Six Hundred Bucks

If I had six hundred bucks that I had to spend TOMORROW.

Like if someone was all:
‘Hey, Jeffery…. here’s six hundred bucks but the catch is you have to spend it in TWENTY FOUR HOURS and I’m serious about this…. or else my friend who the money belongs to is gonna be reallllllly pissed’

Then I’d be all:
‘Sure, of course Gayle. No problem.’

If I had the six hundred bucks to spend tomorrow, I think this is how I’d spend it:

First, I’d first go buy groceries because A. I need to buy groceries and B. I really like buying groceries. I’d buy the basics of what I always use: bananas, cranberries, peanut butter, soy milk, a loaf of bread. Then like SNACKS. Full on at home, superficial snacks, the kind of snacks I’d never buy on a regular day. The kind of stuff people with any real grasp on money management keep in their pantry like its no big thing. Life supplies. I’m talking yogurts, chips, crackers, mixed nuts, sparkling waters, all sorts of coffees, sodas, cheeses, ice cream. I’m probably gonna go over board and buying a bunch of vegetables, convincing myself that I’m gonna start making myself salads every night. This will be a lie and the vegetables will go bad in my refrigerator and it will be at least two months (or whenever the smell gets too unbearable) before I actually throw them out

After grocery shopping I think I’m gonna make my breakfast/lunch at home, because: sure I’ve got six hundred bucks to spend (well, five hundred and forty two now) but I really love eating lunch at home and watching The View. So I’ll do that. Then I’m gonna probably want to take a little stroll because oh yea, I forgot to tell you, it’s reallllllly nice outside. Not too hot, not too cold. Sunshine like you’ve never seen! So I take my walk…. and I’m going downtown. I walk down Sixth attempting to avoid the arm pit that is the West 30’s but in truth, there’s really no way to avoid that shit hole area no matter what you do. I get downtown and folks, call me old fashioned but I’m making a quick stop at TJ Maxx and I’m going straight to the clearance rack. I don’t care how much money I’ve got in my pocket….. I’m a slave to a bargain. There won’t be much at TJ Maxx except for that pair of True Religion Jeans they had in there last time that were too expensive to buy but that I had dreams about for weeks thereafter. They’re marked down! HOLY SHIT! Is this my birthday?! I buy them. Seventy five bucks. Plus a few baths towels because even with this extra cash, I’m not doing laundry any time soon.

Next stop? The Strand. I buy a stack of books I’ve been wanting to read, the top of which is this book called ‘The Happiness Project’ that this woman wrote exploring the different methods in which people find happiness. I spend a lot of time in there, browsing, being inspired, and debating whether or not I’ll ever get the courage to talk to that cute blond cashier who usually works at the furthest left register. I never will by the way.

Now I’m carrying around all this shit…. and just then I remember: I WANT A NEW BACKPACK! I’m not quite sure where somebody goes to get one of those but I’m gonna say Brooklyn Industries because that seems cool and practical so I do that.

I swing by a bakery and get a treat. I’m not too picky. I’m thinking maybe a cookie but thats also just what I’m wanting as I write this, so who knows what I’d want in the moment. I’m not a fucking psychic! I eat my treat then take a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge where I end up in Dumbo. I start reading ‘The Happiness Project’. Loving this! This is SO my kind of book, you guys! I read, taking little breaks to look up at the East River and lower Manhattan, at the gorgeous bridge, I soak it all in. Mmmmmmm. This is a good day.

As the sun is going down I venture back across the bridge. My legs are a little tired from all this walking but I love it. It’s a good tired. I’ve also worked up an appetite. I’m not sure where I go to dinner but it’s me and a couple of my nearest and dearests that join me. I’m open to a variety of places but I’m thinking maybe Freeman’s on the Lower East Side or maybe even Li’l Frankie’s in the village. Nothing crazy, it’s only six hundred bucks, people! But it’s lovely and wonderful just the same. My friends know about the money thing so they know they can order whatever they want. Oh my God, is that Katherine Helmond at the table across the way? I’m gonna send a drink over! I do. She comes over to say thank you, I get a picture with her and it remains my Facebook picture for the next six months until I snap a picture with a confused Craig T. Nelson outside a Best Buy.

The night has a graceful ending, not an ugly, too drunk to deal with reality, dizzy cab ride ending…. but something sensible like I see adults do on television and in movies. I end up back at home, six hundred bucks spent and satisified. As I go to bed I realize it wasn’t about the things I bought with the six hundred bucks…. it wasn’t about the thrill of spending that much money or treating myself and my friends…. it was about for twenty four hours having that thing, that ever present, overbearing worry and mental calculator thats there whether its invited or not…. disappear into thin air. And I’ll think to myself that the lack of that annoying daily burden, that I suppose each of us has, was worth a billion times more than the money, the groceries, the jeans, the books, the backpack, the dinner, and day….. I’ll close my blinds, close ‘The Happiness Project’, and turn out the lights. Happy I had a day.

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5 Comments on “Six Hundred Bucks”

  1. Marilyn Tallman Says:

    This is great! Keep writing. You’ll always be a favorite of mine.

  2. Brandon Says:

    This totally makes my day. My current mental soundtrack: Barenaked Ladies singing IF I HAD SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS… And Katherine Helmond is cheerfully lunching in the accompanying mental music video.

  3. Emily Says:

    This is just beautiful.

  4. Enrique Says:

    “Happy I had a day” That’s what it’s all about.

  5. sebastian Says:

    I really like reading you!

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