How I Learned To Spend Money

What is left is always writing: the force of words works even for those who feel absolutely powerless. When reality is overwhelming, you don’t trust your ability to write one proper sentence. And yet you see the words combine themselves on the screen in front of you, as if they are living their own lives. They have their own logic, their own order. You feel like the words originated from you, that you recombined them into an intelligible sentence. But the words are overpowering you, the order in which your fingers put them might intelligible, they don’t feel like your intention. They are of course symptoms of what you wanted to say, but the connection between symptom and meaning is severed. What you want to say feels like a floe drifting out of reach. You lose your grasp of your experience, the words your fingers type only strengthen the walls around you. You feel locked in an inner world you are trying to comprehend using your language, that tragically makes you feel more estranged. You are in a very cold place. There are no strong enough signifiers that can carry your weight. There are no authorities. There are no truths. There is nothing left to be dreamt of in your philosophies. You begin to imagine time itself as an authority.

In the absence of meaningful goals, time itself begins to demand things from you. She is the last authority, so you want to feel her as much as you can. That is why nihilists find temporary solace in amassing as much wealth as possible, and why they develop a psychological need to see their wealth always increase.

Money, as the highest abstraction of human promising, plays the role of time’s authority.

Why do I write? Are words the last or only thing I think I can contribute, or not even that. Words that feel like less than words. A pathos of thin air, annihilating all my understanding of the world. A kitsch-fest that makes the reader cringe to the seventh degree.

The possession of money can make someone confident. Or not. Like time, it’s never enough. You develop a pathology, a hatred of spending and of money itself. Either you have a lot of it and they see only your bank balance, or you lack it and they see a beggar. Who you really think you are is hiding behind, or in front of, the money. Money becomes the river that takes us all along.

I am afraid to spend money because I don’t believe I will earn it back. Even if I have set some amount aside, it still feels like I am borrowing from myself.

I know some people engage in financial planning, 30 years or more into their future. They assume that they will always generate income and use that as a collateral for a loan. I would naively say that I can’t grasp the concept of borrowing against the future, but of course I do, since I am a temporary being myself. It is just that I feel uncomfortable spending money without earning it back before sundown.

Perhaps that limit is artificial. I don’t want to sleep, perhaps I can’t sleep, knowing I owe something to someone. At night, they come for my financial blood, if you will. The sentiment could be the same that gave rise to vampire stories.

I drink a cup of coffee in a coffee shop, I take out my laptop and ‘make’ the few euros I just paid. I check in at a hotel and the first thing I do in the room is using their Wi-Fi to earn the amount on the bill. I couldn’t make enough money before sunset to pay for a house or a car, so no house and no car for me.

I admire people who have the confidence to be in debt after the sun sets. They make the important assumption that not only their money, but they themselves have value in society.

I describe this condition as a rupture between the totalities of time and society. They are no longer aligned. ‘Pure’ debt, understood as the call of the autority of time can not be represented as a calling within society. Instead, it becomes the anxiety of a fall. And rising up in society leads to the anxious nihilism of billionaires.

What a lovely load of crap! Long live everything not neurotypical!

But here’s the thing. I recently stayed a night in a hotel and made the $ 90 or so before I shut my eyes. But I had chosen to stay at the hotel because I knew its Wi-Fi would allow me to earn the money back, so the vampires couldn’t get to me. I slept well that night, and learned an important lesson. I can loosen the reigns of the galloping horse of money and time.

Borrowing money from yourself feels like making time flow faster and slower. It can open up a realm of freedom for the non-neurotypical.

How I Learned To Spend Money was originally published on Meandering home

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