Dude’s Existential Crisis

“Dude! Where you been?”

“Taking stock.”

“Where? Out to the auction east of town?”

“No, Lamont. Taking stock of my life.”

“What’s the net outcome? Fish?”

“You are really funny this morning.”

“Sorry, Dude. I was just trying to cheer you up.”

“Forget that. It doesn’t add up, Lamont. I try hard, do the best I can, and what do I have to show for it?”

“A really great surfboard collection and a lot of Sex Wax?”

“Yeah, that’s pretty much it. Pitiful. I coulda’ been a contender, Lamont. If only if I hadn’t held back, hesitated, I could have reached my full potential.”

“Oh, Dude. Everyone feels that way at least once, but the thing is, you’re just a guy. You’ve just reached that point in this lifetime that you’re questioning your reason for being. You need to take a longer view.”

“What’s that?”

“This isn’t your first rodeo. Think of some of the others. How did they turn out?”

“Lots of different ways. There was the swamp drying out, there was the time I got blasted into two, four, six, eight parts until I couldn’t even find myself any more, there was the meteor — of course the meteor, there was old age, there was the fire in the forest set by those stupid Druids, there was the spring I didn’t wake up in my cave — bad salmon, I think, got me in the night but who knows…”

“You don’t see a pattern?”

“No, not really.”

“Dude, c’mon. How do the stories turn out?”


“I thought that was pretty obvious to an old-timer like you. As the poet has written…”

“Which poet?”

“Shut up and listen while I declaim…”

Yesterday This Day’s Madness did prepare;
To-morrow’s Silence, Triumph, or Despair:
Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why:
Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where.

“Hmmm. So you think this is just one of life’s phases, this ‘taking stock’?”

“More like several of life’s phases. You’ll do it again next time.”

“I think I see why you like to be a tree.”



Lamont and Dude are characters I came up with a few years ago. They have the uncanny ability to remember many of their past incarnations which gives them an unusual perspective on life, the universe and everything.