t h e d a o o f b i l l y

Billy would talk about nothing all the time. Nothing in the daoist kind of nothing. He'd go on and on and on about how everything was nothing and how everything was meaningless and nothing really mattered and blah blah blah with a breezy faux-dreamy sort of whimsy in his voice, stuck halfway through puberty, like imparting some great and enlightening wisdom to relieve the world of its stupid.

Or just us, as the case would apply. They would sit and listen to him for days.

Yes I'd read the Dao De Ching, once. I'd shoplifted a copy from Barnes & Noble in paperback. I thought it was cool and I liked the imagery. I liked the words and the beautiful things they'd meant, to me. Spokes converge upon a single hub, music's five notes the ears as deaf. (When I was done I'd put it back.) And yes, I'd thought about nothing a lot. I'd thought about nothing so much I'd convinced myself that nothing was all there was, just nothing and feeling sick and wishing I could go to sleep.

So really in a way I'd agreed with him. But Christ did Billy get on your nerves.

'Why do you have to talk about nothing all the time?'

'You know I could be talking about anything and it would still be talking about nothing.'

'Yes, I know. But why do you have to dwell on it so fucking much. Jesus H. Christ, you make so much nothing out of everything that all your everything comes up to nothing. What kind of conversation does that fucking make. You fucking cuntscab. Grow up.'

So I think now sometimes it's better to dwell on maybe not everything, but at least the something, because the nothing will keep on going when you're not paying attention to it, and my social group then thought me not very deep. Wind blew through the empty space between the leaves, the Dao that can be told.

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