I’m glad to hear you and yours had a pleasant Thanksgiving. Mine served as another crystalline example of the way we make ourselves suffer through forced rituals and tired traditions with people we secretly disdain simply because “it’s what people do”.
Remember that nonsense I recently spewed about embracing kindness to others as a possible fulfillment of my life’s “purpose”? Of course you do, you just referenced it in your last letter. Well, it should come as no surprise that I’ve already analyzed the wisdom right out of that vague plan, and that analysis went a little something like this: “The very crux of my current malaise is my utter distaste for the rest of my own species. I do not wish them well, so why in the hell would I waste my time trying to help them?”
Your son sounds like an interesting and compassionate guy, but I’m probably not the best source to advise how his talents and resources would be best utilized, especially since I found myself involuntarily wincing at the inclusion of the word “spiritual” in your opening greeting. I understand that you used the word (much as I’ve done, ad infinitum) to poetically describe human connection as opposed to religious belief, but it’s a word that has become anathema to me over the course of the past year or so for the simple reason that it implies the existence of a soul or spirit within each of us and that, to me, represents the loftiest heights of human arrogance.
Before you think that this letter is a complete downer, I’ve got some exciting news to report. I’ve found my purpose! Or more accurately, it found me.
The longer I float along without a job, a relationship or even a semblance of a social life, the more my remaining friends and acquaintances react with alarm. Similarly, and even more amusingly, those with whom I used to discuss Eastern philosophy and other pseudo-spiritual topics are reacting to my declaration of life’s lack of meaning with extraordinary alarm. They want to encourage me to find a career I’ll love, a religion I’ll embrace, a philosophy about which I’ll write extensively for the benefit of the world. They want to play matchmaker, get together for coffee to “discuss what’s going on with me”, and it seems that they will be relentless in their collective nagging unless and until I tell them that my life is imbued with purpose. This amuses me more than I can possibly express.
Do you think that they’re reacting this way out of genuine love and concern? I don’t. In fact, I know exactly why I cause such a visceral reaction in my friends these days: those who live their lives “the way they’re supposed to” are slaves to worries, anxieties, disappointments and concerns the likes of which I have washed my hands of and this, frankly, pisses them off. “Why should that little shit be allowed to flout society’s conventions that way? He needs to get with the program!” However, deep down, they all know that I have no such “need”. It is they who need me to play ball with all manner of societal bullshit because people who speak and live the way I do represent an enormous threat to the imprisoning stories they’ve accepted and embraced about life and how to live it.
Tell me more about your son’s platform. Despite everything I just said, I’m sure I’ll have some ideas to throw your way. And while brainstorming these ideas, I promise to pretend that I don’t hate humanity more than life itself.