Retirement Fund Haiku

The stock market — and the 401(k) plans of millions of Americans — really took a beating today.  Anytime the market plummets more than 500 points and loses almost five percent of its value in a single day, it is just not a good day.

Why did the market drop like a drunken sailor after his last mug of grog?  Who knows?  The zig zags of the market are beyond the ken of mortal investors.  Perhaps the Wall Street wizards have come to recognize what most of us have realized for a long time — the economy sucks wind like an overweight sprinter, and its not getting whipped into shape by the expensive “cures” emanating from Washington, D.C.

There’s not much we can do about it, except compose another bit of stock market haiku to commemorate our vanishing paper profits:

Economy blows

Retirement just a dream

And summer’s too hot

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A Ringless Day

Yesterday I did something I just don’t do.  In the post-shower hustle and bustle of the morning, as I tied my tie and put on my belt and retrieved my wallet, keys, cell phone, and other paraphernalia, I somehow forgot to put on my wedding ring.

During the more than 29 years Kish and I have been married, slipping that gold band onto the ring finger of the left hand, and then having it there during the day, has been an unvarying part of my life.  Yesterday I noticed that I had forgotten it when I was on the freeway headed to the office, because my hand just felt . . . different.  And then, during the day, the ring’s absence became increasingly noticeable.  I realized that I often unconsciously swivel the ring around my fingers or slide it up and down as I am reading, and I missed doing that.  I missed its exquisite heaviness — to steal a phrase from Auric Goldfinger — and its warm, glittering color.

The ring also is a powerful, visible symbol and affirmation of the fact that I am a lucky man, and I often look at it and smile inwardly at my good fortune.  I missed wearing the ring for that reason most of all.