We talked for four hours straight – totally unexpectedly and probably with no intention of speaking that long. Neither of us had the time or wherewithal to manage, but we did it anyway. I heard a lot of fascinating things in that conversation and got some food for thought in addition to finding reason to worry. He had just endured a major and expensive disappointment and a pile of bureaucratic shit shoveled at him, so I think the whole purpose was just to vent. But it ended up being about everything: Japan, Rambo, emotional and physical abuse, China, Africa, Iran, Libya, Lockerbie, chain of command, whether life matters, whether politics matters, Machiavelli, James Spader, the value of therapy, identity crises and unfortunate events unfolding one after another, doing what is ‘right’, sociopathy, cars, morality, comedy, winning and… well, everything.
He told me he had asked a colleague what advice he gives his kids about the world:
“How do you prepare them for THIS?”
“I tell them everyone is full of shit. Everyone. Even them.”
He told me about the total BS and bureaucracy of his work. When he cared, of course he got shafted time and again. When he stopped caring at all and decided to just milk it for all it was worth, naturally they did not know what to do with him:
“You guys have already bent me over the table enough times and fucked me. You didn’t foresee that I have really big balls and I just don’t care. I’m gonna do what’s right.”
Somehow in all the hours of talk, the conclusion is the same: neither one of us cares. He cares even less than I do – there is a part of me that still invests and hopes. But not him. What is there to get all agitated and worked up over? What is there to be fearful of? It’s all entertainment leading to inevitable death, and in some ways, as we concluded in discussing humanity, all humans are just beads on an abacus. They don’t matter except in tallying results.