Money

I amuse myself. I am a total shmuck! and it makes me laugh. Better to laugh than to cry, though, right?

Last month, I took out a personal loan for two thousand dollars. It’s all gone. Impressive, eh? I paid off my ConEd bill (five months late), paid off one of my credit cards (maxed out), and, rather than saving the rest of the money like I had intended to, it disappeared. I scoured my bank statements to see where it all went. I can’t figure it out. The language of finance, however simply it is rendered on a bank statement, is complete gibberish to me. I think it’s because I don’t give a flying fuck about money, comfort, or responsibility.

Well, then I got paid. Then rent was due, internet bill was due, other credit card was due, student loan was due, new loan payment was due, and I was broke again. I think I ate a meal once or twice with the remaining shekels. I started getting thirsty and reopened my paid-off credit card to get myself a drink or two or ten. But cheaply! I buy the cheapest food and beer that is offered in the six-block radius encircling my home. If I buy wine, it is a three-dollar bottle of liquid garbage from Trader Joe’s. I do not buy personal items — my clothes are ten years old and falling apart, my belt is in shambles, and I own one pair of shoes. I am just vaccinated against money. The moment it enters my system, it is fought off with an overwhelming vitality, burned up, eaten, destroyed, combusted, and spit on for good measure.

My mother lends me money sometimes. She never asks why I am broke; she simply accepts it as a fact of my existence. My father wants to strangle me, but he accepts it, too. My friend Ram completely loses his mind when I ask him to lend me a few bucks for a drink. He gesticulates wildly and complains and laughs like a madman at my pathetic lack of money. He gives it to me anyway. He says writing is bullshit and that I should “give it up and go get a real job.” I have a real job! It’s a nonstop onslaught of tedious bullshit, but in my mind, that’s what a job is. So I’ll stay for now. I don’t have the time to apply for jobs and write humiliating cover letters. I have other things to worry about. I’m broke! Hahaha…

There’s inheritance money on its way to me. A few thousand smackeroos, if I understand correctly. I am in hysterics writing this. I’m laughing like a lunatic on day leave from the asylum. Why on earth am I getting that money? It is already spent. On what? I couldn’t possibly tell you. But it’s gone. I don’t gamble, I don’t hire prostitutes, I no longer buy drugs. But it’s gone nonetheless. I am truly convinced that nothing bad can happen to me. Sure, I’m broke, but it doesn’t bother me. Money finds its way back to me, somehow! I am divinely protected. It nauseates and amuses me in constant oscillation. Why me? Why not me? On and on and on, laughing and shrugging all the way. And I can’t even believe my eyes — just this very moment, Aunt Ellen sent me fifty bucks, with a note: “Hope this helps!”

All this is to say that I don’t give that much of a shit about money. I recognize clearly how ridiculous and unsustainable my situation is, but I do nothing whatever to change it. That’s what really makes me laugh. I think if I found out I was dying of a terminal illness, I wouldn’t tell a soul and continue on in the same way I always have. People kill themselves for money. They torture themselves, contort themselves, flagellate and prostrate and mummify themselves for money. Never me! I am financed by luck and love. However broke I am, I will never be bankrupt.

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To meditate on the warmest dream

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Ryan Langan

Ryan Langan

To meditate on the warmest dream

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