Life, Shane and the Persuit of Happiness

It's what's on my mind, and yours too. Well, at least that bit about happiness...

Friday, March 22, 2002

 
I’m off on another trip to the burrito shop. One more delicious Chili Pepper’s burrito down the hatch. It’ll never grow old. I left on foot, by myself, fully aware of the impending rain. Of course the place is right down the street. After devouring la comida I quickly felt the burrito’s presence in my belly. It wasn’t going down without a fight. I decided to walk it off, even though I knew I would get rained on. That’s really only half the story though. I sometimes find these spontaneous walks an excellent way to wallow in my own self-pity, and being in a self-indulgent mood I darted down the side street. As I was walking I stepped on a snail, crunch, paused for a moment of disgust and moved on. With a hundred questions swirling around my head. These were the kind of questions I ask myself daily: “Where will I end up?”, “Who will I love?”, “Who cares for me?”, “Will I ever find love?”. I grabbed on to each one, one by one, and threw them out there, like I was expecting someone to pick up the crumpled ticket, clear his throat, read aloud in a clear monotone voice my inquiry, pause for a moment, and answer forth the precise and absolute answer, and induce my complete awe and astonishment. Unfortunately thus was not the case. I just kept walking. Crunch there goes another snail. The rain must bring them out. As I walked down the street I saw couples hand in hand walking together, loving together. I was jealous, I was sad, I was queasy. For a squash burrito, that thing really did a number on me. I reached Marsh street with a loud, and the most sickening crunch yet: “I think I’ve killed at least 6 of those poor things already!” If one asks himself these kind of questions often enough, one must ask himself, “Is this helpful, does this make sense, will anything good ever come from me torturing myself like this?” My gut feeling says no, but my weak consciousness says continue. So I continued on, searching for the answers to the same questions. I rounded the corner of Palm and Broad with my eyes wide open and pointed towards the ground and crunch, I saw the consequences of the destruction I’d been wreaking all over town. But it was not a snail like I’d so blindly assumed before. No, it was simply an old, dead, dried up seedpod of some sort from a tree nearby. I looked at the ground. They were all over the sidewalk! I wasn’t stepping on snails taking a life with each misplaced step; I was stepping on meaningless seedpods! Then I realized it. These questions were snails, full of meaning and life. All the while I thought I was pursuing them, trampling all over them, but in reality I was spinning my wheels, crushing nothing but insignificant little seed pods. I looked up and saw the traffic light. Glowing bright green, green enough to blur my vision. It was a circle. That was the answer I was chasing all night. It’s a circle. Where am I going? In a circle. And so what if I don’t find love? It’ll just contort my circle. But won’t that affect your whole world? Well, nothing earth shattering, but I suppose if you consider that everyone’s little personal circle is touching and linked in someway, then yeh, it might displace everyone a little bit. Then what’s your goal in life? Make your circle as round and as full as you can, so that when you’re done you can say, “Look at my circle! It was as round and as bright as the noonday sun! Wasn’t it beautiful?” As I made the last corner I opened my eyes wide and took a good look around. Everything looked different. You know how things look when you take a different route home from work or school and you notice little things that look different? That’s exactly how I felt. But I don’t necessarily think that anything around me was different, it was me who had changed. The whole world was there all along; I just hadn’t looked at it this way before.
posted by Shane  # 10:06 PM
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