My avatar having a bit of quiet extravagance in a virtual world. Screenshot by Laura L.
My avatar having a bit of quiet extravagance in a virtual world. Screenshot by Laura L.

The Daily Prompt: You’re given unlimited funds to plan one day full of any and all luxuries you normally can’t afford. 

I’ve sat staring at the monitor for way too long trying to figure out if I’m going to reply to this prompt and if I do which way I want to take it. Apparently I have decided to respond, but I have no idea right now where it will end. Let’s find out.

My answer twenty years ago would have been to spend the day in some great inn, on some ocean, in some country. Jet lag would have been miraculously cleared as would have travel time. It would have included a comfortable day of sightseeing and taking pictures (with my then husband). Fine dining and excellent beverages would have finished up the day. We could generally afford to do this on our own but maybe not to the nth degree that I would have chosen for a day of unlimited fun.

Ten years ago, with the person that I now refer to as Pond Scum, it would have been travel to an arts venue. Museums and shopping. Live music.

Now? Now I live in one room of a not-quite-stranger’s basement with only what I could fit into the space of a Mustang in a town and state where I know no one—again. I have no money and no credit. My health sucks and I’m unemployed. I have no living family that I know about and even if I did…ew. Most of the people I know are online and far away. Unlimited funds you say? Then I will take that loophole and buy a little house and hire the people to move the rest of my crap from Kentucky. I’ll stay in New England because I haven’t lived here long enough (only a week) to know if I like it or not, but it seems nice. Unlimited? Then I’ll get something to sock away into a bank, maybe gold? I’m assuming the unlimited funds are 24 hours only so I have to make it last. I need to order some shoes that aren’t falling apart and some clothes. I haven’t had new clothes in a decade.

In the running around I’d have my geriatric cat in to the vet and groomers. She deserves it. I was worried that yet another move would be physically hard on the 17-year-old girl but she’s handling it better than I am. Maybe I could get the vet to do a long overdue check up on me while I’m there?

I hear there are mail-order brides, are there mail-order boy friends? I’m kind of sick of not getting hugged. I want a return policy on this though.

Extravagant for me right now is to sleep without worry or without being numb because I’m way past worry. Being able to sleep, in a place that feels like mine, that I don’t have to worry about losing in the future, that would be extravagant. Being able to sleep without the need of some kind of background noise to drown out the never-ending thoughts in my head is way past extravagant and into the sci-fi realm at this point.

Extravagant would be to sit back in a comfy chair, watching the snow fall, casually drinking a nice adult beverage and savoring it. Doing nothing because I want to, not because I’m too depressed to move, what a concept.

My how times have changed. Extravagant is now defined as living like a normal, middle class American. Just writing that out and reading it back is still shocking to me, even though the decline has been going on for over five years. Just saying that aloud pisses me off.

I haven’t replied to the Daily Prompt for a while. A lot of that has to do with the whole moving to another place situation, but some of it has to do with the fact that so many of the prompts seem to assume a life I no longer am privy to. I am filing some away for subjects of flash fiction. I can see this one turning into the Twilight Zone episode where the protagonist who loves books finds himself alone in the world, with the whole library to himself, but then his glasses get broken.


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