I stepped into the atmosphere like a child being born steps into the world. The trauma began when I stepped into the atmosphere. Incessant primordial crying like a baby stepping into the world. Incessant crashing of the charts as soon as I took my first trade. A generic taste of the real trauma to come. The micro seizure when a bad acid tab first hits the tongue. I never wanted to start trading. I had no idea I was entering the atmosphere. I did not know the atmosphere even existed. I did not know the entire atmosphere of the world was contained within the chart. I thought the atmosphere was contained above the land and above the water. I thought my atmosphere was on Ducks Island and the surrounding waters. I did not realise the atmosphere extended further, beyond the place from which I fell out of the atmosphere, onto the land with saturated water raining down from the atmosphere. I was forced to adapt to the atmospheric conditions. This is where it all went wrong. One can only force themselves to adapt to a certain extent. To survive we must obey the environment. But one is always deep down at odds with their environment, no matter how well we are adapted to it, no matter how much it is a reflection of ourselves.
It was the atmosphere's fault. The atmosphere tricked me. It began in pure blackness. Layers and layers of transparent oil paint of opposite colours layering over each other producing a deep glowing blackness devoid of anything but the candles and their glow. All the diverse layers of my life, my qualities, experiences, memories, ambitions and weaknesses combined into the glowing black atmosphere sealing me in. like a 10 million year old Amber mosquito capsule. If you look deep enough into the blackness you can see the glowing amber represented by transparent oxide red pigment suspended in thick stand oil. The amber glow cannot be entirely neutralised no matter how many layers of transparent ultramarine blue I apply over top of it with my paint brush in my painting and trading studio.
I was flying through the atmosphere like a mosquito free in the atmosphere. The entire atmosphere was caught up in the glow of the chart. The chart was a dark landscape full of moisture, airborne and chaotic. And the crash was always there on the horizon. I just couldn't see it. I didn't want to see it. I always knew it was there. Self deceit is very important for living in the atmosphere. Surviving is the one necessary condition to keep the whole operation moving. What operation? charts of course, trading certainly.
I should have realised the darkness was a bad sign. I should have taken the warning seriously rather than letting it intoxicate me. How is it possible to be so optimistic with so much darkness? There is an appeal to the darkness. Depressed drinking beers in dark underground bars. Talking seriously with friends, laughing with friends. Burning candles, softening the darkness. Having a nice time in the darkness. It was much darker than that, the appeal is much darker than that. It's that crazy feeling. Forces telling me what to do. Telling you what to do. Feeling good. Please don't let me be punished. It was you who told me to do it. I never wanted to trade. I just wanted not to work. It's my parents fault. They always made me have a job. They taught me how shitty it would be to have to work.
They forced me to read, they forced me to not be dumb, then they forced me to work jobs. And the charts were waiting for me even then. The charts are waiting for me now. I absolutely can’t stop thinking about them. I am trying with all my strength not to look at them this instant. Since I was 12 I always had to have a job. Since I was 12 I was bound for the charts. High school mathematics. Pattern recognition. Getting high at school. Getting high in my room. Making paintings. Looking at the charts. This is the impossibility of childhood reflection. Only in retrospect and reality was it all bound for the charts. Everything seems to have been a preparation. But in those moments I was working. A less dreary universe, as a day's labour produces its own rewards, independent of pay. After a day of trading comes no celebration since the mind has had all its chemicals, the good and the bad, extracted and pissed out. What's left is a mathematical brain, just the math behind the brain, no imagination and no sleep. Simple math, highschool math. Lying in bed. Chart math dirtying the bed sheets in visions of designs woven in the fabric.
Propeller factory, lithium quarry, fish and chips hole dishwasher, ferry boat deck hand… These and more were the jobs that haunted me. That's why I ran out into the storm, with the preliminary waves of the impending crash hitting the rocky shore and splashing lithium stained water into my face. I was on my way to the bank with a pile of bills in my pocket. I woke up feeling impulsive. I listened to what my impulses were telling me. It was not such nice things but I couldn’t ignore them, they were mine. I had to accept, I had to execute. Within my limits of course. Always within the limits. I was not made of money. I could not speculate away without restraint. Nevertheless, I had to speculate something. I did not have much of a choice. I woke up this way. What do you want me to do?
Click bait article headlines, doomer headlines, vague memories of glanced over articles. The evidence was everywhere. Advice from my roommate. He was an economics student, spastic and emphatic with his words. Telling me to buy. Twitching and ticking in his speeded out brainiac manner. How could I not listen. It all started to make sense. My calling. The way I would get rich without working. The way I would tinker in my room for the rest of my life. Painting my paintings. Tinkering with my writing machines. My computer. My computers, my typewriters, word processors. Voice recorders. Dictaphones. Everyone has their memories from Silk Road, either ordering drugs themselves or hearing about a friend doing it. I put it all together and I looked at the charts. First I saw a chart. It looked like my landscape, the atmosphere surrounding my life. Street. Streets were the chart. I was caught up in the wave. It was the second bubble second of crypto chart history, the macro wave, the big wave that was the precipice before my first crash. I was caught up in the confusion. I desperately needed to get to the bank. All my money was in cash. I had a bunch of cash.
