I have been poisoned. I know not how and care not why. Rest assured the sad thick venom of happiness is swimming like some grinning eel through the quick rivers of my bloodstream. Oh, tragedy, tragedy! A glorious sense of well-being has overcome me! I have been ensnared by the outside chance, the sneaking possibility, the lingering contingency that life – that strange old beast – might not be as bad as it seems.
Oh silliness, silliness. What am I thinking? The wisdom of Domino cries out to be heeded. But my mind has other ideas. It bathes in the vale of joy, like some red-faced boy spinning a sun yellow yo-yo and sucking, nonchalantly, on a scarlet lolly. It hangs like a unconsciously cheery teenager around the bus-stop of delectation, a wide smile plastered across its dazed, delighted face. All is lost, surely? Happiness can only grind me down. Last time I experienced anything close to this it took the deaths of two close friends, the reading of fourteen bad novels and the over-eager jaws of a frustrated beagle to recover my equilibrium. The situation is fraught with danger: make no mistake about it.
I fear a resulting lack of enthusiasm. This is only natural. Happiness is a mean old mistress. She takes you away from things. She is possessive. She doesn’t care if she gets in the way of your interest in Eastern European folk tales. It’s all the same to her. It means nothing to her if one’s blog is not undated as regularly as it once was.
Ah, the despair that contentment brings! But wait: am I not writing still? Does not the thought, the dreaded suspicion that well-being will kick a hole in my creativity produce, in itself, just enough doubt to keep me going? Musing on the negative power of joy is a curiously energising experience, ergo a positive move. Balance is, incredibly, maintained. I still smile, but in reflecting on my smile I gather enough angst to ensure that the smile will not cancel out a lifetime of fertile frowns. I do not make myself sad, as such: simply sad enough to reach a state upon which sadness may be spread like buttery words on the bread of paper. Having done so, my sadness is spent – and contentment returns. And all is good – which is to say it isn’t all good, but good enough, under the circumstances, in light of certain truths: considering the essential nature of things. Which is great, no?