I need some antibiotic ointment and $12K.

Last night I had this dream in which I was in this big, empty house. Everything about it was great, but the best thing about it was the master bedroom, which had floor to ceiling windows and this beautiful view with mountains and water and the sea and whatnot. It was a bit fluid, being a dream and all.

The other thing that was great about it was the price. There was some weird deal with it, some sort of problem the seller was having. The gist of it was that the payments were only slightly larger than the payments I'm making on my house now, and I could just take them over if I were to give the seller $12,000.

With that sort of deal, I should have guessed it was a dream … but I didn't. Instead, I panicked. I started thinking about my finances, and what sort of situation I was in. Sure, I have great credit, but I have so much debt, so much of it unsecured, and no money saved toward my retirement. I haven't even bothered to participate in my company's 401K. I certainly didn't have $12K in cash, and no resources to get it. I was gonna lose this sweet deal on the perfect house! How could this be happening to me?

I suddenly woke up, but still half asleep, I remained panicked. Then I remember my ace in the hole: stock options! Sure, there's no IPO yet, but someday … I had to know now how many I had, I couldn't remember, I had to look right away. I got up and went to my file cabinet, opened it up … and couldn't find the paperwork. Everything was totally disorganized. I found a file full of instructions booklets for all my small appliances. I found a file full of poems rejected from lit magazines back when I was in college. I found insurance papers for the Thunderbird I haven't had since 1994.

I was getting more and frantic, and then I cut myself - a horrible paper cut, from a file folder, right at the cuticle of my middle finger on my right hand. It bled a lot, a lot more than any other paper cut I've had. I had to get up and go to the bathroom for toilet paper to mop it up, and while I was holding pressure on the cut I realized that if I needed $12K to buy a new house, I could always sell my the house I have now. That's how normal people do things.

I was still kind of panicky, but I went back and got in bed, and held pressure on my cut, and read Valley of the Dolls. Eventually I got sleepy again and turned out the light (even though Valley of the Dolls is pretty damn exciting).

I did realize something from all this, though, and that was that I need to get started with the 401K thing. When I got to work I went to the HR office and picked up the 401K packet so I could get the paperwork started. In the elevator I reached into the envelope and swiftly cut my finger again. Just a millimeter below where I had cut it during the night.

Now I'm wearing a Band-Aid™. Did I mention tomorrow is my birthday?

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© 2000 E.V. Hobbs

This page added July 10, 2000.