Over the course of my life, I’ve learned to come to terms with a lot of things.
Not being an astronaut.
Not being an airline pilot.
Not having the sort of comely locks of hair that make women go all atwitter when they see me, especially when I flip that glorious, glorious mane.
Not even having the sort of hair that you can grow long without it looking all oily and stringy.
These were hard truths to accept.
But perhaps the hardest truth to swallow was not becoming a best-selling author.
Yes, I had dreams. The dreams every author has:
Dreams of fabulous wealth.
Of being recognized wherever I went.
Of hobnobbing with celebrities.
Adored by fans the world over.
A subject of special interest to the beady-eyed lizard people who secretly run the world.
Alas, none of this was to come to pass.
(Except those bastard lizard people. They’re watching me. They’re watching me now. They’re always watching me.)
But, as with all childish things, I came to terms with it.
OK, I didn’t.
I am still deeply bitter that I am not the first best-selling author who flew his own plane to the launchpad before blasting off to his home on the moon, a crowd of beautiful women in the wake of his wind-swept, waist-long hair.
Instead, I had to find a way to cope.
Let me tell ya, compared to having your dreams come true, coping sucks.
But what other choice do you have?
In order to get past my crushing disappointment, I looked for the silver lining.
How does one go about this silver lining finding?
Simple. Imagine you had what you wanted.
So, for the sake of argument, let’s say I am a world-renowned, best-selling author.
Hey, you in the back! No snickering!
What would happen if I had attained this lofty goal?
First off, I’d be fawned over by devoted fans.
Many of them male, no doubt, but a certain sizable percentage would indubitably be young, attractive women.
Women half my age plus seven years, give or take.
This leads to problems. Because I know myself, and I know that all that love and adoration would go to my head.
Especially when bestowed by beautiful young women half my age plus seven years, give or take.
Not so much with the men half my age plus seven years.
They, paradoxically, would be no threat to my marriage whatsoever.
Inevitably, I leave my wonderful wife, who I don’t deserve, and kids, who I will blame for the divorce, because that’s the kind of jerk dad I become once famous and vain.
And start dating a woman half my age plus seven years, who I meet at a convention celebrating the iconic movie series based on my best-selling novels.
Now I’m not attracted to dummies, so eventually this shrewd woman will get me to marry her, sans a prenup.
The wedding announcement has consequences. Primarily, it shatters the uneasy cease-fire between the ex-Missus and I.
The ex-Missus will engage in a bitter alimony and custody suit, making me a tabloid target and generally causing me a great deal of grief.
My kids will come to spit derisively when they speak my name, on those rare occasions they deign to acknowledge my existence.
My new marriage will be seemingly fun at first, but quickly descend into a living hell.
And why wouldn’t it?
The neo-Missus will suddenly realize that the middle-aged man who leaves his first middle-aged wife is likely to do the same to the second wife when she attains middle-agedom.
She will spend the next few years feverishly hoping I’ll age out of my sex drive before she hits her forties.
That fear will fester within her, eventually driving her towards a torrid affair with a man half my age plus zero.
Also, full-on, murderous hatred towards me.
In the end, I’m a cuckolded fifty-something year old who ends up murdered by his neo-Missus with a padded toilet seat.
It is not a pretty crime scene.
But before that, the stress and strain of my failing marriage and constant media attention, not to mention all the internet trolls leaving comments on my blog, takes its toll on my creativity.
My post neo-Missus books open to more and more bad reviews and fewer and fewer sales.
The movie franchise is destroyed by a sequel directed by Joel Schumacher (a pox upon his house), and now my books serve as the punchline in darkly unfunny jokes.
By the time of my undignified death, I am a penniless, unloved, forgotten literary footnote, a ‘Who was that guy who wrote that one good book and then sucked for the rest of his life?’ question asked during trivia contests at bars.
The answer to that question is, invariably, ‘There was a good book?’
By being a miserable failure as a writer, I avoid all that.
And there’s the silver lining.
So in all honesty, I’m probably better off not being a bestseller.
But a man can dream, can’t he?