It’s April 18, 2021.

Morning: She has taken possession of the credit cards and put “Papa” Biden’s stimulus money in the bank. I never even got to see it, never got to touch it, to hold it, and dream about its possibilities.

It isn’t that much, but then I only need a few bucks to create a dream. Sad, isn’t it?

It just went right into the bank.

She says we have to cut down now, and take care of what we’ve got.

We’ve got so much. Where to start? So I’m sitting here on the deck, taking inventory of what I’ve got, and this is some of it.


I’ve got my piano now, and I love it, but with little time to play it, I suggested to her that I could sell it. That would raise a few bucks.
But She says no.

“We don’t need a few bucks, we need a lot of bucks.”

I should keep practicing, She says, so that when the paper fires me, I can apply for a job playing cocktail piano at the new Lockwood Hotel downtown.

When she says things like that I know she’s kidding. But she doesn’t smile. Is she kidding?

Yes, I’ve got so much: health, happiness, successful daughters and sons-in-law, love, Ms. Kramer the cockatiel, the new cordless Dyson vacuum cleaner, my writing. I should be grateful.

But at the end of the day, a fella needs a toy. Someone once said, “He who dies with the most toys … wins.” They didn’t say what.


Oh! I do have my iWatch with 28 different faces, including both Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

It was a Christmas gift from my family two years go, or I would still be wearing the Timex I was given when I went into the Air Force. It had only one face, but it glowed in the dark.

About the iPhone. It’s a 2-year-old No. 10. I would like one of the new super models, like the No. 12 pro. It’s “splash, water, and dust resistant.” It starts as low as $999. Before taxes.

But it’s spring and there’s a new elephant in the room — the painting of the house. Whenever I suggest buying a toy, I hear, “No. The house comes first and it looks terrible. So first let’s see what the painting will cost.”

She’s right. Passersby are beginning to point at it and whispering to their children. I can imagine.

“See, darling? That’s what happens when you grow up without a plan and have to become a writer like Mr. Devine, and let your property and body go. So study hard so you can be a lawyer like your Uncle Jason, or a doctor like Grandpa Edmund.”


She’s right. And it’s gotten so bad that Catholics make the sign of the cross as they pass by.

I still keep thinking about the stimulus. As I said, I never even got to see it, never got to touch it, to hold it, and dream about the countless possibilities of new toys.

Boy. The nerve. That one Moderna shot really made her cocky.

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer. 

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: