Three years ago I interviewed a number of friends in their mid-20s, seemingly bright kids with no direction. I lost the digital recordings; here is all that remains from an interview with C.W., 27. We spoke at length in his dad’s kitchen while his sister cared for her new baby in the next room.
[Numbers indicate hours, minutes and seconds elapsed.]
11:30: There seems to be this weird “you have to come to our side” preachy thing [with vegans]. Then I see they’ve got an iPod.
12:30: I’ve been up for 26 hours, bear that in mind.
14:21: Atheists are nihilists who don’t give a fuck. I found that when I started to get away from God was when I stated smoking blunts. And I haven’t stopped since.
21:00: I’ve had one recurring dream in my life. As a child, and it was me, at the top of the stairs, being floated down and there’s this WHOOOP WHOOOP WHOOOP and I’m floating, and it’s the most real sensation I’ve ever had.
22:04: Killing goes hand in hand with the meat suit. It’s a unique thing to have a human body. But maybe I’m just supposed to help people.
22:55: My girlfriend doesn’t like talking about the spirituality stuff; it makes her uncomfortable. She works at Whole Foods; it’s good money.
23:23: How come I joined Mensa? Probably because I felt I had to prove to other people, mostly myself, that I’m intelligent. That I can do other things, but I’m just, like, stuck.
25:10: I use Freudian references because I want to make my thoughts acceptable to other people.
42:26: We’re just cowboys out here. Our leaders are cowboys too, they have to be, what the hell do you expect?
42:53: When I dropped out of college I felt it was the absolute best decision I ever made. Now I’m not sure. On the other hand, what would I be doing? Taking a job at a law firm? All that time, not seeing friends, not seeing family… maybe I could affect more change than I can now.
45:28: At the casino last night I felt good. Really good.
50:35: When I wrote a movie about how the world’s going to be in several hundred years, I pictured a group of philosophers and scientists good naturedly taunting each other. It’s a race to see who can get to the next planet first. The scientists are tinkering with their machines; the philosophers are meditating.
1:17:30: Actually I’m getting really good at being in a relationship. Weed helps, but you have to train yourself, too. She’s doing – I know she’s doing the same. She claims that in seventh grade she used to write her first name with my last name all over her textbook covers. I didn’t even know her then. I get these pangs.
1:27:41: To be a tyrant – I would, I would love it. Because I think I’d make better decisions than anyone. I’d live in a house like everyone else and rule with an iron fist.
1:56:22: What should we talk about? Time. The moon and sun.
2:00: Sure, I’d be friends with hippies. Then go fight, then come back and try to chill but wouldn’t be able. And wouldn’t know whether they were the cowards or I was.
2:04:26: Yeah. Yup. Busboy, food-runner. Clean up tables when people leave.
2:09:14: Taking issue with carbon dating.