‘It can’t always be like this.’
He didn’t forget to tell me, the air palpable of such wariness, after a while of carefully choosing his words, months now since it all started. I understand what he means, that he couldn’t keep his hand-holding, and I knew it right from the beginning that eventually there will come an end.
‘I know’, I said.
It was all I could say, wishing he understood the grim acceptance I’ve taken from the inevitable coming, like a young teenage girl chasing after the last of the summer sun, trying to feel it seep through my skin before it was gone.
I was wishing, on days where we seemed to be unstoppable from superplays, that it would last until I have fully recovered, those wounds that appeared to me impossible to escape from.
I’m slowly learning that could be too much to ask.
I only hope that by the time the sun stops shining, I would be ready to be alone in the long cold night. Even a cornered mouse will fight back against the overwhelming odds, and so I shall too, between the last few pushes of reality and dreams. I just know that when it comes to it, in my honest desperation, and prevailing fragments of grit, I’ll beat a path towards where I want to go.
I’ll make a way.
“You can fight, if only in terror, but it’s true that the coward can often be the best fighter of all.”
-The Blackboard Monitor, Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett
Can you trade today?, he said. I was, in fact, I was looking forward to it. I was already quite well versed with planning the trades and sniffing out the reason behind his every buy and sell, but it was a while since I last saw the trading board, and actually went to work.
I told him I was, quite enthusiastically, so he goaded me towards a stock and urged me to make my move. It was MCP.
It was a good time to enter, the reassurance that the trade was going our way was enough to slight a sly grin against market uncertainties. I could just sit, unfazed by any panic caused by tiny fluctuations, and bring home the bacon. So what’s your plan?, he asked.
‘Oh,’ I very confidently answered. ‘I’m sitting on this until it breaks 20 MA.’
After two days, the market took a downturn. I sold it. I sold it fast, even when in the morning, so early the market hasn’t even opened yet, Zee forewarned me to relax about it. ‘MCP is a known faker’, he said. ‘If you have to sell, sell in the afternoon.’
I sold a few minutes before the lunch break bell halted the chaos.
I couldn’t tell him, but in a roll for bad decisions, or possibly the adrenaline coarsing through my veins, my head trying to make sense of what I did, and what I should do.
I placed my money on PXP. Right the moment I did, I started crying.
I was so sure of PXP but I wasn’t sure of myself. What the heck did I just do? Did I just ruin that? My idea of who I am as a trader was so stuck from the days I barely understood what a candle meant, I might have learned but for what its worth, I didn’t believe in the long, weary road I’ve traveled since that day.
In the end, after hours of grueling on my movements. There was already too much doubt and discomfort that I have decided to sell my PXP position too.
A few days after, MCP fell and PXP sky rocketed. I should have been celebrating. You’d think I’d feel a sense of righteousness, of I-told-you-so, but there was none. There was only anger and regret.
The next stock was ANI, and I sold early too. I wanted to make sure I had something to keep, if anything at all. This was the point Zee started showing his frustration.
‘Don’t be mad.’
‘Just don’t do it again.’ He replied.
In my silence, I was seething with frustration and anger. I was so mad at myself and the amount of anger was starting to seep, starting to hue the colors between me and him.
The thought wandered my mind, and it brings me back to the days when we just met. It was right after a few posts, and people clamoring that they felt the same way.
I couldn’t forget what he said, and it was something like this, he said he was already at the point where he was no longer feeling the way a normal person felt in a winning or losing trade, and that made him successful, but also detached. He said I could write so sensibly, and make the rest relate, because I still felt like they did.
I wonder, when I eventually stop feeling this way, do I forget how it feels for other people too? And in the case of those who placed themselves in the highest rung of the ladder, are they given the right to joust and laugh at those who are still on their way to arriving? Can they throw their acid down to those who cripple their way to the top, can they tell them what they do or do not deserve to get?
What did they go through, is there something in their past, is their pain the horrific reason for acting that way? Did they really get the worst of it, as to be entitled to brush off those who are still struggling? And to laugh! And to mock! And to dismiss?
When did man decide to have choices like God?
Truthfully, Zee have not behaved that way, making my latest gripes unfounded, but, oh, I can’t speak for the rest. Shame.
It was late at night again.
‘Here’s an odd question, for a change, what do you hate about me?’, he asked out of the blue. He likes asking questions like these. For example, it could be something so abstract like, ‘what item reminds me of you?’ which leaves me groveling for answers.
This time it was easy. I didn’t even have to think about it. ‘I hate it when you’re insensitive over my losses.’ I stopped there. I could elaborate, but I stopped there. In my mind, we are worlds apart. Zee had over 1000x returns. If he lost a trade now, no matter how bad, that didn’t really mean anything anymore than a bad trade. There was nothing that actually went away, just some– a speck– of his profits.
I, on the other hand, was still stuck deep in my pit I try to climb out from, every tiny mistake was deeper grave I dig for myself. Every tiny mistake costed me my time and my sweat, and I’d lose it. We didn’t come from the same place, sometimes I wanted to reason out my tears, my anger, why my heart was fluttering like mad when I make such mistakes.
‘But I suppose you’re my mentor, and that’s what you ought to do.’ I hastily added.
Three tiny dots danced on my screen again, the blue white LED emitted causing my insomnia at 4 am. I was waiting for him to reply.
‘It has always been my dilemma.’ He told me. ‘Because during those times, I’m left to think, do you want to feel better… or do you want to be better?’
But does it really have to be one or the other?
Inevitably, there will be people who will have to be someone’s inspiration. They were probably unprepared for the role, they probably did not even ask for it. Nevertheless, for those who were given this gift, whatever excuse they can not swallow from those they deem lesser-beings, must be thrown back at them with the same severity over what morality they uphold.
And if the poor traders, the laughably erroneous trades they have, has revealed a character for themselves– greed, weakness, what-say-you on mental aptitude, there should also be a round of applause for the battered heart carrying that much resilience. Their challenge is to push through. Their challenge is to keep rising.
But for those who have won the proverbial crown, resting on their head, the glory of being lined among the greats, their names famed enough to cause recognition. Their trial is no longer about pushing through, but in their character when they hold that much respect and power. Do they look down to help people up, or to entertain themselves with their struggle in a spell of absolute infatuation in their own success?
In a spin of popular sayings, you can judge a man’s character for both situations where he has nothing, and where he has everything. In the world of the stock market, being either the winner or the loser of this round, I swim in the thought of hoping, that whatever money we have lost or gained, there is something it can not buy— class.
I have been recently reading a book, and one of the best chapters talked about how to get through life when you don’t know where to go.
You simply take the next right thing to do, no matter how laughably small. In the dark roads where this country can never seem to keep the lamp posts functioning, no matter how far away I have came from, I can still go home with just my headlights showing me the way.
You don’t have to see everything to get there, you just need to take the first small step.
For all you lost souls awake at this time of the night.
I see you.