“Brian, where’s your paper?”

“I didn’t finish it.”


“I had food poisoning.”

“Why didn’t you say anything?”

“It’s not a big deal. Well, aside from the vomiting and lying motionless in bed for five hours. But I could have written it.”

“What are you trying to say?”

“I’m a bad student.”

“No, you’re not. You were sick.”

“I could have done it.”

“What did you do instead?”

“I tried to create a utopia.”

“Excuse me?”

“I tried to create a utopia. Everyone is unhappy. I want everyone to be happy.”

“Calm down. You were sick. That’s not a good time to consider the point of life.”

“No time is a good time to consider the point of life.”

“Very well. Turn in your essay next week.”

“Give me a zero. I didn’t do it.”

“Turn it in next week.”

“I could have done it, but I didn’t. All of my life I’ve hated being told what to do. I don’t happily submit to an authority unless I agree with the goal and the means of achieving it. I’m not going to submit to a poorly cooked egg that came out of a powerless chicken’s butt.”


“I’m better than this. I get what I want. And I try make sure it’s what everyone else wants, too. I want everyone to be happy.”

“No, you don’t. You want yourself to be happy. Everyone else is in the way.”

“Tell me. Is helping people for personal gain worse than not helping people? Why can’t it be a two-way street?”

“You’re starting to sound like a politician.”

“I hate the limelight.”

“Then why do you seek it?”

“It’s better than darkness, than loneliness.”

“So you’re going through an existential crisis.”

“No. This is how life works.”

“This is how you think life works.”

“Doesn’t everybody feel this way? Everybody should feel this way.”

“They don’t.”

“They’re stupid. All of the smart people I know are depressed.”

“They’re stupid because they’re happy?”

“They’re not happy. They’re stupid.”

“Are you depressed?”

“I don’t think so.”

“So are you not smart?”

“I am. That’s why I think I’m special.”

“You and everybody else. Did you create that utopia of yours?”


“Millions have tried and failed.”

“Should I stop then?”

“No. Turn in your paper next week.”


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