Sometimes a friend will ask me for advice because they feel like they’re going nowhere in life. They tell me their whole story, whether for two minutes or two hours, and I listen.
I can see they’re totally dead inside. Their eyes are hollowed out. Their hands shake. They have that numb zombified look of giving in to lesser things. They have the desperate look of the Reaper coming to collect their corpse.
It’s always because of a boyfriend. Or a lack of purpose. Or terrible parents. Or a ninth year in college. Or an addiction: porn, heroin, meth, weed, people. Or a low-grade haunting fatigue and depression and cynicism with no discernible cause.
It’s all these things but none of these things. It is emptiness, and we try to fill it by finding a god in things that are not God.
At this point, I tell them: