I’ve always been a taker. I took from my parents. I took from my friends. I took from my teachers until I took all I could take and then I took off. I took this plot of land from my grandfather after he left it to me and took off for the greener pastures beyond that big blue dome of sky, and since I’ve arrived in this town I’ve done nothing but take from the neighbors that have become my friends.
I’m sick of taking. I’m ready to give.
I’ve written 16 books since I’ve moved here, and I’m saving up money. I’ve got enough spare cash to throw a party and give something back to the neighbors and friends that have been generous enough to let me take from them.
Now it’s their turn to give me a chance to give.
The Spencer-Kim-Lewises let me use their place for the party. They brought the space, and I brought the crowd.
I invited as many of my friends as I could–and I still had to leave lots off the list. I had no idea I’d made so many friends in such a short time.
We kept looking around for a stereo so we could dance. What’s a party without dancing? Either the SPK’s moved their music box, or they never had one to begin with. We had to settle for conversation and noodles.
I found my gal Emma upstairs after we cleaned our plates.
Vivek joined us, too, dressed like Mortimer.
I crashed at the SPK’s after the party, and when I woke the next morning, I still felt good from that rash of giving. I decided to give a little more, so I headed out to the park and grilled up some tofu dogs. Met this new guy in town, Homer, I call him, though I’m sure he told me his name, and that’s not what it was.
Before I knew it, a whole crowd of people had joined us, including my good pal Summer. Even Bob Pancake forgot his melancholy once we got the jokes flowing.
It felt pretty good, dang, it felt great, to be there with old friends and new ones, sharing a meal I’d made, sharing jokes, sharing good feelings. Who knew giving could be so sweet?
Later, when I headed into the library to work on the next novel, I decided maybe it was time to give a little more of my heart. One enchanting introduction, and this beautiful married woman and I became instantly a little more than friends.
It was pretty quick to finish up that novel. Something about giving just seemed to get all my juices flowing, and about the time everybody headed out of the library for the night, I’d finished the thing.
The Robison family had just moved into Oakenstead, and they’d invited me to stay with them any time I wanted. I didn’t have a place set up to crash for that night. Seemed like a good time to take them up on the offer.
The daughter, 16 going on 30, was feeling pretty hot when I got there, and she cornered me in the bathroom as soon as I got out of the shower.
I don’t know what it is. Every place I stay, it seems like somebody wants something that I just can’t, or won’t, or shouldn’t, or better-not-if-I-want-to-keep-clear-of-a-shotgun-or-the-law, give.
These kids must be lonely, living with a single mom and all. They both followed me into the bedroom after I sacked out, and they hung around, just watching me sleep.
I asked their mom if she minded me hanging out at their place. Seems like maybe I can find something to give to them in exchange for them sharing one of their many rooms.
Ms. Robison agreed that it would be helpful to have me around, any time I wanted to stay. As we were talking later, I saw a real mean streak in her, though. She’s always been nothing but loving around her kids, but it made me wonder if maybe the reason they seemed to starved for attention was because they were. It got me thinking a little more about finding ways that I can give. I mean, even just time and conversation is a way to give, isn’t it?
I ran the idea past Homer when I met him the next day walking past the lot that used to be my grandpa’s but is mine now.
Homer was full of these big ideas of ways he wants to contribute to what he calls “the betterment of Sims everywhere in every dimension of digital time and digital space,” and I got to admit, it was mostly way beyond my comprehension. I was glad when Emma walked up.
She was wearing–what was she wearing? And why was she wearing it?
Homer had to head over to the library to do some research, so Emma and I just stood around talking until the sun went down.
I got to thinking later, after Emma strolled off to the park, about how much my life had changed since I arrived in this town not even a year ago. Back then, I hadn’t a skill, hadn’t a friend, hadn’t a book to my name.
Since then, I’ve published 16 books and mastered the art of writing. I’ve made around ten friends and a dozen more friendly acquaintances. I’ve got my cooking skills at about the halfway point, and my charisma is almost topped out, if I do say so myself. I’ve been on the receiving end of so much generosity and affection that something inside me has shifted, and I’m starting to feel like I want to reciprocate. And even more. I might even want to initiate.