What did you think, that joy was some slight thing?
You asked for philosophy and I am bringing it, late-night dorm-basement style. But I’m not just splitting hairs. This variety in our actual experience suggests — I think — that Camus got the question wrong, or that the question itself is the problem. The only important philosophical question isn’t why we each, individually, might choose to live. It’s how to live with each other, given that the facts of our lives are contingent on the facts of others’.
Does your brother entertain you with witty anecdotes? Does he tell you stories about his day? Does he ask you questions about your own life? Is he contributing anything to this ride situation at all? Or is he sort of sitting there, like some kind of prince who expects to be driven around?
Since the age of 12 I have worked forty-five different jobs. I counted for you. No, I am not 300 years old, Bank-robbin’; I worked most of these two or three at a time, like a real patriot, since none of them paid enough to live on. What I will have to say to you, by the end of this, is that anyone who has found a way to transform anger into purpose and even some measure of peace about work has learned to reckon with two contradictory truths.
It’s a little bit exciting, the abandon of sitting there anyway and all the nervousness and desire that entails, but I still don’t know why I am outside, and why I can’t move inside. What am I waiting for? And why do I want it so badly? Will I ever be able to go inside or will my desire determine everything?
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, the n+1 podcast presents a special live session of The Help Desk with n+1 advice columnist Kristin Dombek. Listen as Kristin answers real submitted questions from readers about love, communication, and relationships. Read her previous columns for The Help Desk here and submit questions for future columns at email@example.com.