In April 2021, I submitted five entries to a postcard story (500 words or less) writing contest by Geist magazine. One got short-listed, but not this one. Still, I enjoyed the thinking and writing process, and wanted to share it with you. The picture is the image of the postcard I chose to go with the postcard story. I hope you’ll like it.
If you liked these postcard stories and wanted to see others I had submitted, please click here.
Theory versus Reality
I’ve never had home insurance. I neither have need for it, nor can it be of value to me.
I’m a bachelor who doesn’t live on much. I don’t ever signal to suggest my place would be good to rob. In my building, there are plenty of other, more attractive units to rob than mine. In a suburban house, it would be the same, just in a neighbourhood schema. In the countryside, my house would be the one robbers would go the extra mile, or ten, to find another that looked more worth their while. Thieves’ discriminatory nature would protect me from theft.
Nature and fate aren’t discriminatory, though. When it comes to disasters and misfortunes, it is my discrimination for the value of what I own that would influence insuring them or not. Fortunately, for me, the impact of my discrimination doesn’t matter. If an item were replaceable merely by money, I have more than enough to replace all of them at once since I neither own much, nor much that’s expensive. Otherwise, the item is priceless to me on sentimental value that no amount of insurance money would ever be able to replace it. In other words, I can be my own home insurance for the first group, and no home insurance I could buy would ever cover the second.
At least that’s how I saw it, in theory.
But then it happened.
One weekday afternoon, I got a call from a neighbour about our building burning down in a massive fire! It was unlikely much, if anything, would be salvageable!
Immediately, I panicked and fled my meeting! In the elevator going down, my mind ran through everything I owned that I didn’t have with me, and what my life would be like without them. The practical items included my computer, information there that hadn’t been backed up, and my wardrobe mostly of garments fitted to my small stature. The priceless items included original art of various forms, many accolades, and hundreds of cherished mementos. Loss of the practical items was going to be a nuisance for a while, but they were replaceable. Loss of the priceless items, though, was going to be devastating, forever relegated to my memory.
Running through the office building lobby, I realized all I could do now was focus on envisioning how my life will be different with today’s material fresh start, and how I will make it reality.
As I opened my office building door on to the street, instead of turning right to rush home and see my building finish burning, my epiphany made me turn left. Slow to a stroll. And begin imagining my new life. As one who loves fresh starts and who loves to plan, a calmness swept over me. However, it wasn’t long before excitement started trickling in with the first new possibilities I imagined for my new life!
At least that’s how I saw it, in reality of visualizing my theory to test it more realistically.