This passage by Anthony Bourdain on pain and loneliness haunts me.
For life has significant meaning and purpose.
I wish Bourdain had read: Why Suffering.
Man’s Search For Meaning is a great read too.
Just before I clicked publish on this post, I found this in my archive: This Is The Most Fundamental Philosophical Question.
Bourdain ended his own life seven years after this passage was published.
The happy ending? Balloons from all over Paris converge. The boy gathers them together and is lifted aloft. He drifts away, dangerously suspended over the city. The end. Where’s the kid going? To an unspecified “better” place—for sure. Or to a fatal drop when the balloons empty of their helium (as we’ve seen them do just previously). The message? Life is cruel, lonely, and filled with pain and random acts of violence. Everybody hates you and seeks to destroy you. Better to opt out altogether, to leap—literally—into the void, escape by any means necessary. However uncertain or suicidal the way out.
Life was clearly a cruel joke. A place with no guarantees, built on a foundation of false assumptions if not outright untruths. You think everything’s going okay… Then they shoot your fucking dog.
-Anthony Bourdain, Medium Raw