"All that stuff they're teaching you about algebra and macroeconomics, forget it," she said. "You tell me, what does it get you if you can square root a triangle and then some terrorist shoots you in the head? It gets you nothing! This is the real education you need."
Other cars edged around them and took off squealing fast and disappeared to other places.
"I want you to know more than just what people think is safe to tell you," she said.
The boy said, "Like what more?"
"Like, when you're thinking about the rest of your life," she said, and she put her hand over her eyes, "you're never really thinking more than a couple years down the road."
And what else she said is, "By the time you're thirty, your worst enemy is yourself."
Another thing she said was, "The Enlightenment is over. What we're living in now is the Dis-Enlightenment."
"My goal," the Mommy said, "is not to uncomplicate my life."
She said, "My goal is to uncomplicate myself"
Those cosmetic drugs, she said, those mood equalizers and antidepressants, they only treat the symptoms of the bigger problem.
Every addiction, she said, was just a way to treat this same problem. Drugs or overeating or alcohol or sex, it was all just another way to find peace. To escape what we know. Our education. Our bite of the apple.
Language, she said, was just our way to explain away the wonder and the glory of the world. To deconstruct. To dismiss. She said people can't deal with how beautiful the world really is. How it can't be explained and understood.
We don't live in the real world anymore," she said. "We live in a world of symbols."
The Mommy stopped and put her hand in her purse. She held the boy's shoulder and stood looking up at the mountain. "Just one last little peek at reality," she said. "Then we'll have lunch."