Many thanks to those of you who posted a comment or gave suggestions as to how to help my friend. I do have to admit, though, to being slightly disappointed at not convincing people to represent a different philospher in costume and perform little monologues about the meaning of life. I thought it was such a good idea.... But you will be happy to know, she seems to be doing much better. Perhaps it was just a momentary crisis.
I must also share what has to be one of my favorite text messages of all times:
Me to the other friend who was there that night, after we had both gone home exhausted, she to a date with a much younger man:
"All is well-had talk-discovered real issue: what is meaning of life? Possible remedy: Sartre. How was boy?"
To Anonymous, I've ordered a copy of Viktor Frankl's book, but just might read it myself before passing it on. You have piqued my curiosity: do I know you?
On another note, Max, my mom and I made a foray to my favorite cafe, he in his swank new backpack/carrying case/car seat/bed. Seriously one of the best presents ever. Besides Max himself, of course. I sat him in a chair at our table, and he meowed a bit, but eventually settled down and engaged in some intense people watching. Like owner, like cat. He was quite a hit with the Bulgarian waitresses, I must say. I was so proud.
There is some serious potential for cafe haunting together when Paris finally happens. Dour Parisian waiters, you have no idea what is in store for you....