Dealing With My Own Affluence

Since honesty is such a valuable commodity in our culture these days, I’ll just come out and admit it: I am burdensomely rich. I am so rich that it hurts to sit at a desk, working this petty 9-5, pretending that I care whether payday falls on a Friday or a Monday this month. Sure, I try to adopt the attitude of the bohemian poor, loudly saying things like, “Damn, I’m sick of chickpeas,” or “Wait—is there a cover??” but beneath the facade, I’m just counting my millions. Over and over. Constantly. I counted to ten million twice today. That’s why I didn’t respond to you when you asked me how I was doing. I couldn’t risk tripping over 45,982 and losing my place. Besides, I can always buy another friend. But I can’t buy another million. Well, I guess I can. Good stocks will do that for you.

It’s so tiresome, this “being richer than all my friends” way of life. They suggest “splurging” on a pizza from Great Lake and it’s all I can do not to choke on the spoonful of caviar that I claim is just homemade chia pudding (I’m “doing the raw thing” right now…AKA I have a personal chef). And since the thought of filling my nostrils with the reek of cheap mozzarella makes me want to hurl, I sigh, “I’m just not sure my budget can stretch that far…” And then we all murmur sympathetically. And I think to myself, “Die, you unwashed proletariat pigs.”

Yes, it’s true. My ancestors would have fed you to the executioner in droves without blinking a manicured eyelash. Unfortunately, all of my ancestors died in Victorian London from extreme arsenic poisoning. Green was the color of prosperity, the color of ballin’. Unfortunately, green was also the color of arsenic.  So I’m practically an orphan. All the Met Gala invitations in the world will never take the place of Great-Great-Uncle Archibald, who gave me a palace when I turned twelve, who told my parents that I was a “stingy little whippersnapper” when I refused to let go of my first billion-dollar bill. I assuaged my teething gums on that bill. Ah, well. I’ll always have my writing. The glory of words. You can’t buy that. Actually, I just finagled a deal with the US government to purchase the words “ostracize” and “moist.” They describe my penthouse so well. But I don’t think you young poets will miss them.

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