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read The Stories of John Cheever (read all 12 entries…)
"The Pot Of Gold"

”. . . When you get as old and as rich as I am, it’s hard to meet people. All my old friends are dead – all of them but George. I’m surrounded by a cordon of associates and relatives that’s damned near impenetrable, and if it wasn’t for George giving me a name now and then, I’d never get to see a new face. Last year, I got into an automobile accident. It was my fault. I’m a terrible driver. I hit this young fellow’s car and I got right out and went over to him and introduced myself. We had to wait about twenty minutes for the wreckers and we got to talking. Well, he’s working for me today and he’s one of the best friends I’ve got, and if I hadn’t run into him, I’d never have met him. When you get to be as old as me, that’s the only way you can meet people – automobile accidents, fires, things like that.”

This was such a simple story that I’m tempted to call it “moralistic,” but is it proper to say that about something when you agree with it and like it? But really this does read like a child’s fable for adults, and maybe we need a bit more of that. I think we do work too hard sometimes for questionable goals. I think the longing for “being rich” is a digusting sickness, but I’d be the worst hypocrite if I claimed I didn’t sense it at times lingering down somewhere inside myself.



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