Friday, November 30, 2007
the foreward to the auotobiograpy I never got around to writing
So as sit here wondering if gazing back though time to discover just exactly how the fuck I ended up here, daily fighting the tides and fates to not resemble a caricature of a mid 40’s oft divorced, smoke too much, drink too much, always falls for exactly the wrong girl kind of guy. I poke gingerly at the corners of history to see if the story is worth the telling. And perhaps it is.
It is, if nothing else, an interesting story, full of sordid moments and overcoming ones own stupidity. I am never sure if the high points of my life were when I was a so-called solid citizen or those moments when I drunkenly consorted with women of a certain morally casual attitude. More and more I suspect the latter. It was Wilde who said we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. I have been in the gutter and at times I have glimpsed the stars. I enjoyed both equally as each inspires a different sort of passionate reflection on life. I suppose somewhere in this mixed up collection of memories and lessons learned as well as forgotten there is a story to tell. I doubt that I will be able to deliver it in traditional time line fashion as my brain rarely works that way.
I look into some of the mixed up memories that are pulled form the grab bag and pause even now to savor them, mary jo porter in a hotel room in Akron fucking Ohio, she of the ungodly long legs and born to give head pouty lips; that shit smeared hell hole of a jail cell in Albuquerque new mexico where I spent 36 fucking hours waiting for the bail money to arrive; my first wedding on a frozen house day in Minneapolis, looking at my bride to be thinking, this is some stupid shit you re doing right here ,tim. Problem was she was one of the leading salespeople in our little company. I had to follow through on my drunken promises or lose the revenue. At the time, God knows we needed the revenue. Might have run anyway if she hadn’t been knocked up. Trading yen futures in my office at the crack of dawn while puking last night’s good whiskey into the can under the desk in the little desert wasteland town of Merced to raise a stake to get back on the right side of the world. Unfortunately, the bitch followed me.
Hiding in a shower stall in Blythe Arizona when the cops were trying to find me for passing bad paper (not my checks but check given to us by customers. We had developed masterful talents at passing these gems onto local merchants) all over town while my female co-conspirator of the time, wrapped in only a towel explained to the nice officer that I had left and returned to LA.then she backed the car up to the door and I jumped in the trunk and left town, quickly heading east. Walking snow blind down rush street with the great Mr. Crossman in Chicago at three in the morning accompanied by a sweet little girl from Kentucky with a melodious voice and wondrous ass; the piss and blood feeling a real honest to go someone is not walking away from this street fight, the pain numbing elation when it was me that walked away, the pain numbing morphine from the nice nurse lady when it wasn’t; Driving a purple pt cruiser already drunk out of our minds to find ourselves in a skin head bar in Louisville, Kentucky; poker hands, whiskey bottle, tumbling horses ;a chubby redheaded girl on a boat deck at sundown.
Then there is of course my grand tour of the jail cells and holding tanks of all the grand American cities and towns, the aforementioned Albuquerque. Lubbock, Texas, Hattiesburg Mississippi (a true hellhole with dirt floors and a kitchen trustee with gangrene. I was there 4 days and then spent two days on Bourbon Street drunk as blind, one legged billy goat to chase away the memory), Annapolis and of course the waxters juvenile detention center, my prolonged stay in the Albany state penitentiary at the kind invitation of the state of new york, Mars, Pennsylvania, Los Angeles, Reno, Blacksburg, Virginia, corpus Christi, Dallas (I have a love-hate relationship with the state of Texas. They loved locking me up, I fucking a-well hated it.) Boulder, Colorado, the nicest jail I have ever been in with real carpeting and macramé classes. I am sure I have left some of the fine facilities where I have whiled away the hours off the list but memories fade over time and I just cant recall all of them.
There have been the more socially acceptable memories as well. The birth of my children, of course. But for those who want to make that out to be this wondrous thing of great beauty it s a actually a bloody nasty brutish mess of a thing to actually watch, but to hold my daughter the first time and have those huge brown eyes looking at me, knowing who I was somehow, my son pulled out by c-section and taking his first piss all over the poor doctor lady; watching my daughter at age 12 playing out in the waves during a beach vacation dancing with graceless and timeless beauty as the waves lifted her, the crashing sea pushing her long thick hair forward to frame her face as she rose with the tide, floating along in a oceanic fantasy dance all her own, till the wave crashed over leaving her once again a slightly clumsy pre-teen finding her way in a gravity bound world; my son at third base moving to his right with a fluid grace his father never had, looking like a 10 year old Brooks Robinson; high school graduations, prom nights. My kids have been a grace and a blessing and I just hope I haven’t screwed them up too badly.
