Angela could do nothing more than stare into the mug of hot coffee in her hands. Her brain seemed clogged with the same thoughts over and over and no matter how hard she tried to shake them, they would drift back, seeping into her consciousness at will. And it seemed their will was extraordinarily tenacious. Why can’t I just be like everyone else, she mused. As she looked up and perused the coffeehouse, she scrutinized the other patrons and at a glance determined that she was the lone perpetrator of maudlin thoughts. There was an older couple, intellectual by both manner and overheard conversation, fervently discussing an obscure literary novel. Next to them sat three twenty-something girls, zealously sharing their latest club-hopping experiences. From the shrieks and giggles, Angela knew their conversation was not likely to wander to anything more profound than who got drunker than who and made a bigger fool of themselves…and who got lucky and who didn’t. In the corner was a woman in her early 50’s or so who was engrossed in a crossword puzzle. As she sought to solve each word, one by one, her furrowed brow would ease, as she intermittently sipped on her latte. No, there was no-one that seemed to be wrestling with any vast, philosophical ideology as she was. And it wasn’t as if she was receiving any college credits for it. No, it



was simply her own innate searching for truth that was leading her down a path to depression and insanity. For who in their right mind at the ripe old age of 21 spent endless days and nights pondering the meaning of life? She felt as if she were trapped in a Salvidor Dali painting, melting into oblivion. Angela took another sip of the now cold Sumatra and pondered a little more. Perhaps she should see a therapist. Certainly, it was not healthy that most of her waking thoughts were drawn to analyzing everything she did in respect to its eternal consequence. Every action was held captive by the notion that no matter what she did, what she thought, what she accomplished, in 100 years, none of it would matter. Any achievement, no matter how great or small, would be long forgotten in the tapestry of life. A hundred years, five hundred, a thousand. What did life really matter? She pondered the millions of people who lived 100, 500, 1,000 years before and thought how totally insignificant the majority of those lives were. How insignificant her life was in the grand scheme. And what about the grand scheme? Where they all like the millions of ants that populated the earth? Were people really any different? In his arrogant and egotistical manner, man believed his intellect elevated him above the animals, but his conduct as an intellectually superior being contradicted that conviction. Merely because he could create an inconceivable society and an existence fraught with the most incredible discoveries and creations, he believed himself significant. But how significant past his short residence in the earthly realm? Not significant at all, really. How terribly supercilious of man, Angela reflected. Boy, I really do need to see someone, she thought. If this is really how I feel, then I either need to end this pointlessness right here and now or find some other answers. Or at



least some other questions. And what about God? You know, that spiritual divinity that causes man, in the name of his own particular deity, to reek unfathomable horrors on mankind. Again, how arrogant that man proclaims, incontrovertibly, that his God is the only God. If there was a supreme being, then He must be laughing his divine ass off. Angela looked at her watch. Time to wrap it up for the afternoon. Things to do. Pointless, insignificant things to do. Angela hoisted her backpack and returned her mug to the dirty dishes bin. As she left the coffeehouse, she saw the familiar homeless man sitting up against a nearby tree with his cardboard sign that read “will work for food.” And as always, she thought, how sad and how terribly pointless his life…and mine. And as always, she took out the sandwich she made for him earlier that morning and handed it to him. “Thank you,” he said, gratefully. And as Angela walked away, he said, God bless you child.