Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mike's Story Part 33 Alone

By Jenna Orkin   

   December 28 2006

   Last night we talked about what sort of animals we'd have in Portland.
   "How do you feel about chickens?" Mike asked.
   I feel positively enough towards chickens.
   "But no roosters," he continued.
   "What'll we do for eggs? Borrow the rooster down the street?"
   "You don't need roosters for eggs."
   "What are you talking about?  There was a komodo dragon that gave birth parthenogenically this week but it made the paper and she wasn't a chicken."  
   "Oh. I heard you didn't need roosters. Well, we'll keep him at the far end of the property. They crow 24/7."
   The two city slickers, one from LA and Washington, the other from New York, are going to need some help with our sustainable farming. 

10 PM: A terrible night.  A fellow in Ohio has Quikbooks Pro with which he can convert the accounting files to Excel.
   Although I have put out a request for this on the blog at Mike's request, the response sends him into a depression. "I don't want to see it," he cries.
  I remind him that when Michael Kane left FTW, Mike Ruppert was relieved. "I only kept it alive for him, because he loved it so much," he had said at the time.
   He explains now, "There's the fact that it's dead and then there's the way it died. I can't face seeing the numbers, how they destroyed it. It's like watching a movie of your child being murdered."
   I have a long-standing engagement tomorrow night to which I can't bring Mike.  I've suggested he call his AA sponsor or Barry. Tomorrow morning I will also suggest an FTW supporter with whom we've spoken several times.
   But as he lies in bed, he confesses to thinking about how when I'm out, he might commit suicide.
  "What am I supposed to do with this?" I ask. "Call [his psychiatrist at the time?]"
   "No, because then they'd put me in Bellevue and I can't stand being locked up. Now that I've said it, I won't do it. That's the purpose of having said it."
   I remember, but don’t bring up, that in April he told me and Monica Psomas about his fascination with the female employee who later sued him for harassment; the temptation to have an affair.  “Talking about it is a way to make sure I don’t act on it,” he had said at the time.
   "Can I have your word that you’ll tell [his psychiatrist] about this thought the way you gave her your word a few weeks ago that if she prescribed something for you, you'd go to Bellevue on Saturday?"
   "Can we extend that beyond just tomorrow? If you did it, they'd ask me, 'Did he talk about suicide? 'Yes.' 'Why didn't you call his shrink?'"
   "I know I've put you in a tight spot."
   But he didn't offer a way out.  Instead he said, "Without a broken neck it takes four minutes for death from hanging; two minutes for permanent brain damage. That would be terrible."
   "You wouldn't know."
   "You could have brain impairment but the cortex would be intact."
   "When you tried it in Venezuela, how did you know Carlos wouldn't have to go to the bathroom and find you?"
   "Two bathrooms."
   He thanked God out loud for the supporters who loved him as well as for me while giving me a sidelong glance to see whether I was touched.   
   Then he emerged from suicide mode and talked about a case that could be brought against his former employees in Ashland.
   "Three to five years to bring a civil case," he said. "And at what price?"
   I remembered the adage: In any lawsuit, one person loses; the other person loses more.
   I also tucked into a corner of my mind the obligation to make sure his shrinks knew about his suicidal ideation.  One of the questions they ask in order to determine if a person is serious in intent is, “Do you have a way?”  Mike did.  We don’t play with fire.  If Mike didn’t tell one of his shrinks, I would.

   December 29, 2006

   By way of bolstering Mike's spirits to face the empty apartment this evening when I'm out, I suggested we play hookey and go to Manhattan for some "Kulture" or a walk down one of the magnificent side-streets, what I had privately dubbed "Consulate Lane," off Fifth Avenue in the sixties. Some countries must have doubled their national debt to secure that real estate.
   But as he got on email, "Whoa!" erupted from the computer corner.
   "[The prospective buyer] to Ray: He's gone ahead setting up the new site. All we have to do is sign the contract."
  The problem is, if Mike backs out now, the prospective buyer can, whether successfully or not, sue him for the "good faith" investment he's made in setting up the new site.
   He has taken a risk going ahead before the contract was signed.
  "What's normal business practise here?" I ask.
  "To wait til the contract is signed."
   "So that's the reasonable man standard."
   Mike nods.  "Another one bites the dust. He'll tell [an ally who'd turned against him,] 'You were right.'"
   "Won't be news to her."
   "I woke up thinking about her. [In the quasi-dream] she was trying to win over Cynthia."
   Despite protestations that he is just responding to Mike's call for help, the prospective buyer is champing at the bit to close the deal. If Mike signs the contract, everything will be a fait accompli on Monday, New Year's Day.  For $5000, the prospective buyer will own Mike's intellectual property, getting the proceeds for any movie deals in the future. Also the contract contains a non-compete clause which gags Mike from writing about the subjects on which he's expert - Peak Oil - for two years.
  This makes no sense to me. If Mike wrote again, people would dash to his former website, now owned by the prospective buyer who would thereby gain readership.
   This clause may prove to be the stumbling block for the deal.

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