She asked him what he was thinking about and he said he wasn’t thinking about anything. In fact he was thinking that he should ease up and enjoy life more and that you only get one shot at it and it’s not as if there’s anything after. We all know that don’t we? I mean, we don’t have to worry any more about censorious voices telling us what we can and can’t have. We’ve got freedom to choose. It’s all there for us and I can do whatever I want, even, let’s be honest, if I really wanted to I could, well, you know. But it’s not enough. There’s still that aching heart thing and the emptiness. The emptiness. I sometimes think that life is a cosmic joke or some kind of test. Why do I always end up thinking like this? I bet it’s got something to do with sin. Or my childhood. I’m looking for something that’s for sure, but what? Some kind of enlightenment? For sure yes, big time, I would like some enlightenment. She said he must be thinking about something. He said he wasn’t thinking about anything at all. Really.
James V. Coffey
Collected Stories of Raymond Carver