I have an asset on my books that I
must carry and maintain despite the cost:
this body that I live in like a house,
a stand-alone for which I hold the deed.
Despite the cash invested, I have seen
nothing but diminishing returns.
The value goes in one direction, down,
and divest I cannot do. I’d like to find
a venture capitalist who’d look at me
with a klieg light of profit in his eyes,
or her eyes, but everyone’s aware
that monies put here aren’t recoverable.
My marketing budget swells with every year,
as what I have to advertise becomes
harder to find a market for. Demand
is correlated perfectly with time,
inversely so, as you might have guessed,
and the graph of the relationship is clear
in its predictability. At least
predictability is good, as those
whose job it is to manage risk will say.
They also advise we take into account
a worst-case scenario. Well, fine.
That’s the only one I’ve got, as far
as I can see, so planning for it won’t
be complicated, options will be few,
and returns on the investment I have made
won’t keep my beneficiaries up
at night fighting over who gets what.
The thing I have will just depreciate,
the net effect of which will likely be
not foreclosure or eviction but
a rendering of my house unlivable,
an act of God that leaves me in the cold
zeroing out my balance in the books.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 31 Number 6, on page 27
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