And the women, my god the women. Some I loved, some I liked, some, I just fucked. Others I would have liked to have loved or fucked but they were way too smart to get anywhere near me. I would be so much better off without my endless pursuit of the great two-legged North American vaginal support system but, alas, I have never been able to do so. Their look, their touch, their feel. I live for that shit.The chase, the catch, the way their eyes shimmer in the candlelight. The way the look in the morning in the unlikely event I woke up before whoever last nights she was. Hotel rooms, bedrooms, stairways, back seats, the amphitheatre stage of the Fresno zoo. So many places and memories. A plethora of memories of mammories, and the women attached to them. There have been magic moments of falling in love, star lighted nights of romantic bliss and a soft tender kiss. This, of course, being before the fucking hammers comes down and there are myriads of lawyers involved.
There has to be some talk of the stock market in any recall of my short stay here. I have toiled at many things in life. Dishwasher, cook, door-to-door salesman, car salesman and even an insurance agent. But I didn’t begin to come into my own until I realized I was spending more time trading options at the local EF Hutton office than I was selling insurance and sought gainful employment as a broker that I came into my own and started developing into the person I am today. I love the markets and have from day one. I have been privileged to have met and learned from several of the greatest investors and traders alive today, starting with a fellow broker in the Modesto, California dean witter office, a quiet unassuming ex nasd investigator who is a master at the art of value and distressed investing and to this day has the greatest ongoing track record of anyone I have ever heard of. He taught me the ins and outs of this business and although he is content to this day to work as a broker and makes his millions in his own account, eschewing the fund or hedge fund life for the quiet one he has, I consider one of the giants of the investment game. The free wheeling math genius in Weston, the inheritor of the Ben Graham legacy in new York, the car racing high performing value guy in LA, the growth stock guru from Lake Tahoe, the aged almanacer, the shaggy haired new yorker who married a beautiful boxing writer and has done more than okay in the markets, the inventor of the bands, the how I made a zillion trading this crap and moved to the virgin islands, all these and more I have met and learned much from all of them. So naturally we will have to talk some in this discourse on good trades, bad trades, epiphanies and outright fucking stupidities. In the midst of dumping the wanderings of an amorous and avaricious mind onto pages, do we dare discuss such mundane things as stock valuation, using quantitative methodologies to uncover value situation, the creative use of options to enhance returns on stock portfolios, societal and economic trends that affect the stock market and out likelihood for investment success. We must, dear reader, we must.
The friends must enter the picture here as well. From the kids I ran around with in my misspent youth, fighting, drinking, stealing and just trying to get dead or imprisoned before we could figure a way out. Sad to say the number that did not achieve even that very unlofty goal is too high to contemplate too regularly. I look at this mix of friends I have today and its a true mystery how in one mans ramble through life he could have picked up such an eclectic and wonderful group of friends. A semi retired options trade of notoriously regular habits. A tire shop owner whose affection for adult libations and naked women may surpass my own. A fast boat loving fellow broker who has become a fast friend and boon companion on many misadventures the past year or so. An Iranian Jewish futures trader who is so young I have shoes older than he is.but he is smart as hell and a damn good friend. A backhoe operator. A restaurateur. Traders of virtually every stripe in Chicago and new york. Guys from the old office in California I still talk to every day. Couple of doctors. A few nurses. Computer geniuses. Gamblers, lots of gamblers.A cloth shop owner in Kansas, A futures trading geologist. A publisher. Even a couple of lawyers. Ceos, Cfos, plumbers, builders, accountants They are here in Maryland, in New York, In Chicago, Cincinnati, Wisconsin, Florida, California, Virginia, conneticut,new jersey, Arizona,Kansas, Lousiania. Next to my children the biggest blessing in my life has been my friends.
There will be stories. Some will be hysterical. Some almost fucking tragic. Some lessons learned, many mistakes repeated. There will be no long drawn out boring discussions of what I learned at sainted ivy university. I didn’t fucking go. Could have. Was too busy being a screw up. Stories of how life on the road forced me to grow up a little and learn how to live. Of true love and failed marriages. Stories of my love and pride for my children, stories of being almost normal for a few years before the hedonistic madness sets back in. Of good trades and bad trades, champagne celebrations and hiding form the margin clerk whole vomiting in disbelief at how fast that went against me. Will there be stories of redemption. Unlikely but one never knows.
Having reviewed this, dear reader, should we write it?
Why the fuck not?