Binx Boiling is on a search: "The search is what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life."
He questions his question: "Am I in my search a hundred miles ahead of my fellow Americans or a hundred miles behind them? That is to say: Have 98% of Americans already found what I seek or are they so sunk in everydayness that not even the possibility of a search has occurred to them?"
Sometimes the droll of life seems death: "I hear myself or someone else saying things like: 'In my opinion the Russian people are a great people, but-' or 'Yes, what you say about the hypocrisy of the North is unquestionably true. However-' and I think to myself this is death. Lately it is all I can do to carry on such everyday conversations."
One of the few signs of life he finds in the world is hatred: "This is another thing about the world which seems upside down: all the friendly and likeable people seem dead to me, only the haters seem alive."
He sees the irony in the desire for uniqueness: "Everyone on This I Believe believes in the uniqueness and the dignity of the individual. I have noticed, however, that the believers are far from unique themselves, they are in fact as alike as peas in a pod."
His cousin, Kate, discovers that one does not have to BE anything: "One minute I am straining every nerve to be the sort of person I was expected to be and shaking in my boots for fear I would fail- and the next minute to know with the calmest certitude that even if I could succeed and become your joyous and creative person, that it was not good enough for me and that I had something better."
Yet she strives to believe: "What I want is to believe in someone completely and then do what he wants me to do. If God were to tell me: Kate, here is what I want you to do; you get out of this train right now and go over there to that corner and stand there for the rest of your life and speak kindly to people- you think I would not do it? You think I would not be the happiest girl in Jackson, Mississippi. I would."
"He is a moviegoer, though of course he does not go to movies"
Are you a moviegoer?
"...the specific character of despair is precisely this: it is unaware of being despair." Soren Kierkegaard