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  • Wojciech Salski

Pursuit of Happiness

People talk about happiness as if one could catch it, squeeze it into a jar, and keep it in the pocket of their coat, the boy chuckled, but isn’t it just a feeling, which lives in the moment…?

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Walking down the road, he scanned the city’s streets. Pavements filled with pedestrians waved and swayed in the Monday morning dance. It was as if the air around the buildings was water, facades of these structures – walls, and the citizens - fish. A big concrete aquarium filled with flowing life. A personalised cage. A house of million faces. Looking up from their phones only briefly, when passing by each other or navigating across the light-determined roads, those many individuals, those centers of their own universes, were on their way. Somewhere. Somehow. Sometime. The boy belonged to their kind too. Squeezing his own little device, without which connecting to the world these days seemed impossible, he marched next to his loyal friend. Both of them were slightly sleepy, a little anxious about the first day of new work's training. Both of them still feeling the warm hug of their beds, which left behind in the flat longed to bring them the comfort and blissful slumber. It’s still dark, the boy muttered without thinking. Damn, added his friend.

*

Observant as he was, even in those hours, which in his opinion should be reserved only for the morning birds and wild animals, he considered this chase, in which most, if not all, citizens participated on the daily basis. They were on their way, that’s true. Whether or not they enjoyed the journey and were excited about their destination was, at the least, uncertain. Whether they knew what for and where they were heading, was something he pondered about. Do I know what’s my aim, he asked himself silently, do I know what’s the point of this all..? To be happy, his mind quickly filled the gap, you want to be happy, as everyone else wishes to…

*

Feeling the cold breeze on his fringe, which still slightly wet shivered in the morning air, he pulled his hood forward. Everyone wants to be happy, he thought, what does it mean to be happy though…? Understanding the absurdity and difficulty of such a question he grimaced unintentionally. It was one of those moments, that happen constantly, yet go unnoticed for those who do not know where to look for them. It was one of them. His friend, by a mere coincidence, if such phenomenon can be called a coincidence, glanced at the boy in that moment of grimace, which caused him to ask a question. A sleepy voice invited the boy’s thoughts to share. What’s that face about, his friend asked with a smile, you look like you’re struggling with this morning even more than I thought… The boy chuckled. What does it mean to be happy, he asked his friend, do you know…?

*

Surprised as one can be, his companion’s smile twisted a little, that’s an intense question overall, even more so at six o’clock on Monday… They laughed. Yeah, the boy continued, I was just thinking about the reason for all this fuss, he waved his arms pointing to a few pedestrians, we’re all going somewhere, and ultimately happiness is what we’re aiming for right…? His friend nodded visibly consternated. I don’t know, he answered, I mean I know what makes me happy, but don’t think I could pinpoint what happiness is universally… Of course, the boy smiled, it’s very personal, isn’t it…?

*

The light turned green and they crossed the street. There was a bright red neon light shining over one of the high street shops. Taste of Happiness stated the sign. The boy spotted it, thought for a moment, and imagined a marmalade jam, which his auntie would sometimes make. I guess it’s possible to taste it sometimes, he noted. Turning to face his friend he heard a question formulating in the mind, what do you think happiness is at its very essence…? Hmm, his mate zipped his coat a little tighter feeling the breeze, at its very essence, I don’t know… A sensation, emotion…? A feeling followed the boy. People talk about happiness as if one could catch it, squeeze it into a jar, and keep it in the pocket of their coat, he chuckled, but isn’t it just a feeling, which lives in the moment…? They walked for few moments without a word. It’s a fleeting sensation, which demands the chase, he added, but I guess the whole beauty of it is in noticing its presence, rather than anticipate its appearance… Happiness is a choice, his friend suddenly spurted, a choice that everyone has, but not all recognise…


If you liked this story, check out a similar one:

https://www.wsalski.com/post/all-there-is


#prose #creativewriting #foodforthought #happiness #life #idea #essenceoflife #thoughts

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