in the pursuit of emptiness

There are days when you wake in the morning and everything feels great. And then there are days that are simply "blah".  We all have days like that. Days that either start off wrong or days that carried over last night’s baggage and you wake up wanting to just kill yourself. That is my day today.

In the great taxonomy of things, there are the quitters and there are the sluggers. It’s not rocket science. Quitters are those who quit and the sluggers those who slug it out. The kind of people who keep on delivering hard blows during trying times. They miss out, they’ve struck out but they don’t give a damn.

I am a selective slugger. I am picky about which things to slug out. Why? I am a terrible loser. I hate it when others let me down and you can just imagine how I hate myself when I let myself down. As a form of damage deterrence, I pick my battles really well. That is, I only head-butt those that I am most likely to win. I don’t take defeat well but my system has insulated me from what would amount to years of self-loathing and expensive psychotherapy had I not discovered it at all.

Like all systems, my system has a flaw. It bucks down (or doesn’t operate at all) when I am in love. This has made my hardscrabble love life a discouraging flop. I just want to be happy. I want to be loved. Scratch that. I want to be true-loved. God, I hate this. It’s like laugh trip with annoi and jay all over again when we didn’t have love lives!!

Don’t you want to be happy?  Aren’t you happy when you feel that you are loved? If you think otherwise, then you are in dire need of clinical psychological help because that thing that you have going on, it’s not normal, it’s not even deviant. It doesn’t need Frued to analyze that.

So there it is. The fluke. I want to be happy.

Did you know that the pursuit of happiness is an inalienable right in the

US

. It’s waaay up there with life and liberty. I think it was toxic stupidity for Thomas Jefferson to have said it so. Chuang Tzu said that happiness is the absence of striving for happiness. I got that from a text message that arway forwarded. Thanks Arway. But such is human nature that the more succinctly we state the truth, the better we become at ignoring it. I see Americans all the time on TV and in the movies and they don’t look very happy. In fact, I’m watching the Oscar Red Carpet coverage rerun on

2nd Avenue

right now and I’ve counted only 7 smiles in the past 4 minutes or so. Out of the 7, at least 5 are insincere. Weird huh? And they have it in their constitution! It’s not just the Americans. I see the same expression of troubled self-absorption here.. and in

Dubai

.. and everywhere else I have traveled to. It’s a universal mask.

Here, we suffer the tyranny of fraudulent bonhomie. Big Brother has arrived as the great Smiley Face. I think I probably sensed this early, since I came from a barkada where nearly everyone drank themselves into oblivion during times like right after midterms and finals exams or the first day when school lets out for the Christmas break when happiness was most pathologically pursued.

My boyfriend and I had a fight last night in Greenhills. He made the age difference between us an issue. He said something offensive and I walked away. We haven’t spoken since. The walking away thing, it was very immature, but I was trying to avoid making a scene. Having thought about it, I ought to take a stab at graceful adulthood.

My new platitude: "Avoid the pursuit of happiness. Seek to define your mission and pursue that." It beats the old one that reads: Love, Life and the Unmarried Me: Single and looking.

My boyfriend asked me last night why I overlook the fact that he’s not there for me. I couldn’t really answer him then because I was caught off guard. It has dawned on me just now that it doesn’t bug me because I know that he’s working on it right now, and he’ll make it up to me. The differences between us, they’re not irreconcilable. We are a work in progress. Last night was just a misunderstanding.

Jefferson

‘s aspiration had become a law. Anything can happen.

By the way, I didn’t sob home as I usually do. How’s that for mature?

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