Money—It’s All In Good Connections—Or Not

New York State Is Not Only Beautiful It Is Full Of Surprises
Aug. 11, `82

Woosh! I’ve been tested, and it’s not fun. In Glenn Falls, New York
I finally found a bank that would honor my card, but as I was getting
down to business the guy behind the counter told me the bank was under
a new name and I had to go elsewhere. “Another 50 miles down the
road,” he said. I could get my money there. That was another 60 miles
south, not to mention the city traffic that I had to fight while
bicycling.

Well, it’s 8 pm, and I’m sitting in my tent drinking genuine
Pennsylvania Dutch birch beer–root beer–and eating Oreo cookies.
Wow, what a day, in fact what a couple of days! I have been so wound
up over this money thing that I have not had time to enjoy myself –
not even a little. I’m headed to Syracuse, New York; that is, if my
twenty bucks will keep me alive that long.

My money is waiting for me in Syracuse. How do I know that–because
after talking to the Prestige people over the phone, I called the bank
and they confirmed it. I spent the whole day trying to figure out the
money thing. I even switched tactics. When I pulled into a bar around
4 pm, I called back to Michigan to see if Richard, my good friend,
would wire me some. He wasn’t home. Then I called my brother, no luck
there either. By the time I had made all the right phone calls, I was
in a terrible mood. When I finally left the bar, though, the clouds
were white and the sun was hot. Even if things didn’t work out, I was
not going to worry anymore. I was free again.

It’s getting to dark to write, so I’ll hurry this one up. Last night I
camped behind some trees in a farmer’s field. The mosquitoes were
terrible. Tonight I have repellent on, but they’re not so bad. I’m up
in the woods tonight, on posted land, but I feel safe. Tomorrow is
another day—goodnight!

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About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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5 Responses to Money—It’s All In Good Connections—Or Not

  1. One advantage of reading your posts from your August ’82 journal is that we know that you (somehow) survived the mosquitos, dwindling money, and snack-food diet. It would be far more worrisome if you actually published these entries at the end of the day the events actually happened. Of course THEN we would have to “tune in tomorrow” to make sure that you hadn’t become critter food overnight. :)

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      On a few occasions I did become critter food–insect bites, but that was a small price to pay for the experience. The sense of freedom one receives while living on a bicycle seat and in a tent, is priceless (at least it was for me). Family is the only other good experience that compares to that joy (bicycle living had fewer bumps in the road–shared pain, though, as did family). In a couple of posts I will come to the end of my bicycle posts–a sad affair. My blog will continue, though. I have had a rich and meaningful life and I am very, very, grateful–and I did it, for the most part, without the help of Madison Avenue, i.e., being told how to live. Thanks so much for being my friend. Take care.

      • I envy your independence. I have been working for 33 years as an instructional materials editor/course developer for Ohio University and will need to keep working for the foreseeable future. It’s mostly left-brain work, so my blog is my only real creative outlet. My ideal situation would be to be able to make a living being an exceptional Wordsmith.

  2. bwinwnbwi says:

    It sounds to me like you are doing just fine. Keep up the good work (as I recall your university, Ohio U, and my old university, CMU, are both in the same conference—I guess that makes us neighbors). Anyway, life is a series of “give and take,” and that can be depressing sometimes. Jean Paul Sartre, the pessimist that he was, said: “Life is a wait for a wait for a wait, and then we die.” The way I see it, though, after we come of age, we learn to see, feel, and think, and then we get in line, and that ain’t all bad! Herrman Hesse’s Siddhartha, if I remember correctly, discovered the formula for how to keep disappointment at bay. When things get bad, he would say, “I can think, I can wait, and I can fast.” In my youth, I tried out that formula. It works, but, over time, I became really, really, hungry. Thanks for the comment. Take care.

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