were sitting on the ledge of a building
talking about the pursuit of happiness,
how every human action is motivated
by self-love and trying to reconcile
morality with a mechanistic view
of a universe, everywhere ruled
and determined by inflexible laws
the talk went on for some time
they would interject a few modern expressions
to avoid falling into a complete anachronistic conversation
reminiscent of the 18th century philosophes
then the one on the right said,
– What if we jump?
– there’d be a fall
– yeah, and then what?
– who knows
– do you think there’s consciousness after death?
– as much as you can find in the drunk man’s sleep
– should we jump? what stops us from finding out?
– fear, our loved ones, the desire to seek new experiences and store them in the insatiable coffins of memory. But mostly fear.
– if you could have anything in the world before you die, what would it be?
– another lifetime to figure that out
– do you often think of death?
– on rare special occasions, like funerals and that kind of thing
– do you find any consolation in the thought of death?
– yeah in the thought that death dissolves all suffering with the same intensity as life withheld happiness from the individual
– I’m going to jump
– I’ll take the stairs
He did not jump but was he really considering it? They decided to go home. As they walked together over the bridge they both noticed the sea was restless that day.