Snyder sat in silence beside Blackjack, who drove a rental gray Ford Escape on a highway headed towards Los Angeles.
Blackjack sighed. “Okay, I’ll bite. Kid, why did you go to San Diego?”
Snyder sighed. “I wanted to get away, and it was the destination of the next metro headed out of town.”
“Your mother was worried.”
“Well, I don’t care anymore.”
Blackjack jerked off the road. “What?”
“I don’t care if she’d belt me, if she’d ap-prove, if she’d disapprove. I’ve resolved I’m not going to care. I’m going to live for me.”
“Hell of a philosophy. Same as Dread’s.”
“I’m nothing like him!”
“He cares about himself, what he wants, that’s it. He couldn’t care less what happens to others. The good news is you can’t just sign up to be a sociopath. Can be tempting, though. If you never care, you never hurt, and nobody can ever stab you in the back.”
“You make it sound like a crutch.”
“Because it is. It’s running from the world. Drown your pain in booze or gamble it into nothing. Nobody cares about you, you don’t care about nobody. But it’s a miserable life.”
Blackjack stared Snyder in the eye. “Don’t run from the world. It needs you too much. You not only care, you can do something.” Blackjack merged back into traffic. “Okay, end of speech. We got a plastic surgeon to meet.”
Something’s different about Blackjack. “Didn’t I read that your kid died?”
Blackjack nodded. “Drunk driver hit him six months ago.”
“The goodbye is not forever.”
Blackjack found religion?
At least Blackjack’s not a Bible beater. That’s about as close he’ll ever come to ‘witnessing.’
Continued Next Thursday
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