I really wanted to go to Africa
West of St Louis
It was September just yesterday



… and in the end

Omaha, Nebraska – 24 September 2008

Dear Robert,

I must thank you for taking me away from New York and our work at Kister & Brothers a year ahead of schedule. By this time, we would inevitably have been swept away by the flood and be sitting in our apartment wondering, “Why? How? What should we do?” Despite my opposition, you made me realize that, sooner or later, the bubble would burst and we’d be the first to be let go. Our degrees from the prestigious University of Chicago and our highfaluting MBAs would be worth nothing. Nobody would even consider our résumés. Nobody would care about our professionalism.  I didn’t believe it for weeks on end, but then I too ended up signing a letter of resignation, managing to get respectable severance pay and references that are worth about as much as the yawn of a fly. 

I would like to know if now that they’re in line at the unemployment office those folks are still making fun of us. Who knows if they have the time or inclination to laugh while they’re filling out forms for unemployment benefits?
So last July, our car packed with everything that our consumer society deems essential for a minimally acceptable life, we headed west. A week later, as carefree as two teenagers on vacation, we arrived in Council Bluffs, a sort of unpretentious Las Vegas that is fun to visit every so often for an evening but is unthinkable as a place to live – unless you work as a croupier or ply any other trade, legal or illegal, that revolves around gambling. 

Yours in friendship and regret,



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