A dialectic between Schopenhauer and a clerk
“All wanting comes from need, therefore from lack, therefore from suffering.”
On a Friday night in September of the year 1818, while waiting for his book to be published and conveniently escaping an affair with a maid that caused an unwanted pregnancy, Schopenhauer left Dresden for a yearlong vacation in Italy.
When Schopenhauer arrived in Rome he took his last swig of Jägermeister. He had to find more Jäger, after all it was Friday night. Arthur rushed into the nearest Ubermarket with his eyes bulged searching for his will to live. He wandered aimlessly through the aisles in bewilderment and disorientation. Consequently, a clerk popped up to assist Schopenhauer; the clerk initiated with: “Ciao signore, did you find everything that you were looking for?” Schopenhauer stopped for a minute, and turned around to look at the being asking thus a question and exclaimed: “Everything that I’m looking for?” and repeated loudly “Everything that I’m looking for?!” The clerk took a step back in fright and confusion. Schopenhauer resumed: “Don’t you understand that we can never find what we are looking for?!”
The people were still passing by, turning their heads to see where the racket was coming from and assuming that Schopenhauer was another drunk weirdo roaming around on a Friday night. They weren’t mistaken. The clerk was nervous at that point and didn’t know how to react, so he said what all clerks say: “Well, can I help you signore?” Schopenhauer went down on his knees in defeat, screamed in anguish, and flooded the aisles with sweet agony: “No! Desire cannot be fulfilled! Desire cannot END! No accomplishment can end the chain off suffering…” The clerk, assumed that Schopenhauer was shitfaced drunk (and probably also on meth) replied by saying “Mamma mia! have a good evening signore.” and walked away.
Schopenhauer, ten minutes later: still down on his knees as he wept quietly in the aisle under the shadows, beneath the hot dog shelf, while the stars disappeared from the purple skies in the absence of his will to live: the beloved Jägermeister.