I imagined I took all my worldly possessions with me, and carted each and every one thousands of miles, across the Atlantic.
I ventured to Egypt and Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, Bangladesh and Yemen, South Sudan.
“Here I am to help!” I declare, as the transport plane lands and is surrounded by half -naked children, stooping grandmothers, skeletons of men, skin stretched over bones.
I unload my possessions and offer them for free.
A boat with motor, a canoe, a kayak.
Two couches, three recliners, an armchair, a china closet.
Twin beds, bunk beds, a king-size.
End tables, coffee tables, a kitchen table with matching chairs.
Vases, glassware, genuine Belleek porcelain, leaded crystal, fourteen carat gold-plated tea service, sterling silver flatware.
Three televisions, a dozen antique tube-set radios, a Victrola with a hundred 78 r.p.m. records.
Four, maybe five guitars, maybe more. A banjo, a clarinet, an 1880’s pedal player piano, an unrestored Stradivarius violin from 1900.
Two 35mm SLR cameras with lenses, 8mm film projectors, 35mm slide projectors, a DSLR camera with lenses, a DVR.
Wall art, framed paintings, original works, Wyeth prints, Renoir prints, a gilded hall mirror.
Jewelry; gold, diamonds, gemstones, pearls.
Tools, tools, tools. Chainsaws, circular saws, drills, wrenches, air compressors, hammers, hatchets, sledges, shovels and rakes.
A John Deere riding mower, a Honda four-wheeler, an Arctic Cat snowmobile.
An entire closet filled with decorations; Easter, spring, Independence Day, harvest, Halloween, Thanksgiving, winter, Christmas.
When the movement stopped, the air fell silent.
A million people stood before me, speechless.
A boy of perhaps four years, clad only in a pair of shorts, walks right up to me and takes my hand.
“Do you have water?” the boy asks.
“Water? Well, no. But look at all these great things! Two swingsets! Balls and bats, kites and coloring books!”
The boy carefully looked over the heaping pile. Nothing catching his interest, he returned his gaze to me.
“Do you have any food?” he asks.
“Food? There was no room for food. This plane was packed. Look- towels, soap, an electric foot massager, an electric heating pad.”
The hope in the boy’s eyes faded. His countenance fell grim. He walked away.
Stricken by the truth, I fall to my knees.
Pity me, the poorest man in Engleville.
All I have is this wretched gold,
Which they cannot eat.