why?

I don’t have much time. Maybe half an hour. I have to leave soon. I know you are busy.

I said before that I was sad and you were sad and the rest of whole damned world was sad.

Well why it is? Why are we so sad in the middle of a world where I can eat Thai food in a Confederate city and listen to jazz while I hunt for deer in a Louisiana swamp? I can do anything I want to – right in the palm of my hand, and for cheap. Why in the world would anyone be sad?

In the middle of all this opportunity I simply find no meaning. Oh it’s all nice and wonderful. Let’s be really clear about that. I enjoyed that nice dinner we had last week, and I’m quite proud of my collection of jazz records and French films. But sometimes I walk through my house and look at all that I have and really start to think why anyone would give a shit.

And it makes me down and blue to think that we have all of this and we see that it’s not worth anything.

And then my wife dies of cancer, before we can even bring a child into the world, and your waitress girlfriend runs off with a half-assed photographer, and then we’re both alone and living in empty houses and eating dinner by ourselves. No sleep. No sex. Just a house full of records and films and old photographs and we can’t remember what joy used to mean.

I have a vague recollection.

Joy was Christmas Eve, wearing a thick sweater and shuffling into the cathedral from the cold. All was hushed and the candles were lit and the organ was loud and even my grandfather, the stoic from Vicksburg, was gayly singing “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

We would go home late at night in complete peace, full of love.

And now we are older, so much wiser and we have forgotten all of this and we are alone and sad.

Tell me more. What is it you do – daily, I mean, now that she is gone?

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