By Andy Young
Special to The Windham Eagle
I had been looking forward to September for quite some time.
Five years’ time, in fact.
Back in 2015 I signed a document promising to pay, on the 15th of each of the following 60 months, a significant sum to the financing arm of a rather large carmaker. But at the end of that lengthy fiscal tunnel lay the prospect of feeling the elation that would come with making my last remittance, assuming that me and the car were both still extant in September of 2020.
Naturally, I indulged in a bit of daydreaming about what I’d do once I was debt-free. With the car paid off I could begin saving for that private island in the Pacific (or, if I were more budgetarily limited, the Caribbean) I’d always desired.
Another possibility: a trip around the world, with extended stays in four or five exotic ports of call. I also toyed with the idea of sojourning out to southern California and arranging for a screen test, speculating that by the time my automotive debt was paid off Hollywood would desperately be searching for a new leading man to take the roles previously cast with people like Johnny Depp, George Clooney, or Leonardo DiCaprio, all of whom were likely to be aging has-beens by the autumn of 2020.
It did occur to me that were I to procure that sort of work I might be subjected to the chore of participating in passionate on-screen love scenes with the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Scarlett Johansson or others of that ilk, but I chose to view that aspect of the scenario as a challenge rather than a potential drawback. After all, isn’t constant growth what life is all about?
And after having spent the better part of the past two decades trying to convince students in my high school English classes to stop resisting change and try leaving their comfort zone every once in a while, it seemed only fair I take a crack at following my own advice for once.
Well, miracle of miracles, what I had been eagerly anticipating for the past five years has indeed finally come to pass. I now own 100 percent of the car I’ve been driving for as long as any of my children (and most of the people I encounter on a daily basis) can remember.
But a lot of other things have happened since 2015 as well. There’s been a world-wide pandemic, which has created some new expenses that previously hadn’t existed.
Also, perhaps as a result of some overzealousness on my part when it came to fantasy-planning, I neglected to account for the 25-plus years of monthly payments I still have left on my mortgage. In addition, I learned recently that my furnace is going to need replacing.
And even worse, it seems I unaccountably failed to realize that the monthly assessments from my water, electricity, internet, and cell phone service providers, along with periodic visits from the oil truck, would continue even after I had ceased making car payments. For some reason I had lumped them all together in my head.
Nevertheless, being out from under a monthly bill I’d been paying for the past five years is almost indescribably liberating. Unfortunately, though, after re-calculating my current fiscal status, it appears the private island is out, as is the round-the-world cruise. But I think I’ve got enough left to take the ferry to Peaks Island for an afternoon.
I wonder what the chances are of Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, or Scarlett Johansson being out there on the day I set sail? <