One of the most difficult things I have had to forgive myself for over the years was something that took me years to actually understand why I even felt guilty or responsible in the first place.
In or somewhere around 1999, I met with a couple gentlemen – Dwight DePalmer and Brian Turner – at Old Chicago in Tempe, Arizona.
They had the offer of a lifetime. If I would be willing to take a fraction of the pay I normally worked for by working for $80,000 a year, which my going rate at the time was $150 an hour, I would be given 20,000 shares of Touchscape stock.
It was a sacrifice beyond anything I’d ever considered before, and my future was on the line with this. I had a sizeable house payment at the time – $1346 a month for a 2500 square foot house I had had custom built – a four bedroom house at 406 E Bruce Avenue in Gilbert, Arizona. I was driving a Corvette and my wife – Lisa – was driving a new Lexus RX300 ‘d purchased.
It was a gamble. With my future. And with Lisa barely working – as I was supporting her new low paying dream job flying as a flight attendant for America West airlines – it was a gamble.
But I saw long term. Brian and Dwight had a great idea.
And I believed in that idea.
After some deliberation, I took the gig.
Over the next year and a half, this tiny company of the three of us went from three – to eight – to fifteen people as we obtained a first round funding of $3 million, a second round funding of $15 million, and a third round of funding for $25 million dollars.
But Lisa and I were having problems with our marriage, and as we were having problems – the problems at Touchscape escalated as Dwight, Brian and I failed to see eye to eye with architecture decisions.
For the $25 million in funding, Dwight and Brian decided to throw the company into one direction – supporting the airlines. Something I was vehemently against, as we had great companies such as Ping and China Mist we were supporting which – if we played our cards right and kept nurturing these reputable mid size companies, I was convinced we’d have a much more stable company for the long term.
We were at an impasse.
I refused to work solitarily supporting the airline who’d signed on.
And Brian and Dwight saw the quickest return from the airlines, and were more interested in wealth building.
Now don’t get me wrong. I wanted to be a billionaire as well.
But I also wanted to have a greater variety of different companies to support and do business with. It seemed – more fun – more entertaining – and over the longer term – more profitable.
One day I strolled in – a little later than usual – and the office was empty.
My computer was taken off my desk.
And in Brian Turner’s – the President’s office.
That’s when I was offered a payoff to leave the company.
$20,000, a dollar a share valuation for privately held stock.
I felt robbed. Here we’d had $25 million in funding. I had put my heart and soul into this company, and had worked 80+ hours a week, I had sacrificed $150 an hour for the two years I had been there to get a fraction of the pay – and their idea of a reward for the time and effort I’d invested in the company was….
A spit in my face?
This was early 2001. To say I had flipped the fuck out being pissed would be an understatement. Never in my life had I hated someone – these men – so much in my life – that I wanted – beyond anything else – to see them fail and hard.
Even though many friends were still working there. I wasn’t interested in hearing about their successes.
I wanted these two men who’d robbed me of my time. My hard efforts. My dreams. To suffer.
My marriage spiraled out of control.
On September 11th, 2011.
The world changed.
The airline industry. One and the same industry which the company I had just forceably been shoved out of had placed all its cards in. Instantly in that moment saw its entire revenue stream dry up.
I have numerous memories surrounding the event in hindsight.
I remember multiple timelines. One in which the NSA was actively engaged with me throughout this period of time. One in which the NSA had hacked my company’s connection and I caught them.
But that’s not the timeline I call my primary timeline.
As this country hunted for terrorists.
There was a part of me that was happy for what happened.
Delighted in fact.
Touchscape didn’t last but 6 more months after that as it saw all it’s funding dry up.
Brian and Dwight wound up suing eachother.
My friends, Sandy and Bill, Chel and David- they all went on to work elsewhere.
I felt guilty. And didn’t understand why.
For years, I watched as my country hunted terrorists, as I worked contractually for companies and kept seeing things that didn’t make sense but dismissed it time and again.
Time out of joint. What was causing my deep seeded guilt and why had I become so tremendously addicted to Cocaine shortly after leaving Fort Meade, Maryland and receiving an honorable discharge from the US Army for feigning suicidal desires? Why was an organization like Wells Fargo employing 13 Vice Presidents?
What was the relation of Lisa, my ex wife, and the airlines industry, if any?
And why did it seem like her and I were becoming just like eachother and had this repeatedly happened with other lovers as it felt like my personality was overpowering the women I’d loved throughout my life?
Look. I’m hoping. Praying. That someone in the CIA or NSA intelligence world sees this.
And understands – that I am not lying as I say I know my mind manifested those terrorists. That my hatred and anger at the owners of that company in a literal sense manipulated reality and manifested these people who committed those atrocities against our country.
This is the power of the mind.
I’m sincerely not interested in being God, a God, or anything of that nature.
But this man known as Q on Star Trek. I didn’t take that moniker out of silly-ness or self righteousness.
I took it because he’s me.
Please forgive me, United States.
I didn’t know the power of my own mind and that I, alone, am responsible for the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
I’m deeply, deeply sorry.
Please forgive me.
I’m homeless. I’ve been broke and dirt poor for four years.
And I’m tired of suffering for mistakes I’ve made not understanding myself.
And I’m losing my patience for my situation and finding my jealousy increasingly difficult to contain.