On Trusting Adults Who Don’t Know Jack: A Letter to the Precocious Person-Child (monologue)

Cherry Lou Sy

A number of people talk about Jack. I can’t say because then someone will have to keep me quiet if you know what I mean. Men in Black. Yadda yadda yadda. In other places, Jack has a different name. It’s an ineffable thing or person or concept. Jack’s just like that. Jack is cool.

Let me tell you something about Jack. You start hearing about Jack as soon as soon as you start understanding things. This means it starts when you are a baby. Born, hopefully, with your head first. Not held high, but squeezed in between the nether regions of a woman’s legs. Anything other than this position and you’re already complicating the world and your life. You don’t want to be a pain in the neck yet. There’s a lifetime of that. This woman is your mother. In some traditions, they say you have to give the mother her respect because she had to carry a tadpole to full-term until it becomes a watermelon that splits her almost literally asunder. Typically this lasts about nine months. Sometimes it’s shorter though because of complications. Let’s say it is a normal birth. Hopefully, this woman and whoever decides to raise you – because let’s face it, sometimes it’s not your father who will raise you – will not be a jackass. Because you will meet plenty of jackasses in the world. That, unfortunately, is de rigeur.

Hopefully, you are born into money. That helps a lot. Like, a real lot. Like, if you had to choose between a rock and a hard place, you can say: nope, not happening because I’m a trust fund baby. Because, you know, you have parents and a government and a society that somehow cares that you actualize as a human being or that you can buy your way out of everything. But just in case it doesn’t work out that way, which is probably true for the majority of humankind, there are a few pointers you better have someone point out to you. Otherwise, life will suck even more than you know it.

So…first thing to know…a grammarian will tell you that you can’t start your sentence with a conjunction. That is absolutely not true. You can as you please. It’s your life. You may not think so in the beginning because there will be people who will profess that they know more than you do. OK. Let me qualify that…they may know only because they’ve been around the block a little longer, but they don’t realize that we live in a world where the only fucking thing that is constant is change. C-H-A-N-G-E. Anyone who tells you otherwise is, yes, a know-it-all. But before you tell people off, make sure you know your way around. Because you’re going to find out the hard way that what comes up must come down. Don’t fuck with laws of the universe. That shit is constant.

The second thing that someone will tell you is that you don’t know Jack. Again, this may be true. But I’m not a mind reader…well, not all the time…so here’s a recipe that will keep you from going nuts:

Step 1: Know that Jack exists. Somehow. Somewhere. Jack exists.

Step 2: To know Jack, you must be an adult or keep faking that you’re adult-ish until you become one. It happens magically, like finding a rare Pokemon without having to go out of your house to hatch that 10 km egg.

Step 3: Knowing Jack doesn’t mean that you have a free pass on asshole-inducing characteristics. Trust me, no one likes an asshole. Well, not normally.

Finally, you have to accept that even though the timeline that people live by is that you’re born, then you grow up, accidentally sleep with that person you don’t really like and end up with a kid, and get stuck with a 30-year mortgage with an 8% interest rate, you’re in danger of being one of those adults who don’t know Jack but will pretend that they do. Jack is elusive. If you find him, don’t let him go. Then you can rest in peace and die. Of course, take this with a grain of salt. This is the best case scenario. Other people have no life plan. Life is a real peach for them.

So the takeaway here:  Be an adult who knows Jack or at least make the attempt. The world is a place where little babies cry and where the old and infirm are left to their devices. The world owes you nothing, so the least you could do is make the attempt. Knowing Jack and applying this Jack-wisdom is a boon to humanity. Make plans to get to know Jack. Live a little. No. That’ a lie because you should be really living a lot. There’s a saying that’s been around about dancing like no one is watching. That’s a good way to do it. It’s your life. You’re the one living it. Take responsibility. Oh, and eat kale. That’s an adult thing to do.

Don’t take my word for it though. I’m still trying to get to know Jack.

On Trusting Adults Who Don’t Know Jack: A Letter to the Precocious Person-Child (monologue)