“Don’t try changing the world. The world doesn’t care to change. Focus positive energy on your own personal universe and everything will change around you accordingly.” JSM


Chapter Seventeen

The Last Dance


Today I feel like I’ve achieved a level of status. Mind you, that’s not always a positive thing.

Not long ago I was chatting with a buddy and made it a point to say during our conversation, “Nothing negative to report thus far.” That may sound cryptic, but the gist of our dialogue was centered on those six words.

That being said, moving right along.

Last night I met my first “troll”.

Wait… Let me retract and rephrase that. Always have to give the benefit of the doubt.

For the moment we can name this person, Schrodinger’s Troll. S/he had the potential to be a troll and I believe at the get go it was intended to be a trollish encounter. It’s tricky to communicate with trolls. They’re not always easy to chat with. I always have to remember there’s a purpose for everything and now I can add “this” interaction to that list of things I’d never thought I’d engage in.

I’ll dive into the back and forth in a moment, but I think I need to revisit something first, for additional clarity. This is not intended to be rude in any way.

I do TotC because I enjoy it. Plain and simple.  To keep that simplicity going, and honest, if folks want to read along, feel free. If not?  I’m still moving forward.  If the hit counter stops dead, I’ll continue this adventure regardless.

Typically a blog serves multiple purposes. It could be a place for advertising, pitching details and promotions for a favorite restaurant, a location for networking, or as simple as an online journal. Or an amalgamation of any of those, and more.

“This” is my online journal. People have journals or diaries because they feel it’s needed. I suppose I need this. End rant.

To make a long conversation short, the interaction with Schrodinger’s Troll is paraphrased as such.

“Why are you writing this blog?”

“Why are you reading it?” (My reply. I like to answer questions with questions)

“I want to see if it has a point.”

“Sure. I get that.  So do I.”

“Does it have a point?”

“I hope so. I guess we’ll both have to wait and see.  I’m having fun and I guess that’s all that matters…”

End of conversation. I don’t feed trolls, but I can say I now have one negative interaction to report.

Perhaps I turned a potential negative into a positive. Can’t be sure at this point. Regardless, yes, this is something I like to do.  It took a lot for me to break through my insecurities and self-doubt, to find a level of comfort to embark on this kind of journey.  I want to keep on rolling now.  The train is moving and seems to be picking up speed.  Engaging in this activity on a daily basis has become something I think about at the end of my work shift and the first thing I do when I wake on the weekends and drink my coffee. I look forward to it.

I may not be an expert wordsmith or speak in poetic flowery eloquence, however, I enjoy the written word and I strive to better myself. Isn’t that the point? Self-betterment?




Have you ever “felt” the cold shoulder? Knowing deep down inside the person you’re standing or sitting beside is doing their best to ignore your existence? (Wink) I’m sure you have. It’s always obvious.

Having experienced the cold shoulder too many times to count, I know most of the signs: They’re looking away, unresponsive to questions, deep sighing, checking the fingernails or the watch, exaggerated movements.

Bill was good at it.

As far as I was concerned the moment I said the words, “That went well,” he refused to acknowledge my presence. He ignored me like a scorned lover.

Pockets stuffed with paperwork, manuals, and corner cutting strategies I parted ways with Bill for the remainder of the seminar and slumped low in my chair at the back of the room. I laced my hands across my stomach and prayed for merciful death.

If my mentor was right about one thing, the numbers were indeed the most boring of all the presentations. It was misery and confusing, and at one point I felt my eyes fluttering closed.

Once the remaining presenters finished their spiel and the seminar was considered over, the caravan travelers rallied together and I don’t remember the trip home. There’s a good chance I slept through the whole thing.

For the next month, ignoring conversation, phone calls, mailers and being unavailable at work was commonplace. I pretended to be absent from the home, dodging random unannounced visits from BizarroTech affiliates.  I had people lie for me and redirect them to other places and at one point it was so overwhelming and crazy, I was almost to the point of making a big stink and making a few phone calls to put a stop to it.

Out of the blue one afternoon, watching the caller I.D flash the incoming number and seeing Bill’s office digits screaming at me to answer, I gave in.

I practically hollered into the receiver, “Hello!”

I could feel his Joker grin through the phone, “Jeremy… I was about to give up on you. Have you been away?”

“You could say that. Listen, Bill, I appreciate everything you’ve done, but I don’t think BizarroTech is the right thing for me. Sorry to have to say this but you’ll have to take my name off the list.”

Long drawn out pause before my ex-mentor replied, “Sorry to hear that. We really pulled some strings for you. Are you sure about this?”

I had to stop and think hard before responding. Was I truly sure this wasn’t the right thing for me?

What are the true possibilities if I stick around? How far up the Tiers could I climb? If all I have to do is get people under me to build a pyramid, my work load diminishes to the point of non-existence, and everyone below is making the money for me and all I need to focus on is making scheduled purchases and upholding my end of the bargain. Go to the rallies and conferences… Really?  Is that all?  No catch?  There has to be a catch.

I parted the kitchen curtain and looked towards the driveway as a vehicle with tinted windows and government plates came to a stop at the front door. BizarroTech wasn’t the only pain in the ass I had to deal with that month.  I pulled the curtain closed as two men in black suits grabbed briefcases from within the car, glanced around the property and walked up the path. One tapped a button on his phone while the other pressed the doorbell.

“No Bill. I’m done. Listen, I can’t talk anymore and I have to let you go.  I have company and I’m about to have an uncomfortable conversation.  Take care.” I hung up without waiting for a response.

All my attention was now focused on the door separating me from the two suits waiting on the stairs outside.

This is going to suck. I exhaled and reached for the knob to let them in.

You see folks, I call it the Big Cosmic Joke. This universe has a funny way of altering a life and throwing hurdles at you left and right.  Sometimes all you can do is jump, dodge and try to avoid said hurdles at all costs. Eventually, the more the hurdles are tossed on your path, the more you become numb to it.

The Big Cosmic Joke is—even though you did nothing wrong, no fault, no personal blame; whether it’s becoming a victim as a result of a cheating spouse, wrongfully accused of something, an individual trying to set you up to take a fall, whatever the case may be–You did nothing wrong. Completely and totally innocent beyond a shadow of a doubt.

The universe still finds a way to make sure you suffer through the situation anyway. Even though I did nothing wrong, I still needed to be punished in some fashion.

The Big Cosmic Joke.


















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