My Search for Adventure

By Andrew Looney

By the time I was thirty, I had amassed a fortune of just over two million dollars, due to several extremely successful investments and an almost fanatical devotion to the process of working and saving money.

At the age of thirty-two, I conducted a thorough examination of my life, and found it to be lacking. I was so concerned with the acquisition of money, that I had missed out on some of life's more exciting aspects. Thus, I decided to embark upon an adventure.

Most of my money was tied up in various investments: stocks, bonds, real estate and other securities, with some in secret bank accounts. I took all of my most important documents, divided them up, and placed them into three safety deposit boxes in three different banks. I placed my most precious belongings in two lockers in two different bus terminals. Everything else of value I either sold or locked up in my oceanfront condominium.

I placed the keys to these six places, along with some cash, jewelry, and my birth certificate, in a jar, which I sealed and buried at a carefully chosen location in the woods. With my life well secured, I was ready to embark upon my adventure. Here I encountered a major flaw in my well thought out plan.

I dressed in old clothes, placed some travel gear in a backpack with five thousand dollars in small bills, and drove off in my Volkswagen bus. But where was I headed?

I'd always thought that adventures were just out there, waiting for people to stumble into them. Unfortunately, the stumbling-in part proved to be more difficult than I had anticipated.

I went out west, bought a big cowboy hat, and tried to find some cattle rustlers and some Indians. But there were none to find. I bought a trenchcoat and a fedora, and roamed the streets of Chicago at all hours of the night. But I found no gangsters. I boarded a tramp steamer, bound for distant ports of call, but nothing happened. I went to frozen tundras, broiling deserts, and steamy jungles, but ended up only wet, tired, and miserable. I knew the elusive adventure was out there somewhere, but I just couldn't find it.

At last, I gave up, and returned to my ordinary life.

This story appears in My Secret World. Copyright © 1985 by Andrew Looney.

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