In house slippers and stay-pressed twill work uniform I putter. First order of business: satisfy my priapic urges. Get that out of the way. Next, break my fast. Violently if necessary. Soon the paperboy will make his delivery. If I time my day around this, it's not in a sordid way. I feel the need to stay informed.

Great chartings of indicators, by colored pencil, after the old-fashion. From erstwhile shoebox my table-top calculator, tallying gains and losses, losses overshadowed by splits, splits my boon.

A bit of research into fundamentals going a long way. Wizards with big iron doing not much better, according to elves. Embarrassing, sometimes. But I try to stay humble. CFOs like that. My folksy routine.

After an enema of the soul (my mother advised me to call it that) I check in with some people on the phone. No matter the vicissitudes, commerce never halts.

I define my bounds, chart my moves, define the urgency. Once or twice this one fellow (Karl Seagrist, if you want to know) has let down his guard, all fear and loathing. But I shied away from revealing my true self to him. To do so would be disastrous in this business. I simply talk to people, let them know my concerns. Generally they cater to me pretty well. If I need to I call overseas, feeling foolish all the while: the boffins' English is better than mine! But one must do for oneself, discomfort be damned.

I re-use envelopes from junk mail. Greedily, adroitly, I open them, spilling the contents on my well-worn oak table, with plasticized place settings. They wipe clean. The re-usable portions of the envelopes I separate.

Material comforts count as nothing. There is a point of no return. I have a cassette player in which I play tapes of various nature-sounds.

Rock and roll also has been a great boon. The paperboy was stupified when he saw my haircut. That, my friend, is rock and roll, I said. I did get into some interesting situations, on several occasions. As I had hoped. That was the whole point, at that point. It no longer is.

My expensive snakebite-proof boots have a lot of wear in them. I'm getting rid of some of my tattoos. You don't want to know what it's going to cost. And the great, evil joke for me about my car is that it most assuredly will not pass its next inspection. Hi-ho. Oh, I am wicked!

Karl Seagrist said to hold off on dashing my brains out for at least another quarter, as he's doing so handsomely by me, and it would be a personal tragedy for him, due to the fact that he's stretched pretty thin. The sychophant. I despise it when people take undue advantage of someone's misfortune, or personal difficulties. But out of consideration (I don't know why), or for old times sake maybe, I'll just linger over my orange juice, fold and refold my orange rag, filled with little numbers, tallying the misery of some and bliss of others, feeling altogether an American fool, keeping as best I can the circulation flowing between testicles and brain.