I didn't have the paperwork to get registered on an exchange. I had to go underground. I had to buy in cash. I learned something in Berlin. I learned that I had to grow weed. I thought about it there, sitting in my Berlin room, I thought about what I would have to do to better up my life. I had grown weed in the past. But in Berlin I realised I had to go big if I wanted to be an artist. I was just a young man. I already knew how to do it. I had grown many small crops. I just needed to grow a big crop and make a bunch of cash. Back on the Great Lakes I spent six months doing it. Planting, growing, cultivating, harvesting, selling. And thereby I was executing my plan. Making art in my room and living off the cash from the marijuana crops. And then I discovered crypto. I knew what I needed to do with the rest of my cash from the marijuana crops so that I could continue making art in my room and smoking joints all day. I was just a young man. Tinkering with computers and writing machines and smoking weed. That was Montreal. That was my life. The peer to peer trading site gave me a numbered bank account. I wrote it down on a piece of paper and ran to the bank with cash in my hand and told the teller to deposit this money in this account. She gave me a receipt. I uploaded the receipt to the website and the Bitcoin was released to my address. My first real coins. My first taste of magical cyber money energy. I looked at the price on the chart and was excited by the arrangement of colours and motion of the information. Then I looked outside and the entire landscape was a chart of darkness.
Black interface, lightning bolts and red candles smashing into Montreal streets. Green fires bouncing off the ground, exploding in the sky. I ran for the cover of my room. It stayed in my room glued to the screen. Isolated. I discovered Dogecoin two weeks after I bought Bitcoin and converted all of it to Doge. It was the bubble. The bubble was telling me what to do. It was the way it was. My first crash crashing down. I witnessed it all on the chart. I was there with the chart. There I was in my small room. At 1601 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montreal with a cat named Earl. I learned to love the chart. I learned to love the paint. My paintings were shit because they were not paintings of charts. I didn't understand the charts. I understood basic math. I understood that the chart kind of functioned like a bouncy ball. The price would bounce down and each bounce would get smaller and smaller. Pressure would build. each whack up would go higher and higher until something broke. The ground broke. The ceiling broke. the price broke up or down.
My parents would call me from Ducks Island and ask me what I was doing and I never said a single thing. I never said nothing. I barely told anyone anything. I told a couple of people some things. They thought it was a scam. Ponzi scheme. They were worried about me. Only nine years later would they actually turn out to be right. Right for now, but we'll see, we'll see. Trying to trade it back, trying to trade it all back. People were laughing at me about it today. That’s a good sign. You want to be made fun of. I better understand the nature of the cycle now.
I know about the crash now. The crash lies dormant, a virus waiting to mutate, waiting to attack, mutating, attacking. Attacking the painting like a virus scratching away at the chart, scratching away at my paintings, trading the doge… Contagion effects. I’m still feeling the effects. Sprawled out on the ground of my bedroom. Disabled from the crash, regaining my strength for the next crash. Trader fiction. Humanity survives every plague and every crash is a plague. Different flavours for every apocalypse, different punishments for surfing different waves. Its just waiting for the right conditions to terminate everything we’ve worked so hard to build up. So much effort to pump up the charts. So much viral weakness in every chart. So many fictions for the trader to live by.
Trading, trading, trading. I fell into the trade. The second tidal wave. Sweeping me up. I cannot express it. The waves rippled across me. Was I the only one I asked? There was no one else around me in this atmosphere. I had to find others to talk to. Of course I found these others in the digital world. Only there could I walk around normally, with a normal look on my face, while seriously identifying as a dogecoiner, being all in dog coins, in personality and portfolio. This is the power of the wave. Very little light crept over the crest of the wave. Despite being very sure I was gonna get very rich and never have to work and get to make art alone in my room forever, despite all that, it was very dark in this atmosphere. I wasn’t going anywhere. The price of Doge kept going down, I hadn’t even thought to paint his face.
There was little moving from my room. There was little moving. Just the charts. No words. I tried to say some words. I can't remember a single word I said that year. Better to just forget and look at the chart. Life continued. The market cycle continued. I traded my thousands of dollars into hundreds, my hundreds into tens, my tens into dollars, and my dollars into cents. The weed was grown in the atmosphere of Ducks Island. In the autumn fog one must harvest early there or the flowers will grow mould in the low lying cloudy land. When you think it's not gonna pump anymore and shit is just bearish, it simply creeps back up. Always. Never any different, not even this time.
The candles started falling down as I ran through the atmosphere. Small one minute candles pelting me drenching wet in rain. Little lightning bolt electrified rain drops. The sky flashed up in light and smashed down some red candles of the daily size into the hills. Sheep were murdered. Fired up by the bolts. I wondered if at least me, or someone else, could eat the sheep. But it fell into a similar category as road kill. Possible, but not socially acceptable within the city. The sheep were dead. And we couldn't eat them. They were liquidated. Poisoned with viral contagion of more crashing to come. The crash was just beginning. I had bought the top. Or nearly the top. You never buy the exact top. You always manage to get a bit better entry. The charts give us that. Before it is taken away by other factors. Then waves continue. Candles flinging up and down in succession and recession. Recession ing into deep holes. Disappearing briefly, then reemerging wet and confused, spiking higher.
This chapter has been removed from the sequence of chapters normally posted on traderfiction.substack.com