August 14, 2017 (Monday)

by Yule Heibel on August 13, 2018

It was hot, a bit too hot, for the first time in a while yesterday. And it made me think, again – after days if not weeks of home improvement had me fantasizing about staying in B. after all – about these life “choices” which seem, really, so choice-less. Like it’s something you just careen into. I want the proximity to Europe – I don’t really want to be so far away on the other side of the continent anymore – and yet the weather here, this year’s mild summer notwithstanding, is awful.

A. booked his flight back to Berlin. He’s leaving in two days, on Wednesday. Over dinner and then during a late evening walk through the neighborhood we talked at length about the option of his staying in the Boston area – comparatively, so limiting. Rent a crap room somewhere in Somerville, Watertown, or Allston in this overheated rental market, or, eventually buy out here and face a ridiculous car or public transit commute, be utterly car-dependent for a social life, work as a drone…? Sounds terribly unappealing.

He’s feeling pretty low right now, especially after his setback last month with [funding company], and everything in Berlin kind of up in limbo. E. is also feeling low with regard to her drone existence as a software developer; she feels stuck. And W. feels low because of the commute and the loss over controlling his own time this 2-1/2 to 3 hour slog on creaky, often unreliable public transportation implies. I’m sort of even-keeled, but also feeling socially isolated; I’m thinking of exploring the local writer’s group meetups, and possibly the Atheneum.

All of the general “lowness” (really a feeling of powerlessness) is amplified by the general hysteria (which I’ve managed to avoid for the most part) over American “Nazis” and the end of the Republic generally. Panic, panic everywhere…

Yesterday A. calculated how much we could extract in retirement from bond investments (bonds, to avoid the risk exposure associated with stocks), and the amount is paltry. So we’ll stay in stocks and face exposure. I had said previously that I thought R.’s idea of being able to retire on clearing $1,000,000 from his recent inheritance was ridiculous because one million dollars isn’t enough to retire on. Both W. and A. poo-poohed me. But A. now agrees. If you put even $700,000 in bonds (i.e., nearly three quarters of your cash assets), it would only throw off ~$20,000 annually, which is a ridiculously low sum. But staying in the stock market means you could get wiped out completely. What a set-up… So, yeah. Stay exposed in the stock market …and watch everything implode? Or get into a real estate market that’s once again overheated – and, what? Buy a duplex and become a landlord to the Lumpenproletariat? Uh, nope. Nyet interested, tovarish.

So, I’ve stayed off Twitter for the most part, but apparently the country is tearing itself apart, and the left is calling for riots or at least vehement counter-protests – to what? Oh, to Charlottesville, of course – never mind this was ~500 people; Americans left and right are entitled self-righteous fucks, all down the line. Truly. Apparently, there already were skirmishes in Seattle. More on the way. Cheers.

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