Oh, shoot. Let’s take the positive approach…
What if you actually did win the lottery and suddenly found yourself the richest person you’ve ever known, and closing on some of those guys on the Forbes list? Do you really have any idea what you’d do with the money, let alone how long it would take to burn through every penny? Would you really give untold thousands (Not millions, now. Let’s be sensible.) to charity? Would Mom get a monster share, or would that week when you were 14 and grounded on a Saturday night, missing the party of the century, become a factor?
Or…what if you suddenly became a legend in your own time, picked up the Nobel Peace Prize, and were invited to a dinner in your honor, with the veritable who’s who of the community’s society, and parking cars was none other than the one guy who regularly kicked the tar out of you when you were in the eighth grade? And, of course, by this time you had a couple of gorillas who provided security for you and who both had a bad attitude and seemed to enjoy crowd control on an individual and personal basis. When your car was delivered at the end of the evening, what would you consider an appropriate tip?
Or…what if the season-ending football game was on the line, with one minute to go, your school against the hated rival, and you miraculously snagged a desperation pass in the end zone? The crowd went nuts and your team carried you from the field on their shoulders. Years later, you decide to run for office and you find you can still milk that long-ago brush with heroics, complete with photos that you autograph for would-be voters, even those from the antagonists of decades before. You resist the temptation to rub it in once more, because, dang it, they still remember that catch.
Or…what if you were fooling around in the garage and somehow managed to invent a battery that could pump out the power of Hoover Dam, and Honda was on the phone the very next day ready to cut a check for your ground-breaking work? And within a week, the president was on the phone ready to give you the Medal of Freedom, citing your success in ending the fossil-fuel harness forever. You feign humility and tell Time magazine during the photo-shoot for the cover story that you never had formal training in matters electrical and that you just spent a lot of time watching your dad do pretty much the same thing.
Or…what if, finally, you’re rushing through the produce section and the woman (Or man — See? I can be big about these things.) of your dreams just happens to collide with your shopping cart. You retrieve the russet potatoes that felt from her cart and apologize with an intensity that’s just short of groveling. She laughs and says that she plans to prepare them for dinner tonight and wouldn’t like to join her. You regain what’s left of your composure and set a time. Good becomes great, and within days it’s like the birds are singing just for you. She makes you the sole beneficiary of her enormous insurance policy, and adds that her two kids are grown and independently successful in business. Your old friends are simply sick with envy.
Well. Here’s the point: it never hurts to dream big. In fact, what on earth is the point of dreaming small? You actually aspire to gain possession of a second-hand Tercel? And like the song goes, If you don’t have a dream, how’re you gonna have your dreams come true? Writers — and it’s hardly a surprise — are dreamers, almost by profession. The difference with the more practical set is that we put it down on paper, and at least vicariously, can make them come true. And in a way, you can, too. The real thing. Write down a couple of biggies, affix same to the old fridge door and see if you can make it happen. We did, and you’ll read about the results right here.
Boy, have I got work to do!