How I Helped Kill Osama Bin Laden
- Posted by James Altucher
I wanted to run out the back stairwell when they said they were from the police and wanted to talk to me. They flashed a badge on the security monitor.
They had those firm voices that some people with mustaches are born with.
The elevator came straight up into my apartment. The apartment I was losing because I went broke and could no longer afford the mortgage or the maintenance or the taxes or the food, or even diapers.
The babysitter took the kids into another room. I heard them laughing. She would tickle them and the giggles scratched my heart.
The elevator opened and they showed their badges again, but this time the badges said, “FBI”.
“We only said ‘Police’ downstairs because we didn’t want to scare people on the street,” one of the guys said. In my scrambled world that sounded logical.
“We have reason to believe you can tell us something about the finances of UBL,” Person A said.
“UBL is Osama Bin-Laden”, Person B said.
Apparently, Dr. Larry Brilliant (his real name and former head of Google Charities) mentioned to them a conversation I once had with him about bin Laden in 1999.
Larry had invested in a company I had started and destroyed during a period where I destroyed a lot of the things I touched. One time I said to Larry that a friend of mine worked at an investment firm that had money from the bin-Laden family.
My friend had said, “it’s on all of their European brochures but none of their American brochures.”
I told this to the FBI guys.
“Yeah, we’ve had our eyes on XYZ Partners for a long time. This is helpful.”
They stuck around and had coffee and we shot pool on my antique 1948 pool table. The first brand of pool table that had automatic ball return.
Later that month, I had to sell the pool table to pay expenses.
“Can I ask,” I said, “How come there haven’t been any other terrorist attacks since 9/11?”
“Believe me,” Person A said, “we’ve stopped quite a few.”
Then they left.
And I was feeling relieved. So relieved. Like I had avoided chains and darkness for one more day.
Because I was guilty. After they left I could barely breathe.
I don’t know why I felt this crushing guilt. I write now to try and figure out why. To connect dots but the dots are always shifting.
My mind was strangling me, hanging me. My mind was the jury and it was never going to say “innocent”.
I wanted my life to be different. Nothing added up anywhere. On the paper, on the screen, on the kaleidoscope of images that would pretend to be my day.
I had been an addict in ways that, honest as I try to be, I can’t say.
But enough to put me in jail in my head for 1000 years times 1000. My little baby would cry, the woman on the phone would cry, and I’ll never be able to cheer her up. I’m sorry.
It’s hard to be human. People are cruel. The people you love are sent down to test you and it’s a race to see who disappoints who first.
To scrape by and live is often humiliating and degrading.
We try to tease out love but then we are found out and exposed.
And then we create new humans. Somehow it happens. A simple moment of ecstasy creates a lifetime of sorrows and failure.
And we have to teach that child to laugh at the cruel joke played on her. So she doesn’t regret what we’ve done by bringing her here.
I’m going to go outside and have fun with the people I love today. I’m free and nobody can stop me. This is the beginning of the beginning.blog comments powered by Disqus
- How to Self-Publish a Bestseller: Publishing 3.0
- 7 Things Happen to You When You Are Completely Honest
- How to Deal With Crappy People
- 10 More Reasons You Need to Quit Your Job Right Now!
- The 100 Rules for Being an Entrepreneur
- 33 Unusual Tips to Being a Better Writer
- How to be THE LUCKIEST GUY ON THE PLANET in 4 Easy Steps
- 10 Unusual Things I Didn’t Know About Steve Jobs
- 8 Alternatives to College
- I’m Completely Humiliated by Yoga
- How I Screwed Yasser Arafat out of $ 2mm (and lost $ 100mm in the process)
- Can You Do One Page a Day?
- The Secrets of Personal Finance
- 10 Things You Need to Know To Become a Great Leader
- OK. One Quote from Robin Williams
- The Worst Interview EVER. What I Learned From It.
- What’s It Like to Lose $100,000,000 at Facebook
- “The James Altucher Show” READING LIST (and why)
- How To Go Out At The Top
- The Autobiography of Kissing
- How to Persuade Anyone of Anything in Ten Seconds
- 10 WAYS I CONQUER MY ANGER
- 10 REGRETS YOU CAN AVOID
- Ice-T, The Power of No, and the Mindset of Success – My Podcast with ICE-T
- Do You Have Your Plan B?
- 10 REGRETS YOU CAN AVOID
- The Only Rules You Need to Know