This week's writing prompt focuses on the one item we can't live without. The answer to that rather depends on the stage of life.
In my younger years, I would have said that the most necessary item concerned feminine hygiene, something no one really likes to discuss and few men ever think about. Really, how often does a woman's menses get mentioned in those stories of quests and journeys and other adventures.
Mystery writer Dick Francis shows a man's enlightenment in his book The Danger. The heroine, Europe's top female jockey, is kidnapped and held for several weeks. In describing her captivity to the hero, she mentions the distress and humiliation of enduring menstruation without the proper sanitary supplies. The hero acknowledges that a woman's inevitable biology is something he hadn't considered as an added complication in such situations.
At other times, I might have answered a horse. Since my mid-teens, equine companionship provided a good dose of mental and emotional support. When I was 22, my mother, who dislikes horses, mentioned when that first horse died that getting the mare was the best thing I'd ever done for myself.
However, with adulthood comes adult concerns and obligations an an increase in life necessities: a house, groceries, a functional vehicle, a functional computer, an internet connection. I also include indoor plumbing.
My complete and utter dependence upon indoor plumbing makes me a poor camper. I loathe camping. As one comedian once quipped, why spend 50 weeks a year to pretend to be homeless for two weeks? Nope, my idea of "roughing it" is room service that ends at 11:00 PM and no mint on the pillow.
I suppose, when we get right down to it, that indoor plumbing is the one necessity I absolutely cannot and will not live without.
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