Being idly rich

One day as I was riding my bike to work in Tokyo on a dazzling morning I thought, too bad I have to go to work today.

Then I wondered, what would I do on that day if I had so much money I didn’t need to work?  Probably I’d go to the beach.  Maybe go up to the mountains, or go walking around Lake Hakone.

And then I thought, what would I do the next day?  And the day after that?  I realized that without company it would get boring pretty quickly.

This, I realized, is why the idle rich socialize exclusively with each other.  Who else would they hang out with?  Everyone else is working.  And so they cannot help but be twits, have affairs with each other, pretend to care about the latest fashions and art, host awful parties, engage in witty repartee etc., just as in Tender Is the Night.  They have nothing else to do, nor people to do it with.

So as I continued my journey to work I thought, well, having a job makes you appreciate your weekends all the more.  I put aside the idea of being idly rich.

But that was then.  At that time I didn’t go to the gym, had fallen out of the habit of reading, and had not written anything for a long time.  All I did was work, drink, occasionally run, go for the occasional trip, and shag as many girls as I possibly could.

These things mostly took up weekends and I would have been lost trying to amuse myself on a weekday.  My girls would be at work, my mates would be unavailable for drinking.  Indeed, at this time of my life I tended to become dissipated on holidays unless I was traveling.  At home I would just eat Korean takeaway, read blogs and that’s about all.

Conversely, this is now.  My holidays are taken up with my projects and I could always use the extra time for exercise.  Unless I’m traveling I tend to work for around four hours a day and spend the rest of the time walking, at the gym or reading.  I rarely get bored.

So now I guess I’m ready to become idly rich.  I have the pursuits necessary to keep me occupied so I won’t need to get drunk with Tom Buchannan-types in order to amuse myself.  Though Daisy I might still have time for.

I intend to practice being idly rich this summer for a month in the Philippines.  If it goes well I will take it up full-time after working for another year.

Let me know if you want to drop by and go on a bender, swap cars on the way home, commit a hit-and-run, and then get the wrong one of us shot.


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