“What did you think of the lecture?” he asked, as the crowd was leaving the auditorium.
“Simplistic,” she said.
“In what way? He seemed to hit all the major points.”
“His major points But he didn’t answer the question.”
“You mean, what are we?”
“Yes, but not the what are we, but the what…are we. Not our physical bodies. We know we’re animals and what our bodies do, how they function, but as a species what are our major tells.”
“Tells, as in poker?”
“Look,” she said. “Humans are one thing and that thing is, HUNGRY.”
He stared at her.
Humans are hungry for everything. Love, power, status, sex, drugs, music, things, knowledge, competition, beauty, strength, well, there’s nothing that humans aren’t starving for. That’s why the world is the way it is. Insatiable appetites for absolutely everything. Hunger drives our entire species. It makes us hateful and beautiful but mostly it makes us dangerous and never satisfied. We want, even when we don’t. It’s always, what’s next? People stand in line overnight to get the next phone. They WANT it that badly. Even those who meditate want to do it better and longer than the guy next to him and when they are done with a session, they are already thinking about the next one. Humans are starving and there’s nothing on this planet that can ever fill them up. People are starving for children, for tomorrow, for friends, clothing, husbands or wives, for compliments, for…EVERYTHING. It’s pathetic. There is no one that doesn’t want something, even if it’s to be left alone. The lecturer didn’t mention that. Right now, you’re hungry for me.”
“Oh, sorry. I mean I…”
“Don’t worry about it. Everyone’s hungry. Want, is a horrific disease to have but it’s endemic to the species. We wake up wondering what to do next. What to have, or get, next. Not everyone is as greedy as some others. High profile people are usually the hungriest, but not always. We all want. I’m hungry for books, cats and chocolate. What about you?”
“Cars, travel, single malt scotch and…you.”
“Nice,” she said. “But the way we live leaves all of us with an undetected longing, which makes many people feel that something is MISSING from their lives. That wanting and longing are destructive. We aren’t even aware of what’s going on, but it takes a toll. Then there are those who never get over all the things they wanted but didn’t do, or didn’t have. They did not try to satisfy their HUNGER, so it eats at them. They think, why didn’t I do that when I had the chance? So then, they’re hungry and longing for things they didn’t eat in the past, as well as the things they still want now, or in the future. Hunger doesn’t just go on one direction. It goes in all directions. People want other people to be different. They want people they love not to be sick or die. WANT IS THE KEY WORD. Wanting goes along with yearning, desire and all those words. Wanting a better job, more time off…LONGING. Those are the things WE ARE.
“What you’re saying, means there’s no hope of ever being stated,” he said.
“Try NOT thinking of what you want, or want to do next,” she said.
“It can’t be done,” he said.
“Of course it can’t be done. We are always moving, or thinking. It never stops. That’s all there IS on this planet. We make plans, we want, we seek, we repeat. If a person is unable to do those things, he’s in a coma, or unwell, and even then, if a person’s awake, he wants something. He wants to get better so he can want more things. WANT, is the word that describes our species. HUNGER, is another one.”
“You’re making me tired,” he said.
“Want to talk about logical consequences?”
“No, thank you.”
“Want to get a sundae? Notice I started those sentences with WANT.”
“Okay on the sundae and I still want you,” he snickered.
“What’s you name?” she asked, ignoring his comment.
“Related to the speaker?”
“He’s my father.”
“My mom could take him.”
“He’d probably let her.”
“Nice to met you. I think.”
“You’re not a wuss, are you?”
“Nope, not even a little,” he said.
“I’ll decide what I want when I get to the ice cream place.”
“Oh, good one,” she said, as they left the building. “Delayed wanting. Nice.”