Jack wrote this in March, 2006:
Building on the idea beginning on the last blog entry, here’s another one I’d consider sending:
To be delivered January 1, 2002.
“This is me again, talking to you from 2006.
“You are in for a lot of strange experiences over the next few years, and some profoundly difficult times. You’re going to do a lot of things you’ve never dreamed of doing, just to get by month-to-month.
“I can tell you now:
“Don’t waste your time trying to get teaching jobs, any job where you can take advantage of your education and job history. Save yourself a lot of energy and discouragement.
“That part of you is gone. They don’t want any white male in his late 50s, no matter what he might have done in the past. You are going to have to become really good at some unconventional approaches to survival to just squeeze by without going to live under a bridge somewhere.
“All that Y2K credit history and the mistooken belief the IRS would collapse is catching up with you.
“You’ve always succeeded in everything you did. Now you’re basing your decisions on that history, but you’re failing to comprehend that everything’s changed. Don’t waste your life in all those months of self-doubt and guilt, judging yourself against a set of standards and assumptions you learned from Grand-dad and you’ve always tried to live by.
“Those are dead.
“You are still you. You’re still strong, and you still have a million things to be grateful for. What those human resources departments believe is meaningless, doesn’t say a thing about whom and what you are because they reject you.
“You’ve always relied on yourself and you now have to start doing it again in ways you never thought possible. You are about to have to become a person living in the shadows, off the government paperwork, inside the underground economy. The sooner you understand there’s no place for you in the ordinary job market the better off you’ll be.
- Old Deano, over in Belen’s going to try to talk you into learning blackjack. You’ll want to shrug and resist. My advice to you, is ponder it. Don’t resist so hard, but don’t believe anything he, nor anyone else tells you about the nuts and bolts of playing it until you study it all and think it through. What’s said by the experts is largely BS.
- There’s a meth cook named Dan who’s about to drop into your life and offer to take you on as a bodyguard. I’m not going to suggest you don’t do it, but I’m going to tell you without reservation that meth cooks and meth users are on a growth path that’s too far from yours to allow you to remain around them long. Do what you have to do, but don’t even for a minute believe Dan, nor any of the rest of them can be trusted. When things begin to go sour cut it off fast and clean.
“You, my friend, are entering a brave new world. Savor every minute of it. Maybe I’ll send you an email occasionally to hint you along.
“Hang in there amigo. You can do it.
“Yourself 10,000 blackjack hands into the future,”