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First Session

So, what ails?

Nothing and everything.

Could you tell me about that ”nothing and everything?”

Not really. I feel a sort of malaise. It’s always with me. It’s always been with me, I suppose. I don’t feel much of anything.

What do you do?

I like to stare into space. It’s my meditation. I will sit in a chair and stare for hours. Straight ahead.

What do you think about when you stare into space?

Nothing, really. That’s the point. I want to free myself of earthly cares. I think about nothing. And that’s a blessing.

Do you have any friends?


Now or ever.

Well, right now I don’t interact with anybody. I suppose I have no friends. I have friends of the imagination. But not physical beings. I don’t have friends in the normal sense. That is I don’t interact or have relationships with real people. If I could meet people who share my passion for staring into space, that would be a different matter. We could stare into space with each other. It would be our shared passion.

Did you ever have friends?

I don’t know. I mean, how would one know that? I’ve interacted with people. I have had acquaintances. But how does one ever know that one has friends? Suppose the people I thought were friends were in fact false friends. Fair weather friends. Or not friends at all. Just acquaintances. I mean it’s hard to say whether one ever has a friend. Simply because you interact with someone –- you have a relationship of sorts –- does that mean that one has friends?

What do you do?

Nothing. I pride myself on my ability to do nothing for seemingly interminable stretches of time. I occupy my time with nothing. I do nothing. It’s a talent I’ve cultivated over a lifetime. A lifetime of doing nothing.

You don’t work, I take it.

That depends. Doing nothing is a chore. When you come down to it, it’s work doing nothing all day. Often times at the end of the day, the end of a day of staring into space, interacting with acquaintences — acquaintances who may or may not be friends –- I am completely exhausted.

Have you ever considered doing volunteer work? Some people gain satisfaction from doing things selflessly for others.

That wouldn’t work for me. I am a selfish person. I don’t think I have a selfless bone in my body. I pride myself on my selfishness. Honestly, it’s a skill I have nurtured all my life. Living only for myself. If I am not for myself, who will be for me? There are many selfish people. But the art of being selfish skillfully, well, that’s, as I say, an art. And I strive for perfection. To be the perfect model of the completely selfish individual is my goal.

What do you hope to achieve in therapy?

Nothing. I mean, what can I accomplish here with you, with another person. I live for myself. I pride myself on my selfishness, I spend my days staring into space.

And yet you say you are in a malaise.

I am. In some way I feel unfulfilled.

Can you talk about that?

Not really. I don’t know in what way I feel unfulfilled. But I suspect that there is more to life than what I get out of it. I see people doing things. Living their lives. I wonder how they do that. It seems amazing to me that people do things. I don’t really live. I live inside my head. Can you help me?

How would you like me to help you?

I don’t know. Could you help me with my malaise, my vague sense of a lack of fulfillment? I am overwhelmed with the nothingness of my life and yet I find it strangely gratifying. It’s as if by doing nothing, I have made time stand still. I seek out that feeling. I wish that time would stop.

Without time, there would be no life.

Precisely. I yearn for a life that is not life. A timeless expanse of nothingness. I yearn for an end to all yearning. I want to live completely inside my head.

Our time is up. I can see you twice a week. Good bye.

Good bye.
flipper1966 flipper1966 70+, M 2 Responses May 30, 2012

Your Response


Staring into space with friends? That's not practicing proper selfishness, sharing space to stare at with other people.

Interesting.........can't wait for the next visit!