Jerry has suddenly found himself unemployed and at a loose end. After
I get what’s going on. My recent fall from grace is nourishing my self-hate.
(falls onto couch)
OK. Let’s do something really unusual and take the long-term view. Let me graph that. Up, up, up I was going, up, up, up since I was a young man. A few dips here and there, but the trend has generally been up. Then it drops precipitously, with no bottom in sight. But, as the saying goes, the trend is your friend. The graph is likely to revert to the mean. Maybe even reach a new high. What is wrong with me? I’m treating my whole life like the movement of a goddam stock. Hey, what if I can figure out how to turn this mortifying failure into some kind of success? Then, hey, my life will be made up almost completely of success. I can tell you this, Jerry, old buddy. If you don’t find a new way to win again, you’re going to go nutso.
(throws arms up in the air)
I’m tellin’ ya, totally bonkers!
(phone rings; answers)
Oh, hi, Emily. Thanks for calling.... Yeah, I’m doing great.... Of course, I won’t forget about you....Sure, we can have lunch one day.... Just help Don along as much as you helped me. He’ll need all the help he can get and then some....I said, don’t worry. I’ll be fine. Bye for now.
(gets up and walks off, singing)
“Oh, yes, I’m the great pretender, just laughin’ and gay like a clown...” Now there’s a blast from the past. Just like yours truly. Will you please stop it and smile.? (sings again) “Smile, though your heart is aching. Smile, even though it's breaking...” Another blast from the past. Obviously, I’ve got to find a new way forward.
(Cellphone rings. Answers it.)
Hi, Warren, thanks for calling. Very thoughtful.... Doing fine. Just getting used to my new freedom. Seeing if I like retirement. Yeah, a few offers already. Oh, no, just speaking engagements.... Not really what I’m looking for yet.... Going to fit in a vacation with the wife.... I’m sure Don will do fine. All he needs is time to execute the plan I already put in place.... You’ll be one of the first to know when I make a decision.... Goodbye and thanks again for calling.
(hangs up; to self)
Yeah, the offers just keep rolling in. Stop it! Give yourself some time. Imagine! With modern medicine, you may make it to ninety or even a hundred. That means you’ve got over three decades ahead of you. Enough for a whole new career. Or a long time to be doing nothing constructive whatsoever. Come on, be your own best friend. Just think! You could be saved by your worldwide reputation. I did have one, or I did until I blew it. The question is, do I ever want to run a publicly held company again?
(phones rings again; answers it)
Hi, Don... Yeah, I’m fine. Thanks for calling.... How’s it going at your end?... Already? Trust me, I understand the pressure you’re under with him breathing down your neck.... Look, we put the right plan in place. Let’s just hope you have time to execute it.... Warren called right before you and I told him the same thing.... Sure, call any time.... Talk soon.
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