I kept looking for distractions from the test itself, and finding them, like in the front row. I loved her heels and Japanese-style jacket, and that big weave and that pretty pink flower in it. I loved those black-rimmed glasses and her dark, rich complexion, and no make-up because why would you wear make-up for the event that is taking the test to work for the 2010 census? I mean, I didn’t shower. And I liked that while people in the back of the classroom were arguing over who should be disqualified for opening their test booklets too soon, she turned around and looked at me for longer than a moment. And then she watched me again, and not just because I was laughing hysterically at the scene in back.
So between the carnival that was people getting disqualified for opening their test booklets too soon -- I can’t believe someone tattled, but then again, the directions were quite clear -- and Ms. Big Weave’s gravitational pull, I was able to forget about the fact that I was taking an important test. I ended up getting a 26 out of 28 correct. The universe had indeed come through for me and given me what I had asked for. Maybe I should have asked to actually land a job with the census and not just smoke the test because the phone hasn’t rung yet with any offers.
It was a good feeling, having $120,000 at my disposal. It was an easy decision to take some “time off” from my career with that money in the bank. The economy was good. I envisioned returning to the real world, i.e. to a job, in about a year with most of the pile of dough intact. This is what I envisioned. This is not what happened.
I figured if I blew all my money, it would last a couple years, three at the most. I had a car, an apartment, I went out on the weekends.
Instead, my money lasted for more than five years. It’s hard to believe. And I had a lot of fun. I went to France, Italy, and to Chicago and Cleveland and Las Vegas and Portland numerous times. I lived in New England with an apartment and car for five months, in Southern California in a beach cottage for four months, in the off-seasons at a motel on the beach.
My money lasting for so long and providing for whatever I wanted to do is my story of Jesus and the loaves and fishes, only I didn’t feed the people. I mostly fed myself. And you know, Jesus appeared to be cool with that.