Dream of: 20 December 1996 "Thinking Of Money"

I was sitting at a desk in the downstairs office of the Gay Street House. I had been living with my father for a while at the House, but now I was getting ready to leave. When I had come to the House, my father and I had been on good terms, and he had promised to support me while I returned to college. But during my stay, my father and I had fallen out, and I had decided to leave and strike out on my own. Besides, I really didn't need to return to college – I should really be writing. Actually I had only wanted to go to college because it was a free ride and I wouldn't have to worry about supporting myself during that time.

But now the equation had changed. I was going to have to support myself. And if I were going to dedicate myself to writing, I knew I would have to live off my savings for a while. That meant a change in life style: I would need to pull in my belt. For instance, I thought, I could drastically reduce my food bill. Instead of eating out at restaurants all the time, I could prepare my own food, the way I used to do when I had been in college.

I made some quick mental calculations and concluded I could live for $400 a month for food. Figuring up my other expenses, I thought I could manage to survive for $1,000 a month. But then, to allow myself plenty of room, I changed the figure to $2,000 a month, and my final conclusion was that I could live for $25,000 a year. This was revealing to me, because I had saved quite a bit of money, and at $25,000 a year, I would be able to live for many years without having any more income. So if I wanted, I could simply put money questions out of my mind, and concentrate on writing. Still, it was difficult for me not to think about money.

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