he following week Joan accepted the job she had been offered
as assistant research director at Alliance. The position is chal-
lenging, and she enjoys working with the young analysts. Alli-
ance has survived the hard times but its asset base is depleted. Her com-
pensation is mostly salary plus a meager bonus.
For the fi rst few months after they separated, Joan and Joe thought
and worried about each other obsessively. They kept in touch almost
daily by phone. Both knew a meeting would be dangerous and desta-
bilizing. As time passed, they found they had less and less to talk about
because their lives were becoming so different, and their calls became
less frequent and then gradually perfunctory. She is now going out
with an older man, a portfolio manager at Alliance, but there is not the
investment intensity or the passion in this relationship that she once
felt with Joe. She wonders what will become of her.
Joe left the BA offi ce that day and never went back. The fi rst
few months he felt physically tired and he knew he was demoralized.
Initially, he was torn between staying in the investment business and
joining Josh in Big Neck. The powerful rally in stock markets that
began in spring, which he missed, further depressed him.
bepil.indd 313bepil.indd 313 11/9/10 8:33:24 AM11/9/10 8:33:24 AM
Moreover, in the months that followed, much to his chagrin, he
received no serious job offers. At fi rst he kept himself occupied with
his boys, playing golf, going to the gym, and watching Bloomberg. As
time went on, he found hanging around Greenwich all day enervat-
ing and depressing. There were a lot of other guys in the same, sad
boat, but that was no consolation. It was like being in the company of
invalids, lost souls babbling about golf scores, trying to fi ll up the time
with aimless activities.
Maybe it was his imagination, but it also seemed as though peo-
ple who still had jobs, or whose hedge funds had survived, disdained
him, viewed him as discarded goods. Once he had been the brilliant,
sought-after Kid; now nobody asked or cared what he thought about
the market or wanted to hire him. How could he have fallen so far so
fast? He consoled himself by noting that literally thousands of hedge
funds had gone out of business and that he wasnt the only experi-
enced, supposedly talented guy on the beach.
By the fall of 2009, he was bored and deeply depressed, and in
December, Emily reluctantly agreed to move to Virginia on a trial basis.
Disgusted with the stock market and worried about another
decline to new lows, Joe had put what remained of his money into
tax-exempt bonds. When he moved to Big Neck he bought Josh’s land
that fell gently in a meadow down to the river and eventually built a
house on it. These days Joe works some with Josh in his business and
coaches football at Big Neck High. He will probably be named the
head coach next year. However, he sometimes fi nds his involvement
with the team frustrating because, with Big Neck High’s enrollment
declining, the team is at a competitive disadvantage to the other bigger
high schools in Virginia whose student bodies are growing.
Living in Big Neck proved to be a diffi cult adjustment for Emily.
She was bored and lonely, and her relationship with Joe became
increasingly distant. Sensing her unhappiness, her mother reminded
her, “This is what happens when you marry beneath you.” As the boys
got older, the Daweses and Emily insisted with increasing vehemence
that they go to the better schools in Greenwich, and Joe had to admit
that the environment at Big Neck Junior High was not great.
Emily has now moved back to Greenwich to be closer to her fam-
ily. Although Joe and Emily stay in touch and spend holidays and part
314 epilogue
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