Wants and Needs

Joseph sat and thought about what he wanted from life. Food-shelter-clothing were all he needed for himself and bartending would pay the bills. He and his friends had always been that way – minimalist, as he'd heard it termed and lately spread like gospel. But he knew enough to know that needs and wants were different things.

What if he just wanted to hang out in Philly neighborhoods and live? Would that be enough for Annabeth? He liked to look out his front windows and see people. Like Fishtown was some big college campus sans the college and with more hipsters and toddlers and long time residents. He liked the neighborhood's feral cats, though he kinda felt bad for them and sometimes gave them food.

Magic Johnson popped into his head – he'd seen him on tv earlier pitching HealthCare.gov, urging people to care enough about their own health to visit the web site and sign up. Of all the things his bloated government pissed away its people's hard earned money on, the Magic Johnson commercial and its message bothered him the least. For Joseph, health insurance had always been a want, and mostly he just felt lucky that it hadn't yet become a need.

The time struck him – just after 4:00 am. He'd been sitting in his den in the dark for hours. Maybe he'd wake up the next day and know exactly what he wanted, have some epiphany and take up a new career or ask Annabeth to marry him. Or maybe he'd just make breakfast and go for a walk while it digested, if the sun shines.


  1. Ah perhaps you don't always get what you want, but the other question with this piece that comes to mind is do you get what you need? It seems to me that Joseph is all thought and no action. I could see him sitting in that den just thinking about what he wants. ^_^

  2. funny, I've thought about this conundrum a lot and always employed the terms, ambition versus appetite to try and split them apart. The there's a third in aspiration which has kind of become hyperreal, what the advertisers and cultural commentators tell us is worth going after.

  3. I think anyone who is happy to live a minimalist life will be far more content than those who always want more than they have.

  4. Well he could at least ask . . . He'll know if she says no.

  5. This whole idea of health insurance falling into a "good to have" category freaks me right out, but then again I've lived with socialised medicine my whole life, so I guess it would.

    I really liked this character sketch. I hope Annabeth says yes if he does decide to pop the question.