Today I went to talk to Al and Arnie to strengthen our backup offer. There is a one percent chance that the deal could fall through, so we should be ready in case it does. We increased our offer to exceed the accepted one by just a little bit.
Since yesterday though, I have started coming back down to earth, thanks in great part to all the supportive comments from you all. It was great while it lasted, and I learned many valuable lessons, such as how to better structure an offer, how financing works, why objectivity is important, etc.
But the most profound and haunting lesson I’ve gathered is how terrible a taste of heaven could be. We are simple people. We lead simple, ordinary lives, and we imagine a tiny house with a little backyard. On a whim we walked into this house on which we placed that offer, really just for laughs, and it gave us a taste of what we could have, a tempting, inviting glimpse into another reality, a beautiful vision in which I could have an office at home, and where we could entertain more than four people at a time, and guests would walk through the house and be envious at our fortune.
It’s not us. We’re the Tofurky and potatoes sort of people, not the caviar and pate’ type. But still, after you get a taste of another reality, perhaps a better one, how do you come back unchanged and be satisfied? I think I now better understand why people become addicted to things like fame and money or drugs. I just read a great short story called “A touch of heaven, return to earth,” (Alexander Jhin) in which a woman consumed a pill that lets you experience ecstasy, but then you forget about the experience completely. But the woman protagonist consumed just the ecstasy half of the pill, and didn’t take the half that wiped off her memory. She went insane trying to find another pill so she could experience the ecstasy again, although the easier solution would just be to swallow the other half of the pill and forget about the experience completely.
So we had consumed the half of the pill where we saw stainless appliances, finished basement, views of a lake, potential for a second kitchen and mother-in-law unit to rent out. Now we must try to forget most of those things. That combo will never come again on our current salaries. But forgetting is difficult. We will continue looking at houses this week. Jameelah has already gotten over it. But this other house haunts me. It’s a haunting house. Its quiet backyard filled with yellow leaves is ingrained in my mind, whispering of a hundred fall afternoons now lost to a parallel universe. In some ways, I wish we had never stepped foot in this house.
What do you think? If you were given the opportunity to experience another reality, where you might be much happier, but then you have to return to your current reality, unable to forget, would you take it? After this experience, I think I’d rather just remain ignorant, happily consuming my ramen, having never known the joy of fish eggs.