My father always said money came at the wrong end of life
W. C. Fields, or Mark Twain, or George Bernard Shaw
said youth was wasted on the young.
always attributed to Twain, Shaw or Fields
the best being W. C. Fields on alcoholism
about not drinking water because fish fuck in it.
Dad’s was less prosaic
and more practical
about inheritances, partnerships, share market buyouts
coming after boundless energy was gone.
We were young. All.
yet to be caged by suburbia or capitalism – ambition postponed.
Modern day nomads
moving between countries and cities
stretching two pieces of string that never join – wish list and funds.
eating instant noodles
and skipping coffee
to pay for must-see attractions
$20 per day for backpackers in the 1980s.
Jean did better
better standard of travel
always taking the coach, train and occasional flight
and never having to choose : doing both.
Curiosity once asked
expecting family wealth or high flying career.
I work as I go she replied
nude – select – well paying.
Was she afraid of after sales recognition?
Or accidental evidence later?
She smiled – tolerant and indulgent
the smile of an atheist hearing a child speak of heaven
“it’s not my face they photograph.”