I am a rich man.

I’ve always been clear about this — I would consider myself “rich” when I felt comfortable buying books at retail just because I felt like it. Yesterday, I went to Barnes & Noble on a whim, and I bought these books just because I felt like it. I didn’t note the titles in order to go home and comparison-shop, or check the library’s website to see if any were available, or put them on a wish list for the next eight months. I thought, These look interesting, so I bought them. In years past, I might have had a sudden stab of anxiety as I realized that I’d just spent money that should have been set aside for a bill coming due. Not this time. This time, there was just the unadulterated pleasure of browsing the philosophy section to the smell of freshly-brewed coffee from the café behind me, “the absence of pain in the body and of trouble in the soul.”

Like most people in possession of imaginary lottery money, sure, I could find other things to buy if I cared to daydream about it. Brand new vehicles? A renovated house? A stock portfolio? Luxury vacations? Those would all just be gravy. I’ve achieved my wealth goal, and it was everything I dreamed it would be.