What Happiness Is

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You know what happiness is? he said.

Contentment? I suggested.

Not even close, he said through the burnished orange of this late autumn afternoon.

Money? Wealth?

Come on, he said. You know better that that.

Then what? I asked.

Curiosity.

What?

It’s not true what they say about cats, you know. That old proverb about curiosity killed the cat. It’s to stop you changing lanes.

You’re beginning to sound like a zen poet, I said. Like Li Po.

Become like a cat, he said. Go out into the world, cat-curious. You can never NOT be happy if you’re finding out things.

 

do you agree?

where is happiness found for you?

what is the chief impediment for happiness, do you think?

 

 

Where Are You?

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So where are you?

In a galaxy far far away.

No. Where are you really?

Tralfamadore.

Isn’t that where …?

Yes, where Billy Pilgrim went.

That time traveller from ‘Slaughterhouse Five’?

Yes, he went there on his days off.

His days off? From where?

Reality. Reality bites, you know.

But what if you never came back?

Like Hugh Conway in ‘Lost Horizons’?  Dorothy in Oz ?

Yes.

Would it really matter? You’d be where you want to be. Would you even want to go back?

 

Have you a favourite fantasy place ? Which fantasy world would you live in if you could? What if you couldn’t come back?

Beach Balls, Rabbits & Heads

rabbit

You haven’t got your head up your arse

Or in the clouds any more, he said,

But firmly secured where it should be.

Atop my shoulders? I suggested.

But my big brother was right.

I was a dreamy kid but when the hormones kicked in— boy!!

My head was every which way but loose.

It was like a beach ball bobbing along

On choppy waves,

A dog chasing after every rabbit which crossed

its path.

I’m still a bit like that but the hormones

Are quieter now

& if I don’t watch it I still find myself

Head up the arse or in the clouds,

A head’s gotta go somewhere.

The Forest

haunted-path

I like them too.

I thought I was a basket case

But there’s this thirteen year old

I read about

Who takes anti-depressants

Anti-psychotic drugs,

Two drugs for attention deficit disorder

& she takes what I take too.

Christ,

I know growing up is tough

But I didn’t know it could be

Tough as this.

I could take other drugs,

Ones that she takes

But the doc reckons I’ve got this far

Without them

I can go the rest of the way.

I just hope that little thirteen year old kid

Makes it out of the forest okay.

 

 

 

Stuck in the Moment

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Once I was stuck in the moment.

It was like being stuck in a lift.

I was going nowhere.

Not even up and down.

There was no way out.

No alarm button to press.

No keypad.

I tried not to panic.

Tried smoking a cig.

Humming a tune

Studying a fly on the wall

Studying me

Reciting my nine times tables

And then suddenly SNAP

I was out of it.

I don’t know how long I was in it.

It did have its moments

I must admit.

But you wondered if you’d ever

Get out and join

The flow of life again.

Waterlogged

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The rain has begun.

I park the car close as possible, then dodging the drops, duck into the library.

“Ahh,” says the librarian, “we’ve been wading through your requests and look what’s washed up.”

It is like Santa handing over a present.

“Ahh, ‘Waterlog’”, I say.”The perfect book to read in the bath,”

“Just don’t drop it,” he says.

I should have seen that coming but Steve is quick, very quick.

“Thanks,” I say and we have a brief chat on the merits of reading in strange places, like baths.

“Have to go”, I say. “The rain’s getting heavier.”

By the time I get to the car, the book and I are waterlogged.

Steve would have appreciated that pun.

Now I don’t have to worry about dropping it in the bath.