It was dark but the air was warm and night had technically shifted to morning. The three of us walked and talked, the sound of our feet and our words the only noises breaking the quiet. One of my coworkers was fighting to get to know the other. He asked question after question, digging deeper than I had thought the conversation would go. I listening intently and sprinkled in questions of my own, but was mostly content to learn more about both of them silently.

I’m not sure what question he asked, but the answer we heard shocked both of us. Our steps didn’t betray us and we remained calm. A worry I had already felt was only affirmed by what I was hearing.

He told us that he believed life was pointless. That he was directionless. One of us asked what he valued and he said he didn’t value anything. He was still at this job only because he didn’t know where else to go.

The two of us talked about it without him later, and we know he values things. We’ve seen it. But I pointed out that the significance was more the fact that he is currently in a place where he can’t feel value.

Because he believes life is pointless. He believes that if he died today, everything would go on just fine without him tomorrow.

I thought about the fact that, yes, the world would still spin tomorrow if he died today. But so many individual worlds would be irreversibly jarred because they wouldn’t be able to understand that the world was still spinning. Because how could life keep going without someone you love living in it?

But he said he believes life is pointless.

I don’t really know how to help. I know I need to. But I don’t know him well enough to know what help looks like. I don’t know what he needs.



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