An existentialist walks into a bar…

“What can I get you bud?”, asked the bartender.

“Nothing. Just a can of hard seltzer please, apple flavor.”

“Huh, that’s something after all. Will get it for you right away!”

I did not try to argue with him that my remark about “nothingness” was an existential one and had nothing to do with my taste for cheap liquor. Well, here we go again — nothing. I guess nothingness never eludes you, existential or otherwise.

I took a seat in the corner, trying to get away from the maddening crowd of merry people all around me. Don’t get me wrong — I am not averse to merriment, but I am often averse to people. Why? Maybe because I once watched Jean Paul-Sartre’s play “No Exit” which concludes with the thesis — “Hell is other people!” I did not know what it meant at that time, but it sounded kinda cool. Later I discovered that Sartre was a famed womanizer, despite his not — so — handsome looks, and realized that sometimes hell has its own perks. (I don’t care what you make of this subtle remark since I am a moral nihilist too, at least when it suits my purposes). Coming back to the bar, I was sitting there watching a group of people having a laugh at each other’s expense and drinking as if there’s no tomorrow. I wondered — isn’t that the whole comedy of human existence? Here we are, trapped largely in a life of despair and angst, still believing that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, that there is a meaning to all this, that there’s some purpose, divine or otherwise, to justify our lives — but who knows, maybe those people are having the right response to this absurdism, drinking and laughing it all away. I looked away and saw an extremely beautiful woman on stage singing about good old romance, receiving shouts and cheers from her impressed audience. Romance — poetically speaking, that one emotion that ties the whole human race together (yes, I plagiarized “The Big Lebowski” here, because why not?). However, when Albert Camus praises Don Juan in his essays, he is praising his ability to be romantic without being attached — an often-questionable position to take by normal societal norms, but a position that accurately encapsulates the absurdity of life, nonetheless. Here again, moral nihilism comes to my rescue.

Overwhelmed by all the commotion, and also by my own distractive thoughts, I decided to just walk out of the bar and take the streets back to home. As I was shutting the bar door behind me, I heard the bartender shout out — “Happy nothing my friend!” Well, there’s your answer — happy nothing; not mumbo jumbo philosophy, but a quick wit life advice from my liquor serving friend.

PS. What was the purpose of this piece of shitpost I wrote. Well, nothing. But isn’t that everything?

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Graduate student in neuroscience and physiology, a collector of philosophy, and an appreciator of great films.

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Rajit Roy

Rajit Roy

Graduate student in neuroscience and physiology, a collector of philosophy, and an appreciator of great films.

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