A: Were you raised by wolves? Where is your sense of human decency, your sense of compassion?
B: I suckled compassionately at my mother’s breast.
A: Only because you had yet to develop teeth.
A: I hope you feel the sting that I begin to feel as I watch your nihilism — which you used to wear only as a mask or cloak — seem to seep into your skin and into your blood and to taint all of your observations with hopelessness and bitter grief.
B: I didn’t design the universe. I merely comment on its manifestations.
B: Is it cowardly to state the truth?
A: No it is not. But it is cowardly to throw up your hands and to say “It’s no use. Abandon hope. The future is preordained and we’re all doomed.”
B: But we are all doomed, when, in a few billion years the sun begins to expand . . .
A: Yes, yes, yes. Death is inevitable. But how you choose to spend your time while alive is not.
B: I disagree. I spend my life securing food and shelter, and seeking someone to embrace at night.
A: Now you sound less like a nihilist and more like a human being.
B: I’ve never claimed to be more than a human being. Or more than an animal. You claim that I can live my life doing whatever I want —
A: That’s not what I said.
B: Or, more accurately, that I can engage in activities of my own choosing.
A: More or less. What I actually meant is that you can choose your attitude. That you can live with a sense of hope or with a sense of despair.
B: But I cannot live without a sense of hunger.
A: Bite me.
B: Is that a figure of speech?
A: Are you into cannibalism?
B: I don’t know. Pass the salt.