Rick Santeramo is all about hedging his bets, both professionally and personally. He plays Wall Street a little bit like a skydiver jumping out of an airplane without a parachute, who gambles on the remotest acceptable possibility there’ll be a safe place to land after the thrill of the jump. Ricky thrives on the volatility of the market as much as he thrives on the volatility of the predatory and empty sex he engages in, in the backrooms of the clubs he stalks. Ricky either has no sense of self-preservation or an overdeveloped sense of self-preservation, I’m not certain. I do think, however, that for Rick, it depends on the circumstances and what exactly is at risk, because really, you have to know how much you’re willing to invest and how much you’re willing to lose before you know how to secure yourself against a loss.
With Jon Hogenboom, Rick took what were, for him, acceptable risks. He avoided committing, he left himself a means of easy escape to avoid the shackles of monogamy and, in the end, he lost far more than he’d ever invested in their relationship. After all, infidelity can’t be infidelity if you’ve never gone all in and invested fully in the relationship, can it? Is there such a thing as negative gain? For Ricky there was—it happened when he accepted everything Jon was willing to offer but didn’t fully invest in it, then let it all slip through his fingers. He learned a little too late, the value of limiting his losses by protecting his investments. He also learned that the margin of error in his relationship with Jon was limited to Jon’s willingness to accept any deviation from the norm, which, in the end, turned out to be fractional. Unlike Rick, Jon could foresee the rare event and considered the price too steep, the investment too risky to accept.
And when the bottom fell out, when their partnership imploded, they both discovered they had so very little to show for their time together. Negative gain.
The Rare Event is the story of a man who didn’t know what he had until he didn’t have it anymore, then discovered with a staggering surety that he very much wanted it. There’s nothing quite like discovering someone and something is priceless, especially when your adult life has revolved around assigning value to everything and weighing how much profit you can gain from it. It’s the ultimate redemption story—discovering you’ve always had a parachute, regardless of how many times you’ve jumped, but that the strings attached to that parachute aren’t meant to tangle and bind but to protect against the unexpected. It’s about being willing to make compromises, not selling out who you are, but investing in who you want to be so you can be the person who’s worthy of being wanted.
The bottom line is that I couldn’t put this book down. I devoured it in a single sitting and got to ask a lot of “honey, what’s?” questions to the CPA I have in my hip pocket. I learned a lot about hedge funds and puts and stop-loss orders, but those things really weren’t so essential to the whole of the story, although it provided a perfect juxtaposition to Ricky and Jon’s personal relationship. What was entirely essential was the way in which Ricky and Jon collaborated and conflicted with each other, and eventually, the way in which that connection suffered under the weight of the odds of the gamble. If there’s such a thing as profiting from loss, Ricky did it, and it was both painful and lovely to witness.
Buy The Rare Event HERE.