“What is the meaning of life?” George asked, swirling his disposable plastic wine cup.
I looked at him, perplexed. “Where did that come from?”
“I dunno,” he said, scrutinising beyond the harbour before us. “It’s just a thing I think about.”
“Is it happiness?” I asked, lifting my own plastic cup for another taste. Bubbles, he calls it. Perfect for 1am philosophical discussions.
George scoffed. “If it was, we are doing it wrong.” He sipped his bubbles. “There is too much sadness in the world for happiness to be the answer.”
“Ain’t that the truth,” I said.
The harbour was quiet. Boats lined the shore across the water, shrouded in sleeping darkness. The only distant noise came from the harbour bridge as cars made their transient journey to the opposite side. Most of the world around us slept, catching up on yesterday’s dreams. And here we were, George and I, savouring the near silence. Who else in the world would experience this serenity?
I took another sip of my bubbles and then it hit me.
“Experience,” I said.
George swallowed his next gulp of bubbles. “What?” he asked.
“That’s the meaning of life.”
George returned his face to the distant city across the harbour. A smile swept across his face. He lifted his plastic excuse of a wine glass and held it out towards me.
“Cheers to that.”