Happiness is the taste of coffee tasting good. It’s a beating heart watching your fingers dunk a Samoa dunked into a cup of liquid black. It’s the harsh, biting cold in your lungs during a morning bike ride even as you expel the weekends worth of flemmy cigarette ash.
But more importantly, happiness is a state of mind, available to anyone, attained by seemingly surprisingly few? That’s my latest question. Here, in my latest coffee shop atmosphere, I watch two 35 – 40 year old men sit in comfortable seats, reading newspapers and laughing out loud at jokes about investments. I can’t tell if they’re ridiculing investors or if they are investors, but they’re happy. A young, beautiful, African mother waits in line intermittently between chasing her toddling son down, bringing him back to the line, looking up at the menu board, repeat. She smiles at me, and everyone else in the place, each time she does it, all of us watching the little boy barely, nearly making his escape. The guy behind the bar has a smile on his face, though he’s very busy. The people sitting out front, the sun squinting in their eyes. Who are they? Why are we all smiling?
Is it because we’re all well off enough to finally feel happiness? But money doesn’t buy happiness, right? I can tell you though, that if you’re the type of person who teeters on the edge of good times and misfortune, lining your pockets can easily tip the scales in your good times favor. Or maybe it’s not about money, but about situations – it’s 9:26am on a Monday morning, so at this point, anyone who isn’t at work likely doesn’t have to go to work. Maybe they’re housewives and househusbands, or investment bankers who ride motorcycles along cliffsides and joke about opening up ballet studios, or artists who make their own hours, perhaps. Maybe they’re all Web Designers.
Happiness is an illusion created by our minds to give meaning to white picket fences and Nike Airs. But so is depression, hate and bad hair days. I for one, would rather smile. (But I’m bald, so I can’t speak for everyone.)
Up Next: Circa: My Youth