Failed Lessons

Dear Junior,

Don’t worry, your mother and I know that you are busy at work and with other things. The main thing is that you’re safe and sound.  How have you been doing? I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the holidays, we did too, and New Year’s Eve passed peacefully here. I don’t recall any reports of chaos but I’m sure the NYPD did have some calls come in. Well, humans do have an uncanny ability to inflict harm on each other. At least with animals it makes more sense as it’s about survival before anything else. As for us humans, the reasons for the violence we see are often as bizarre and savage as the methods used to inflict it. The best thing we can do is lead by example and spread love instead of hate. I watched the video footage from the incident in Memphis which I’m sure you’ve heard about and can only say that I feel for that young man’s family. No one should lose their life over a simple interaction that occurs repeatedly across the nation each day. Watch yourself wherever you go and always think before you act. We can’t always be lucky, but we can try to be smart every day.

Before I forget, I should warn you that your mother has discovered TikTok. I know what you’ll say and believe me, I tried to stop it. But over the past forty years, I have tried everything to get her to listen to me and failed repeatedly. Remember when I said you can be right or be happy? Well, there you go. You know life is funny, when we’re young we can’t wait to get older and when we get old, we think about being young again and what we’d do differently. A few days ago, a young man complained to me about how terrible it is having a social life at the age of twenty-three. I couldn’t believe it, so I pressed him on it. He told me that it’s hard to have a discussion with people, everything is for attention online and young people are a mess. He asked my age and was in awe when I told him. Consider yourself lucky that you remember life before the digital age Son, the way things are going should scare all of us. But always make sure to have important discussions face to face, your conscience and the other person will thank you for it later. Can you tell me what Twitch is?

New York has its issues with empty office space and there’s no letup in sight right now. I’ve been following the financial issues the City is facing and there is no easy solution.  And I doubt there will be people who feel sorry for the drop in tax revenue at a time when people are struggling to make ends meet. Is it greed or is it negligence? I can’t say for sure, and the debate could rage for years, but what I see is the middle class being eliminated step by step. The American Dream does not exist the way it used to kid. Milk was spot on and what is ironic is that at the time of his death, he had moved because of the high rent. From what I know you’re doing well for yourself on the West Coast, but whatever changes you need to make, you do it so you can keep going.  Your mother and I will always be in your corner as long as we’re breathing. Your brother and sister too but tracking them down at times is like looking for needles in a haystack. One morning your brother came in at 5 a.m. but had left home at 8 a.m. the day before. No, I didn’t ask. Your sister just got another vehicle… I also didn’t ask about that. I’m learning it is sometimes better to be in the dark with these two. Your mother says I’m oblivious, but I digress. And she wonders why the cat and I are always in deep discussion. I told her as you age it gets harder to find people who understand you.

I can’t believe January is almost done; time is flying these days. Do you have any trips coming up?  Wherever you decide to go, make sure to have an exciting time, life is too short. And make sure to get more stamps in your passport. It’s good to take a break from America as you know. I’m leaning on your mother now to pick a destination abroad for a nice trip, but we’ll see what happens. Stay safe and write soon!




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