To Be Happy


Throw things.  For example apples.  I must have thrown at least 400 apples into the side of my house last spring.  It was fantastic.  I would drift off the patio with a bottle of wine and to the crouching, full, squatty and knobby apple tree alongside the creek, and I would walk in circles, spiraling circles, collecting all of the apples into pyramids as I drank the wine.  As I held the bottle in my fist.  As I thought:  Can you squeeze glass so tightly it explodes?  Select the apple and your target.  (Be careful, often yellow jackets are burrowed inside the apple core.) Now throw the apple between the windows of your house.  Clunk.  Spish.  Boom!


Once I flung a coffee table into the wall.  Very happy feelings, an acetylcholine clatter.  These wounds in the shape of archipelagos.  It was like looking at a cloud.  I could go, That drywall scar resembles a whiskey bottle.  A cracked turtle shell.  No, a police officer's head suddenly at my window.  No, no, it's not a cop; it's a green condom I found clogging up my toilet.  Not exactly.  It's only the face of a young man named Jerry; it's only Halloween.


This woman I knew—her name is Sarah—was big into throwing parties.  She seemed happy enough.


Or you could shop at Salvation Army.  Buy items that spark nostalgia, that make you think relationships, not-so-bad, where did I lose my dachshund, the one who would sit below the siding of the house licking syrupy pulp of apple?  Her name was Jone.  Maybe you could purchase a ceramic dog?  Whatever item, take it immediately home and fill it with cigarette ashes—smoke cigarette after cigarette after cigarette.  Make love to that harsh tobacco! I hope this works for you.  I hope you don't look at your item and think, "Well fuck me.  Now it's an urn."


Try this:  Hide Woody Allen movies around your little apartment.  You will stumble upon them later after you forget.  This will quiver a thousand wings of your mind, a little pop and glow of bees humming.  Be sure to hide only the older movies, the ones that weave a dance of love and philosophy and black and white romantic New York City, not the newer shitty ones.  Hide the DVDs beneath your skinny jeans on the floor.  Hide them behind the toilet.  Hide them in that shoebox where you keep your grass, those old love notes and emails you printed off for evidence—this did happen in my life—and all of your secret codes.


You don't have any secret codes?  Or maybe you won't tell me, which seems legit.  Listen:  It is possible that human happiness is not the goal worth seeking, not the answer to the short time we have together on this earth, so let's forget this whole idea.  You know I didn't lose my dachshund.  She lives in a loft apartment in downtown Chicago.  I hope she's OK now, I mean playful, content.  They don't have much springtime.  Certainly no yard or creek or yellow jackets droning in the breeze.  Not any cheap-ass siding, and not a single apple tree.  

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