At one point they both stopped to talk on their cellphones. I could hear her. "Oh, I'm at the coffee shop. I'm meeting with my ontologist." Pause. "He's a doctor who..." The rest was undecipherable.
Ontologist? Did she say "ontologist?" Certainly she said "oncologist." Poor dear. She's too young to have cancer. But no, it was definitely "ontologist." What can she possibly mean? Let's consult the dictionary:
on·tol·o·gy n. The branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of being.That's all well and good if you're sitting under a tree in Ancient Greece or hunched over a desk in 19th Century Germany, but it hardly seemed relevant to the current circumstances.
More eavesdropping confirmed that her malady was one of the spirit, not the body. It also confirmed that ontology has gotten a lot groovier since its stodgy old days in the ivory tower. I couldn't get the whole flow but did catch little tidbits from her: "Judeo-Christian...", "Scientology...", "finding peace in myself...". He was harder to hear, but I would occasionally get a real gem: "I don't think you know who you are. I think you know you you're not. Most people think they are who they're not..." He would flip through a large three ring binder and hand her various pamphlets. At the end of the meeting she pushed several twenty dollar bills across the table to him.
This ontology thing seems like a pretty good gig. How does one get trained? What are the accreditation boards? Earn good money while wearing sweatpants? Come on, you can't beat that.