Money is as complex to many writers as simple arithmetic.
As I began to travel first class to cities I fantasized about as a young man discovering riches by way of Edith Wharton and Town&Country, a friend told me that, if I wanted to be rich, it was not enough to dream of the good life.
“You have to dream in cash,” she said. “All the forces of the universe will conspire to give you what you want, but you must want it first.”
Oh how I tried to visualize money, not what it could get me! I’d daydream about having it in a briefcase, but soon realize I luxuriated more in the idea of emptying its contents at Bergdorf Goodman. I’d dream about sleeping on a bed of bills, but at the Suite Impériale at Hotel Ritz in Paris or a sunset cruise on the Pacific.
Soon, I learned I couldn’t do it. To me, money is only a means.
In 1996, at the premiere of The Titanic, where I caught Leonardo DiCaprio on the red carpet, I imagined that if I were on that ship, I’d have been in first class not because of my surname, the blood in my veins, or my money in the bank but my talent.
To use the word as defined on Merriam-Webster, I “prosper despite” not having the fortune required for the life I’ve lived so far.
What little money I have I use, unwilling as I am to lose it to poverty consciousness or in preparation for a future that may never come.
My fortune is the life I live from day to day.