. As dinner progressed I sensed he knew not what to make of me, an engineer eating pollo continental style but talking about horses. I didn't watch that "big football game", I was with the horses.
Horses are prey animals so in learning about them one learns also the ways of the predator, that's us, in their eyes. After a solid year of untrained horse and untrained rider the joy of accomplished man horse communication far and away beats the black soul of a money manager.
Since the dinner though the thoughts of money have even gone to my mother's head. You see in this country having money simply means you are married to it. It is actually not yours. It belongs to those you hire to manage it, the lawyers you pay to craft documents you have no chance of understanding to protect "assets" that will change next year due to new laws and tax implications. It is literally an entire industry of bullshit.
The real deal though is that even with an entire lifetime of saving, not spending and even my father collecting cans for the deposit here in America, land of the free and home of the brave you get squat from government. All of this lifetime of savings is for the possibility of nursing home care. The land of the free and home of the brave is searching through seven years of detailed financial transactions of its' senior citizens in order to enter the nursing home.
Now even if I croak, a penniless homeless person I intend petition the Lord himself one last return to earth to mount my Apoalyptic horse, snicker at all the soon to be smitten and say, "I told you so".