There was the era of our not caring, or of our pretending not to. We discovered French philosophers and nihilism and cheap cigarettes. We put on airs, though I hate to admit it. I was so sure that we were on to something. I was so sure that we really believed that we didn't exist, nor did you, nor did this keyboard recording my words now. How can I now be so sure that we were wrong?

We would discover new words, my friends and I, and want others to apply them to us. "Saturnine" was my favorite. Once its meaning was unveiled to me by, sadly, something as banal as Webster's Unabridged, I started using it, in the hopes that my friends would also start using it, but regarding me. We would try to one-up each other, as well, in our talk of existential dilemma. We wanted to be the most depressed, the most certain of life's futility, and express it in the best language.

Of course, there was no admitting this desire, this longing. And there's the rub. If nothing really existed, and if we were so certain of that, wouldn't it stand to reason that we wouldn't care that others thought us brilliant in our recognition of it? Would it have mattered if we wore yellow? For how can you care what people think about you and be certain that they don't exist at the same time?

Nowadays, our black clothing is interspersed with the odd dash of color -- the navy blue blouse, the green jacket, the gray cardigan sweater. We don't like each other anymore; we said too many hurtful things when we thought it wouldn't matter. We were careless with our nihilism and maybe that's for the best, for there aren't a lot of great times to reminisce about. "Hey, remember that time when we sat around drinking and smoking and talking about how futile it was that we were sitting around drinking and smoking?"

"Yeah, that was a blast."

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