In case you haven’t heard, the Mega Millions drawing is done and had your ticket had the numbers 05, 28, 62, 65, and 70 in combination with Mega Ball number 05, you would have netted a cool 1.6 billion dollars. Just to tell you the kind of luck I had, not a single one of those numbers appeared anywhere in the 5 rows on the $10 ticket I purchased. That’s pretty damn pitiful. What’s probably more pitiful, however, is the fact that in the run up to the drawing, while everyone was fantasizing about buying their own private island or an NFL franchise, I was thinking how awesome it would be to spend some of my winnings on another 1984 Nissan 200 SX Turbo.
I told the story of how I purchased a beaten down 200SX Turbo, and how that little car helped me recover from some dark times, in the second article I wrote for TTAC. Like most of what I write, it’s a true story and the memory of that little car, the circumstances under which I purchased it and how we helped one another back to a better place, has become an important touchstone for me. I often think of that car when I am down and it helps to lighten my mood. Maybe it’s a reminder that sometimes, just every once in a teeny tiny little while, there is some magic in the world after all.
Getting another of the little Nissans was a nice little fantasy but I know that, had I won and then actually gone out an gotten one, it wouldn’t have been the same. The special little car I wrote about is long gone, swept away by changing times and new priorities, and anything I might have gotten to replace it would have been a pale imitation of the original. That’s one of the reasons why I’ve come to the painful conclusion that I will never be a collector. I just want what I had, not more stuff and not even better stuff – just my stuff.
Is it a mid-life crisis that this has become something of a recurring theme in recent years? As a young man, I was focused on the future – no, scratch that. I wish I could say that I was focused on the future but the truth is, like a lot of people, I was focused on whatever was directly in front of me. Turning in the homework so I didn’t get beat when the progress reports came out. Getting a job so I had some money in my pocket and then spending that money on whatever caught my eye or more often, filled my stomach. It wasn’t a great system, but it worked well enough and, over time, I was actually able to accumulate some pretty nice stuff. But then the bottom fell out.
I allude to those times and those still surprisingly fresh memories in the original story, but stop short of going into the details. That’s because I know other people have had hard times, too, some probably some a lot harder than the ones I went through, and I don’t want to end up comparing the sizes of our hardship dicks. Maybe my hard times pale in comparison to other people’s, I don’t know, but what I can say is that it hurt to see the many things I had managed to accumulate over the years get sold off item by item. The losses, though small, still bothers me.
Those times changed me. They split my life in two and while I can still see the memories of those good times in my mind’s eye, the feelings I associate with those days are becoming harder and harder to understand. The world seemed a more positive place then and I really believed that I could do anything if only I put my mind to it. That’s all gone now and all that is left is a clear-eyed vision of the way things really are and a much harder heart.
Those things, I think, are here to stay and despite the fact that I miss that other guy who I left behind, I have a hunch that even 1.6 billion dollars wouldn’t have brought him back. Still, I’d have liked to have had the chance to test that theory…