Cigar Broker Confession No. 22


Emerging from a funk is not an easy process.  If you’re in a funk, it means that you’ve been feeling sad.   It’s a blue haze, a room filled with smoke, the ending of a vacation or a relationship you held (hold) dear.  Trust me, to extricate yourself is no easy process. Especially if you really don’t have an eager desire to do so, but you know you must.  

The exorcism can be plenty painful in a variety of ways.  Especially if that funk revolves around a fantasy that could become a reality but you know, as St. Augustine would say, (and I paraphrase) “In your heart, you what’s right.”


Yes.  Eventually lifting that heavy leaden cover is going to happen.  And when it does, or better yet when it first begins to happen, you really need to adopt the persona of Lon Chaney. “Leonidas Frank “Lon” Chaney, sometimes known as Lon Chaney Sr, (April 1, 1883 – August 26, 1930) was an American stage and film actor-director and screenwriter. He is regarded as one of the most versatile and powerful actors of early cinema, renowned for his characterizations of tortured, often grotesque and afflicted characters, and his groundbreaking artistry with makeup.”  (Wiki)  He took on the moniker of “The Man of 1000 Faces.”

Store number one gave me the option to produce any of the hundreds of faces created by Mr. Chaney.  Unfortunately, I had no advantage of a makeup artist to further the illusion. So I had to go it on my own.  Kinda like Jim Carrey does today.

Fortunately, I have the choice of which stores I go to see.  And so to lessen the mental maelstrom churning in my brain, I invariably will visit those stores where I know the “acting” will be less of a strain.  I really can be more “me.”    

So I walk into the store and yes, it does feel different.  The place doesn’t feel quite the same.  There are no outrageous changes, only those I perceive – this, of course, depending on how long it’s been since I was last there.

You really don’t know though if you’re doing a good job at this facial illusion because all you sense is how you feel, not how you come across visually.  All you can honestly detect is what’s going on inside.  You hope that when you first say “Hello” the words will sing but not with melodious affectation, nor shatter like glass leaving sharp shards of sorrow all over the place.  What?  Fake it ‘til you make it?  Perhaps.  Is there a finish line anyway?

seabiscuitThen the conversation begins and the trepidation of the tedious turnstile of internal emotions are either invisible or shine brightly like a klieg light into the darkness.  “Hey, where you been?”  The first question I thought I would encounter becomes a reality.  Lon?  Can you help me out here?

To some you tell the truth, to others, you gloss over the question with a smile,  a shrug and a continuation of how they are doing.  Funny.  Are they genuinely interested?  Life really does go on without you.  So you begin the slide back in like the proper piece of the puzzle and take care of business.

It works.  They are none the wiser,  an order is taken and thankfully you can exit with your head held high and your headache less severe.  You replace the briefcase to the floor of the car and place the sample or promotional material in the back.  You slide into the driver’s seat and hope that store number two will be as easy, as comfortable, as rote as it always has been.  Become. (Pause.)


But your mind isn’t at rest.  You’re still in this fantasy funk and it isn’t just going to vanish because you’re a damn good actor.  The stomach is still churning, the gears are not yet realigned, and the lubricant hasn’t covered all the teeth yet.  But the machinery continues whirring. Silvery sounds of doubt silently sluicing to the surface of mental fatigue.  

All you really know is what Brian Wilson once said to a fellow who was having a conflict with his band and I quote as I remember his response, “You just keep your head down and keep moving.”  And knowing that Brian was able to fight off the perils of reality, so shall I.  

Excuse me, I’m at my next stop.




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