three fantasies

i don’t know about you, but for me going to bed is three step process. i watch a little tv, or perhaps read a bit, and get into bed. then i lie there for a bit, about 20 minutes, just until i realize that i am not, in fact, going to fall asleep. so i get up, throw on the bathrobe and go down stairs to either watch yet another episode of ncis or one of the ever proliferating csi shows, or perhaps read a little more, or haul out the ‘puter and surf around. then i get back into bed and either fall blissfully (or otherwise) asleep, or lie there some more thinking myself awake.

if it’s thinking that seems to be keeping me awake, i get up to write it out, whatever it is that i’ve been mulling, or a story i’ve been writing in my head, or, as i’m doing now, the three fantasies that i’ve been playing in my mental theater. these are what i see myself doing in my semi-enforced retirement, which begins january 1.

first fantasy (by far the most likely): i spend a week or so doing some serious resting – sleeping late, taking naps, sitting in my easy chair. then, when that gets boring, turning my attention to finding things to do with myself – dusting off one or more of my cameras, revisiting one or more of those stories i’ve half-written in the middle of the night, and figure out some sort of gainful employment, something to do with my time that might bring in a few $$. hey, i’m no slouch, i can write, i have a few rusty internet chops i can oil up (think the tin woodsman, “oil can!”), maybe even figure out some way to make photography pay. some way to make myself feel useful.

fantasy #2, quite a bit less likely, is to come across enough money to live reasonably comfortably and buy a small flat in the south of france and spend my days sitting at a cafe drinking cafe au lait, smoking galouise (well, maybe not) and becoming a local fixture. maybe even work in some photography too and maybe even some writing. like i say, rather less likely.

fantasy #3, even less likely, which i’ve had in storage for a long time, is to land myself on the doorstep of a zen monastery and live out my days, as they say, in peaceful contemplation. if they’d have me.

the problem with fantasies #2 and 3 are that i’d have to arrange for someone to take care of me eventually, as my health continues to decline. #2 would be infinitely better with my wonderful wife along (in fact, it would really not be appealing at all without her) and #3 would suffer greatly for having to leave her, unless she suddenly developed an interest in zen.

or maybe i can fantasize that my health will improve.  i mean, it’s my fantasy.

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Author: Stephen

Stephen Harris is a writer, painter and a photographer who lives with his family in Maine.

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