Letter to My Brother, Jon

(written when I was about 14 years old)

Dear Jon:

I decided to put you in a terminal coma and send you a letter. I have also enclosed a paper that I wrote for my creative writing class. For some reason, I am sure that you think I can not write. Actually, it only cost me $5 for both the letter and the paper. Good deal. Eh? Well, enough bullshit. John, I am going to tell you what the meaning of life is. Please hold... I know I have got it written down somewhere around here. Ahh. Here it is. It was under the moldy yogurt spoon, left over from last Saturday.

Jon, the meaning of life is..... Hey, this is not it. I guess I never wrote down the meaning of life. It was kind of interesting, I guess I only have just made a mental note of it. I spent many years and many long, hard, brain-draining hours on this subject. I came to this conclusion. The meaning of life is that there is no meaning, but happiness is the key. Whoa! That took a lot of writing to get that out.

So, Jon thinks, the meaning of life is that there is no meaning, and happiness is the key. O.K. Sure.. Yes, Jon, and do not think the answer is 49. You see, if you have thought about life as long as I have, you come to the conclusion that life, people, the whales, the human brain, and your lost sneakers that you bought in 3rd grade, now decomposing in a homely bush outside of Adams, all mean nothing.

Emotions, logic, the instinct to blink and the smelly frog in Laos drowning in a mud puddle because a weed snagged its leg are all just science, star stuff, evolution and chemical reactions. All the intense, and incredible emotions people feel are all scientific bullshit. It is all bullshit, and it is all nothing. Also, most peoples problems are nothing compared to other people's problems, like the lost opportunity of a common child, starving at 3 years old, deep in East Africa. Does it really matter if its a boy or a girl. So, what's up? Nothing is up, that is what is up. But do not get tripped on that, even that feeling and that idea is nothing, it all does not matter. The Earth could be the twenty fourth electron of an atom on the nose of a hamster that is just about to be stepped on.

Happiness is the key. Why? Because it all doesn't mean anything. Since it does not mean anything anyway, why not do something with your life? For all practical purposes you are already dead. When you die, you will probably lose the consciousness you have become so very fond of, or, maybe, there might be something after. Regardless, sometime you will die, be it now or 56 years from now. So, in 98 years, regardless if you died now or in 67 years, you will be dead. So, in effect, you are already dead, just another reason for it all meaning nothing!

So, why live? Oh, no reason. So, why not live? Oh, no reason. So, if it all means the same, I will do what I want, right. Right! You do what you want. You will be dead soon enough anyway, so why die sooner than is due. No reason. It will be all over at sometime, so why not go through a good or bad experience living. It will not matter after your dead anyway, so, I say, even a horrible and mindwrenching experience is better than not having one at all. But, lucky for us, it is not always like that. So, if, theoretically, we are already dead, life is a pretty miniscule thing. Why not kick some righteous ass while we are down here? Why not rip life's asshole off? It is all bullshit anyway. So, why not?

This is where the key kicks in. Happiness is the key. Why is happiness the key if it all means nothing? A very simple reason for this: Where is the reason to be unhappy? Correct! There is no reason. So why be happy? Because it is better than being unhappy. Why does it matter? It doesn't. Because it does not matter is why happiness is the key. O.K. O.K. Now that we have got that out of the way, on to something else. To sum it up: Why? Because it just does not matter.

Happiness is composed of what makes people happy. Short term happiness, like eating candy all the time, not doing work to relax a lot, and other short term things do not make people happy. Long term happiness makes up true happiness. But to have long term happiness you must have a happy time along the way to be happy in a long term, or you will feel short changed on your life. Which means unhappiness. So, to be happy, you must have a balance of short and long term happiness. Using short term happiness to where it does not take away from the long term happiness. Both of these happinesses can be 'work' or 'hard times' to. For me, if I do my homework solidly and efficiently in a short time it makes me feel good. Sacrificing short term pain gives you long term happiness plus extra time for short term happiness or reinvestment of more short term pain for even better returns.

It is not as easy as I am writing it. 'Life is not a bed of roses'. This statement means something. 'Life is not a bed of thorns,' this statement also has meaning. Getting through bad or tough times is, also, normally one of the best times in person's life, even if they thought and felt the opposite at the time, if not thinking it was the end. You can even realize it as being one of the best times of your life, even when you are doing it.

Anyway, to finish a short story made long, the meaning of life is that there is no meaning or reason to life, but happiness is the key. I hope the paper that I enclosed with this letter does tell you I can write, even if this letter does not. Love and happiness to you and your children.

Your Bro,