Thursday, June 7, 2007

Journal Assignment III: What Would You Do?

(Hey! Response to this new site has been underwhelming, to say the least! Let's review what's going on here. The idea is to write for fun. Nothing will be shared without the author's permission. Nothing will be "graded." You can get helpful comments, and they will be private. It doesn't matter if you think you can't write as well as I do, or you write better than I do, or if you're not sure. Just write! E-mail me up to 500 words on any assignment, or one you make up yourself (put Write your Life in the subject line) and I'll make helpful comments. Remember: I'll keep it private if that's what you want.)

Imagine the following unlikely scenario: You're over seventy. You're relatively healthy, financially secure but not fabulously wealthy. You don't have any unpaid bills, and you're living well.

Suddenly, an eccentric distant relative leaves you $5,000; it's a legacy with strings attached. You must spend the money only on yourself, and a trustee will check it out. No giving it to your children or grandchildren or your favorite charity.

Your assignment here: Write about your plan to use the money. It may be a serious or a ridiculous plan, but have fun! Here's mine:

A Gift with Strings (and Wheels)

If I received this sudden windfall under the conditions described, I'd hire a limo or taxi service to pick me up every Thursday morning at 8:15 and deliver me to the Chicago Cultural Center at Michigan and Randolph for my volunteer shift at the information desk. This weekly schedule would continue until the money ran out or I decided to end the arrangement.

Why such a plan? Taking the Broadway CTA bus during the morning rush hour is getting more and more difficult. Today, I waited fifteen or twenty minutes, only to be confronted with a bus that was not only filled, but overflowing. I waited another fifteen minutes (fortunately I'd started out early). The second bus was full too, but there was some standing room in the aisle, at least. A kind young woman offered me her seat; I accepted, and I thanked her profusely. My knees are not what they used to be.

Even seated, riding the rush hour bus is an experience I'd prefer to avoid. The bus was hot, crowded, and chaotic; few standees heeded the order to "step to the back of the bus," but I'm not sure there was room in back anyway.

Progress was slow. It's construction season in Chicago, so barricades narrow State Street, and cement trucks and other construction vehicles slow traffic considerably.

Would a limo be faster? Not necessarily, but I wouldn't care. It would arrive regularly, the driver could choose his own route, and I could relax in air-conditioned comfort door to door.

I don't think I have any rich relatives, but I'd surely like a car and driver. You potential benefactors out there--are you listening?

Copyright 2007 by Marlys Marshall Styne

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