From my early youth I can remember that the trappings of wealth and greatness impressed me greatly. Whether it was watching the doctor riding a horse in a hill station, while I trudged along on tiny sore legs and feet up the hill; or on seeing the chauffeur driven Mercedes in the city, while I rode a borrowed scooter, it left a deep longing in my soul for more. Dependent on the mercy of others in the joint family; we young ones would be at the bottom of the pyramid and live off the scraps handed down in a benevolent mood, and consider ourselves lucky as another man’s trash was our found treasure. I dreamed of having the convenience of air-conditioning, refrigerators, color TVs, fancy cars and presidential suites in five star hotels, where champagne flowed freely and beautiful women gathered around me; and laughed their giddy laughter at my humor. I knew that the day was not far off when my brilliance would dazzle the world; and great champions and kings of industry would fall at my feet acknowledging defeat, and surrender all their wealth for my pleasures.
Later on it was the famous that attracted me like a moth to flame; from the musicians, actors, writers, artists with their glitterati lifestyles and their over the top drugs and antics. Oh my! I thought if only I could be more like them; then it would truly be a dream, that has come true. Instead of sailing the serene oceans in a luxury yacht from one famous island to the next more beautiful one; discovering the joy of everlasting love, my life has been a little different. I seemed to have been tossed on a leaky boat in a tempest; that tossed me from shore to shore, and I was too busy bailing out the water, to even notice the beauty of the islands as they sailed by. After years of struggle with my demons of excess, I find myself in a small southern town and can finally breathe for a while. I drive a Honda, turn the AC on sparingly as needed, and drink the occasional light beer on sale at Walmart. Living in Tornado alley I enjoy the irony of the fading of the tempest and find that wealth and the symbol of greatness was Sam with his dogs; and an old pickup truck used for hunting, and everything else. In the end the invisible hand of Adam Smith will take over and everything that we spent our whole life craving and gathering, will be distributed out to others. I sit like the fool on the hill surveying my peaceful world; and take a deep drag on the ten thousandth cancer stick, enjoying the harmony of my dreams going up in smoke.