I was the professor, but every time I looked into her eyes, she was testing me.

“Everything can’t be philosophy,” she said.

“Everything is philosophy and it will set you free.”

“People say that.”

“They’re mostly liars,” I said. “Brokers pedal financial freedom, but they want you to invest. Religionists claim to free your soul, but they want your servitude. Society believes loneliness can be cured with marriage, but freedom can’t be bought from anyone.”

“Slaves are bought.”

“It’s true that freedom comes at a price, but real freedom is a transaction in your own mind.”

“Are you free?” She asked.

“I’m freer than I was five minutes ago.”

“Would you like to come to a party?”

“I’m afraid I’m far too gone to add any value to it.”

“That’s not true!”

I was becoming her project. Why do women always want to save a man who doesn’t want to be saved?

“There’s an open bar and Julius has a smoking tent.”

She spoke my language. How did she know?

“I’ll go,” I said.

And she smiled between cruel lips, exposing her sharp teeth. And all the reasons I could think of not to go were overridden by something I didn’t understand. Free will? At this very moment, philosopher kings were laughing at me. And after our goodbyes, her voice kept floating through my brain like sweet poison.

7 thoughts on “The Laughter of Philosopher Kings

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