Again – Chapter 3 – JohnA Passaro
It is one’s worst fear,
To have your gut feeling confirmed.
My brother Ray and I are in the same profession – giving advice and guidance to people on how to invest their money.
Some people understand the concept of buying low and selling high, and some people allow human nature to take over, and no matter what advice is given to them, they invariably do the opposite – they buy high, and sell low.
It is a very frustrating and almost impossible cycle to break.
Many years back, my brother and I each had a client who was endlessly in this cycle.
No matter how we pleaded with them, they were constantly doing the opposite of what they should have been doing.
We would often talk to each other about our frustrations in dealing with these two clients.
And then it dawned on us, that each of our clients was a reverse indicator of what one should be doing in the market.
When both of our clients wanted to buy, that was a sell signal.
When both of our clients wanted to sell, that was a buying signal.
We called it the Somacki-McMurphy double confirmation.
Ray and I wished that we could have broken the cycle, and boy did we try, but when we realized that no matter what we said or did, these two clients just didn’t understand, or didn’t have the personality to carry out the concept of buying low and selling high; we became ‘order takers’, not ‘advisers’ to these clients.
We knew that in these ‘orders’ there existed something very valuable.
The ability to know when risk and danger was either coming or going.
During the years, when one of us had one of our clients that wanted to take a particular action, we would wait for the others client to call.
As soon as we had double confirmation, the market would turn.
It was infallible.
It has been weeks now, and this nagging feeling that has been following me like a shadow, has caught up to me and has started knocking on my head, harder, and louder.
It is a knocking that is saying, “Hello – what don’t you get – something is wrong.”
Jess’s lifting of her leg the other day was what my family has prayed for, hoped for, and anticipated for almost half a decade now.
And then one day, the knocking just got tired of knocking with no answer, so it decided to break down the door.
Almost immediately after Jess sprouted and showed signs of a major breakout, she fell subject to her twelfth bout of pneumonia in the last two years.
Jess’s bamboo shoot broke soil, but quickly withdrew into the ground, much like a turtle’s head withdraws into its shell when it knows that danger is looming.
Now, all of Jess’s energies and concentration are being used to fight off the infection in her lungs.
Pneumonia wipes Jess out.
It really wipes her out.
Having gone through this with Jess many times, I know the cycle.
BettyJane and I can pinpoint the exact day it starts.
In the early stages, Jess will have extended sleep patterns, bloodshot eyes, a cough, and a blank facial expression, with no feeling visible in her eyes.
It takes three days for us to “confirm” what we already know.
It takes another three days to get an appointment with the doctor.
Followed by five days on an antibiotic, and then another five days of recovery.
In the past, Jess’s bouts with pneumonia have usually cycled out in sixteen days or so.
BettyJane and I handle these bouts like we would handle a cold for ourselves; it has become that common in our lives.
Except that with each bout, it becomes progressively more dangerous.
We are currently in the part of the cycle when Jess should be responding to the antibiotics.
She is not.
By now, Jess’s blank stare should have been replaced with signs of life on her face.
It has not.
By now, Jess’s bloodshot eyes, should have been replaced with vibrancy.
They have not.
Instead, both BettyJane and I notice that Jess has “sprinkler eyes” – her eyeballs start out looking to the right corner of her eye and would slowly drift to the left corner of her eye socket. As soon as they reached the left, they would jet back to the right, just like a sprinkler does when it waters a lawn.
“That is not good,” I say to BettyJane as I notice Jess’s sprinkler eyes in action.
BettyJane says to me, “I’ve had this nagging feeling for some time now that something is seriously wrong.”
There it is. The John and BettyJane double confirmation.
Danger is looming.
Our lives are about to turn.