the concept of happy

Submitted into Contest #170 in response to: Fly by the seat of your pants and write a story without a plan.... view prompt


Fiction Christmas Contemporary

“This is great! No, it’s perfect,” the autumn leaves on the street. And when I step on it, making this sweet crispy sound. Wonderful perfect sentences flew into my mind.

“How can I do that when I have no plan? Words make no sense and sentences are confusing.”

“But I don’t care. I care about the wind and the sea.” Not about living, I care about enjoying the little things. If I don’t, I might get washed away. Christmas trees and the look on your son’s face, are the little things. Yesterday I thought about that, and I cried while laughing. Emotions are wild, but they’re mine. And I’m happy.

“I’m happy.”

“I’m happy.”

“I’m happy,” I told myself so many times, it became a lie. Or I just really wanted to have something wrong with me, so at least I’ll be special and not boring.

“This is great! It’s perfect! It’s visceral!” Gambling while losing all the money. Everything is a concept, really.

“Everything is a concept. I’m happy.”

“Everything is a concept. I’m happy.”

“Happiness is a concept. I’m everything.” Is this what a revelation is? Tombstones and grass lawns are all I’ve ever known. And like the sound of airplanes, I wanted to fly. I’m not a bird, I don’t have wings, not even those metaphorical ones. I’m grounded on the earth. Which is also a concept. Can I see the unknown if I don’t know what it looks like?

“This is nice.” Drinking sparkling water while staring at the river.

“Water is nice.” I’m on a boat in a river, alone. Throwing my thoughts into the water. I cared more about people than the concept that is myself. Rigid, losing the game. That’s how I used to be.

“I used to be me.”

“Me is how I was.”

“And that is no longer me.” Coloring the white sky blue, and covering the ocean with paint I haven’t used since I was small. Holding my breath so the windows fog up when I finally let go. Blocking the view, hazy roads and rivers. Who needs to see the future, when I know I was happy?

“I was happy.”

“I was happy back there and then.”

“And now I’m here.” Breezing away like the wind. Rusting in time like a metal clock. Who knows what happens when everything is a concept and nothing is the way it is? It was months ago when I felt this.

“And now I’m here.” Watching the TV screen on a loop, repeating non-important words.

“Echoing is life and you’re better off.”

“Echoing is life and you’re better off.”

“Echoing is life and you’re better…” The TV glitched and turned off.

“I’m better.” The words made no sense and the sentence was confusing but real.

“I don’t know what this is.” It looked like glowing plants, alien life, and watercolor paint blended into one. Have I left this mixed-feelings planet and started over on a distant planet that looked like a fond memory?

“I think I’m happy.”

“I think I’m feeling happy.”

“I don’t know what I’m feeling.” Geography and rivers didn’t exist here. Only the premonition of colorful blinking lights was here. It wasn’t bad, it’s good.

“It’s not bad, it’s good.”

“It’s not good, it’s bad.”

“It’s not the concept of bad or good.” It felt like cozy pajamas and sons at Christmas. I mean, it felt like Christmas pajamas with my son. No, It was Christmas morning with my son. Pajamas. Train sounds in my ears. Locking boxes filled with water. I can’t get out. I ate glowing plants and was pretty sure this isn’t heaven. Or the concept of heaven. Or the concept of nothing.

“This is happy.” Sitting by the window seat. In the airplane I looked at before, I breathed out. Hazy winter fell. The plane too.

“But I don’t care. I care about the wind and the sea.” Not about living, so I got washed away. And by the concept power of the moon or whatever, it was magical.

“A concept is an idea, a plan.”

“This wasn’t the plan.”

“The plan was to not have a plan.”

“The plan was to not have nothing in the end.”

“I’m here.” My son always said to me.

“I’m here.” I’m here. I was always here.

“I’m here.” In this wreckage of red-white parachutes that are supposed to protect you against falling. But nothing can protect you from falling. You just fall, into whatever place you think of, however, it’s always the opposite. I wanted strawberry and I got bitter grapefruit.

“I’m happy.” Even if every person is living in this fictional world. Filled with make-believe and metaphorical truths. I couldn’t escape, yet I feel free.

“I’m happy.” And like the way a tree loses its leaves, I lost mine.

“This is wonderful.” Locking the rented room door in a motel. A long winding road submerged in the forest, I closed the window and the air pressure changed. Forming ice crystals on the inside, taking over and growing on my pillow. It was like a hungry force slowly observing every weakness I had. And I had a lot, but they’re mine, so at least I’m happy.

“I’m happy.”

“I’m happy.”

“I’m happy.” These smiles were the impression of an actor in a struggling TV show. It all came together in the end, visiting the same place over and over again - like horses on a carousel - And never getting bored of it, always finding something new to obsess over. Whether it was the gingerbread house I made with my boy or discovering a new crack in the wall.

“I’m happy.” In this desert that was once an ocean.

“I’m happy.” In a fictional TV show where the main character dies in the end.”

“I’m happy.” Saying it a million times doesn’t make me closer to where I want to go. And I want to feel the magical connection to the earth I walk on. I want to feel the imaginative moonstone shower that I hoped would happen someday.

And then it did happen. Only it wasn’t the moonstones that fell or the autumn leaves.

“I’m happy.” It was the plane that fell, it was me that fell. When winter fell, the red-white parachutes opened themselves like a present under a chaotically decorated pine tree.

“I care about the wind if it takes me to places I can be happy.”

“I care about the sea as long as it doesn’t drown me.”

“I care about the wind and the sea and the Christmas trees that made up most of our lives.”

“I’m happy.” Hoping for the rainbow to come back with a pot of gold. Silver would be enough too, silver would be life enough for me. Out the window, there’s an extraordinary landscape. A cliff with an endless waterfall. And a cabin made of pine wood ornamented with colorful lights in the interior. The blue sky reflected on the sandy floor. Outside there were clouds I could touch and grass I could feel a connection with. Up the snowy mountains, a hazy river felt like a memory of a childhood book about a kid with magical powers.

“I’m happy.” I think I’m finally happy. Is this it? Is this the concept of nothing? The concept of paradise? The afterlife? Inside, there was a warmth that was as much a counterfeit reality as it was a forgotten memory. A Christmas tree and a glitchy TV were all I’ve ever needed. And the timeless hours I spent recollecting past events, made me conceptually happy.

I was happy.

November 04, 2022 23:34

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