Snyder sat in silence beside Blackjack, who drove a rental gray Ford Escape on a highway headed towards Los Angeles.
Blackjack sighed. â€œOkay, Iâ€™ll bite. Kid, why did you go to San Diego?â€
Snyder sighed. â€œI wanted to get away, and it was the destination of the next metro headed out of town.â€
â€œYour mother was worried.â€
â€œWell, I donâ€™t care anymore.â€
Blackjack jerked off the road. â€œWhat?â€
â€œI donâ€™t care if sheâ€™d belt me, if sheâ€™d ap-prove, if sheâ€™d disapprove. Iâ€™ve resolved Iâ€™m not going to care. Iâ€™m going to live for me.â€
â€œHell of a philosophy. Same as Dreadâ€™s.â€
â€œIâ€™m nothing like him!â€
â€œHe cares about himself, what he wants, thatâ€™s it. He couldnâ€™t care less what happens to others. The good news is you canâ€™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.â€
â€œYou make it sound like a crutch.â€
â€œBecause it is. Itâ€™s running from the world. Drown your pain in booze or gamble it into nothing. Nobody cares about you, you donâ€™t care about nobody. But itâ€™s a miserable life.â€
Blackjack stared Snyder in the eye. â€œDonâ€™t run from the world. It needs you too much. You not only care, you can do something.â€ Blackjack merged back into traffic. â€œOkay, end of speech. We got a plastic surgeon to meet.â€
Somethingâ€™s different about Blackjack. â€œDidnâ€™t I read that your kid died?â€
Blackjack nodded. â€œDrunk driver hit him six months ago.â€
â€œThe goodbye is not forever.â€
Blackjack found religion?
At least Blackjackâ€™s not a Bible beater. Thatâ€™s about as close heâ€™ll ever come to â€˜witnessing.â€™
Continued Next Thursday
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