Friday, October 31, 2014

WELL, THIS FEELS STRANGE

Just like that, the clouds lifted and a little bit of sunshine illuminated the rooms of my heart. As I stretched and felt the warmth on my chest I laughed — such an odd sound, that, especially as it echoed in the empty apartment — and I said out loud the unbelievable words: I'm happy.

I told my friend Missie: It's not a who or a what, really. After years of living in the dark I finally decided it was time for me to start living again, and with that decision a small cog inside my heart clicked. That simple, and of course it wasn't, but I'll take the small victory. It's been a long war.

This isn't some slice of frothy pop from Pharrell — none of that happy Happy, and no, I won't dance. The best I'll do is wag my finger or wave my hands in the air; flailing on the dance floor is not in my wheelhouse, thanks. Besides, have you seen me dance? Yeah, I didn't think so. Dogs and small children have been known to cringe at the sight. And don't get me started on what it does to cats.

This renaissance of Happy Boy comes with no illusions. I'm older now. Smarter, too — more jaded. I'm not expecting rainbows and unicorns, and if I do see any mythical animals I'll dismiss them as acid flashbacks and arm myself accordingly. A .260 Remington should be enough to take down one of those suckers. They may be unicorns but they're no match for the stopping power of a 120-grain bullet traveling at close to 3,000 feet per second.

The level-headed hunter knows such things. Even with the sliver of sunshine in my eyes I'm not going to go all tharn and get gored by the unicorn's horn. I remember too well what it felt like, having one of those suckers stick me and lift me off the ground. Christ, it's a good thing the horn missed most major arteries, and even with that I nearly bled out. I'll show you my scar if you want. It's ugly but it's all mine, a bit faded with time but still worth a wince, the same way a bad knee starts aching when a nasty storm rolls in.

You won't catch me with a moon face. You won't see me tearing down the barricades; they're too thick to penetrate and they've served me well. I put in a lot of hours building those fuckers with my bare hands. Only the invited get past the double gates, and even then I'm patting down for concealed weapons. This goober won't be caught off-guard. It's the best way to make sure the happiness doesn't get shot up and wasted. It's too precious to let spill.

So: happy, yes. Healthy, yes. Heedful, yes.

And hopeful. Yes. For the first time in a long time, there is hope.

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