It's hard to say whether my short term memory lapses are taking center stage or whether I truly had never heard of the story of the "West Memphis Three".
The latter seems strange to me because I am a news junkie. I don't particularly care for history, but eventually current events change their nature and become parts of the annals of our collective existence.
At that point I no longer care.
Either I completely overlooked their 18 year old story or have completely forgotten the story. Either way, I need to be questioning something.
I'm not even remotely going to try and pass judgment on the three men convicted of murderering three young boys. They were just released from prison in some obtuse kind of plea bargain and appeared before the press. I didn't bother reading about the events surrounding the case because now it is in the realm of history.
I don't do history.
But I did watch the press conference the other day with a totally clean slate. Here were three young men who had spent half of their lives in prison and now they were sitting in front of cameras and reporters, clean cut and well spoken.
They were just beginning the process of being born again, except that they still have the burden of a lifetime of memories and possibly guilt and regrets.
It's hard to run away from your mind even if you have some really deep seated pathology.
On the other hand, half a world away you can be reborn as often as you like for a mere $6. Buddhist priests in Thailand perform very popular rebirth ceremonies whereby an individual can shed their date of birth and start all over.
Why is that important? Because culturally the date of birth is tied to beliefs regarding luck and fortune. Don't like your luck? Don't like the way your life had been going, just pay your six bucks and lay down in a coffin . While you're clutching some flowers and listening to priestly prayers a white silken cloth is draped and undraped over your uncovered casket. WIth each pass, a bit of the stench of your life is being removed.
Don't care for you new date of birth? Hey, what's another six?
Depending on your ability to sustain a sense of denial you may be able to run away from your past and memories.
I had my own sense of re-birth this past Friday, but it was unlike either of the two previous rebirths described. Instead, it was almost more like a Hindu vision of going back to a previous life. The kind of retrograde rebirth in recognition of a life poorly lived.
It all started as I became resigned to the fact that I would likely have no trading opportunities this past Friday. My Sugar Momma and I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and went out for a rare weekday afternoon movie.
We went to see "The Help". Of course, I didn't read the book and SM did.
Regardless of knowing the outcome or not, we both loved the movie, not just for the message and story of hope and determination, but also because we both enjoy period movies.
Here's the problem. While the movie took place during 1963, one of the maids in the film was clearly using an Electrolux vacuum canister model that wasn't available in the early sixtes.
I saw the flashback to my time as a door to door Electrolux salesman and immediately recognized the disticnctive blue color, but more importantly, the rectangular shape. If anything, a well healed southern family in 1963 would have their domestic help using a gray Model S. You know, the cylindrical canister.
Then I remembered. I didn't really like that life. I didn't want to be reborn as a vacuum cleaner salesman.
Imagine being a 50 year old career vacuum man and starting off each morning in a team meeting where you could always count on someone saying "Our vacuums really suck". Even more sadly, laughing at those words day in and day out.
West Memphis Three judicial rebirth? Good.
Buddhist rebirth with profit motive? Doubly good.
Hindu rebirth, especially if leading to a lower form of life? Not so good.
Which now brings us to the Monday following the third Friday of every month.
From a purely option premiums perspective last month was one of the very best I'd ever had. I would love to live and relive that month over. That would be a great rebirth. To top it off, to have the memories remain intact would truly be something very special.
But those great premiums came at a price. I wasn't assigned any shares, so I won't have any funds in the portfolio to pick up any meaningful new shares at what I think are bargain prices.
That's the part that I'd like to forget. The fact that all of my holdings closed under their strike prices.
The nice thing about selling options, whether the monthly or weekly variety, is that at least they offer the chance for a new beginning. Granted, it costs more than $6 to exercise that right, especially since each stock has its own life, but I can certainly agree with the Thai believers in that the latter part of July and the first three weeks of August 2011 were very bad times to begin an investment's life.
I have no clue what the future will hold, but I don't think it's as bad as a morning vacuum pep talk or even as bad as last month's market.
I'm not likely to forget last month anytime soon, but it will become ancient history, just like 2008.
No matter what this new cycle will bring, it too will be over, maybe as early as this Friday for some holdings and no more than 4 weeks from now for the rest. That's the kind of life cycle I can deal with. Maybe that's why the last cycle was so insufferable. It was one of those damn 5 week options periods.
In the meantime with this month and rebirth to look forward to, I just need to make some room in my brain to deal with all of the new information.
Time for my monthly spring cleaning between the ears.
I think I'll be tossing vacuums, justly or unjustly freed prisoners and last month aside. I'll also be tossing every episode of every evening show on Comedy Central aside so I can just watch them again and find them funny all over again.
No memories and no regrets.