...the light turned red. The twilight moon beckoned, and uncertainty shadowed the space I occupied. The vagueness of crepuscular love finds me scrambling to resuscitate, to darken the lines from number to number, to repaint the masterpiece, for even Jesus questioned, for one fleeting, bleeding instant, absolute commitment. Who am I?
Tax time cometh, and I organize the boxes, the files of receipts. The bane of self-employment, these records of purchases by and from. I love the phrase "record of purchase" as applied to memory. Often, memory remains as our only record of spent time. Our receipt, acknowledging our entrance into the binding contract with time. Our medium of exchange, time. Our product options, virtually unlimited. People, hobbies, religion, career, frivolity, education, and on and on. Given a finite amount of time to spend and no substantive way to earn more, every purchase brings us closer to bankruptcy. However, time well spent brings wealth beyond measure. When a wise spender is bankrupt of time, many other accounts are bursting at the seams. How true this wealth. How incredibly more worthy of being earned.
Youth revels freely amid the absence of the abstract. The time account overflows with tomorrows unlimited. Poor choices and spendthrift ways are like pennies to the Trumps and Gates. Age brings realization, and from intimations of immortality we slide seamlessly into realizations of mortality. We begin to see the gates. We want the trump card we know is not in the deck. Rearview mirrors are useful when driving, dangerous when living. Missions and goals and dreams and account balances receive greater attention. Life insurance blankets the worry and fills the gaps between choices. Youth itself becomes abstract. Death is real.
I hold a photograph of a girl. The photo was taken when she was twelve. How our purchases would change our lives could not have been known when the camera's flash blinded me that day. I have squeezed more blood out of certain rocks of time than one could ever imagine. I also have tumbled minutes and hours into the pit like dice, willing to gamble on tomorrow. Not always a sure bet. She lives a life changed markedly by my expenditures. I live a life marked by hers. We move through this Walmart life with larger carts, more empty now, less willingness to fill them simply because we can, more willingness to shop for meaning. Nonrefundable is reality. Customer service is a line of malcontents being ushered out the backdoor. The records of purchases made with her and for her, they are many, and they are framed and well-lit. Nonrefundable, yes. The thought is unthinkable, though. Long-term value is uncertain, for we have inflated our portfolios with penny stocks and junk bonds. Speculative at best. Time to investigate adjusting the portfolios, recalculating the ratios, changing the allocations.
Time past cannot be reinvested. Present time costs more than past time. Future time is priceless, with the most uncertainty. However, with wisdom and thrift, with greatly improved management skill and sense of priority, present time, if invested properly, can serve staggeringly well as the best kind of reinvestment. And... if there is shown clearly a willingness to throw all future time into the fund, then the value goes through the roof - to the moon, as it were.
Memory is its own record of purchase, and I realize I have enjoyed most of my shopping, whether done of mere impulse or with purpose. I also realize that my portfolio needs to be more wisely allocated. I think of this and begin to plan as the light turns green.