Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Money, Money...Again

Readers: I wrote a post called Money Money last night after a couple of whiskeys. I read it this morning and it read like something I'd written after a couple of whiskeys. So I dumped it. But a couple of you had already responded to it so I feel I should get it back up, but this time while I'm not high.

For much of my New York time money wasn't a great issue with me. I didn't have much at first, and then later, when I was a chef it got to where I had so much I had to do drugs to get rid of the excess. I was good at that and so despite making a real good living, and having a rent-stabilized apartment in Manhattan that never cost $300 a month, I managed not to have much money. When I began to be able to earn money as a journalist in the mid-1980s, I had a couple of poor years that were saved by that apartment, then began to earn a good living as an editor for High Times. Good enough that I could support my family and have them fly to Peru a couple of times a year and still have a good Christmas, anyway.
Texas has been different. You already know that I had maybe three years trying to reinvent myself as a freelance writer that were financially miserable, but with help of friends and family the house was saved regularly and I finally got work and the work has been steady and so while we haven't had any splurges of flying the family to Peru, we have been eating well and getting that list of borrowed monies worked on.
And right now I'm owed more money than I've probably ever been owed, all due in the next week. The Texas Dept of Transportation owes me nearly $44,000 for a second helping of eminent domain that is going to cut my already cut property down a little more. A company that gets me tourists owes me $44,200 for an upcoming trip. Someone else owes me $3,750, a couple of magazines owe me $3,500 together. Altogether, on paper, that comes to just over $95,000. And wouldn't that be sweet to get? Man, that would be fantastic.
The reality is more likely this: TxDot will have to give the check to the bank that holds the mortgage and we'll fight it out over how much they keep and how much I get.What they keep will come off the mortgage but not be in my hands. The tour company money will mostly be spent on doing the tour. The person who owes me isn't going to pay and at least one magazine isn't going to have funds available.
So it won't be anywhere near $95gs. Might be $25,000, and with that I'll pay back the last few people I owe and still have maybe $20,000. Make some little changes to the house that need doing and then have $15,000. Buy a good present for each of the kids, a new pair of sneakers for me--and maybe get teeth work done in Peru (badly needed) and then have $10,000. Pay a month's bills and I might still have $6,000 on the bank.
So there it is. More money owed me than practically ever in my life and within a week of getting it I'm going to have a couple of grand in the bank.
I ain't bitching, you understand. Right this minute I've got $25 bucks in my pocket, two bucks-eighty-three-cents in the bank and nothing in the cookie jar. So when what's due comes in it will be great and the universe will be thanked.
Still, I'm amazed at how fast I'm gonna spend that $95K.

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