I walk every morning to Café Grumpy with my mason jar in hand craving an iced latte. Yesterday morning I saw a bright, chalk arrow pointing towards 17th Street. On the corner of 17th Street and Seventh Avenue written in chalk was another arrow and the words This way to Happiness. I couldn’t resist and followed the arrow. Half way down the block the above appeared. I did step inside the box but nothing changed except I laughed out loud. It was silly, unexpected and a Saturday morning. So, maybe happiness was inside. I’m not sure. This did get me thinking though. Where and what is happiness?
“Whoa,” you might be muttering, “Where is this going? I’m not sure I’m in the mood for deep thoughts.” Sit tight, my days of pondering greater life issues well into the night are over. Back then; I was in college wearing nothing but black and poorer than a church mouse. I’d have spent hours painting some project or other and then someone would have the idea to run out for coffee. My favored haunts were Café Figaro and Café Dante in Greenwich Village. Only Café Dante remains and the thing I remember most of those conversations was how woozy we got from our own thoughts. Fydor Dostoevsky, Bertolt Brecht and Ayn Rand were some of the authors who wrote many of the books we would talk endlessly about. My head hurt after those conversations and it’s starting to hurt now just thinking about them. I stopped pondering deep thoughts when I left college. Somewhere along the way, I realized I didn’t have the answers and it was far more fun to just laugh at and in life. I’ve embraced a lighter tone and it suits me.
My thoughts lately on happiness are more self-centered and don’t consider nor concern the whole human race. I’ve been rather amused as a year ago I begged God to let me be healthy and I would be happy. I also said something about building a corner cabinet in the bedroom too but I digress. A year later, I am healthy and that corner cabinet over the radiator looks good. I’m not completely happy though and a part of me wonders if this is a human condition. I’ve now got an itch I just can’t scratch and it has to do with space.
While some people are looking at porn late at night I’m looking at Zillow – a real estate web site. I virtually tour homes on the Internet and dream. My dreams are amazing. I’ve started going to some of the neighborhoods listed. I look for coffee shops, parks and supermarkets and think, “Will this make me happy?” I know that no life is without ups and downs and no matter where I move there will be something that will eventually irk me. So far, I’ve resisted calling up God again and asking, “Is it too late to add an addendum to that happiness thing?” I don’t want to press my luck. Instead, I’m saving money which is very, very boring so that when I finally find that place that fits my dreams I will be ready for it. I wonder then what the next itch will be!