Happiness in Space

I finally got around to watching the American documentary about Japanese call boys recommended to me by the boy in the boy’s club (one of two, I’ll have you know) in a little riad in Tangier, so many weeks ago, weeks that feel like years. I miss Tangier, I miss Morocco, I miss the warmth of The Connection’s chestnut hair, bathed in the sun and palm fronds. In any case, I watched the film on the tail end of a weekend that included surprise notice of my needing to move out of the apartment, a deluge of apathy, and the reluctant packing of my carefully ironed shirts and trousers juxtaposed with sultry text messages and sweet Skyping.

I’d be lying if I said that the initial displacement of moving home coupled with the jarring recognition of moving again didn’t render me a little tender. A close friend reminded me that people will always disappoint, regardless of what you thought or wanted or needed, and that it’s up to you to decide which people are worth weathering the disappointment for. It’s bleak, but it’s not untrue, and as I slough off the unimportant and bunker down for the storm of ambiguity to come, I try to keep that in mind and ask myself what I’m fighting for. My fear right now is disappointing myself. On New Year’s Day, I begged myself to be a little selfish. I don’t yet feel like I’ve lived up to that yet.

I want to move to Tokyo sometimes. Or Cape Town. Or Baja. Or San Francisco. I want the reckless satisfaction that comes with the sloughing and abandonment of problems mistakenly solved with the jejeune idea of running away like Alexander and a lifetime of days that are not really no-good and terrible, but just average and slightly disappointing. Part Groundhog Day, part Office Space, dismal with the occasional piquant displays of happiness, like dopamine blips when texts arrive or dogs pass by. Sometimes I wonder if these external reactions are projections of own own feelings of semi-inadequacy, because it never solves the problems, only procrastinates them as I explore the bounds of my own reality.

I mean, doesn’t everyone fall a little in love with the people they meet? Just a tiny bit, if not for the mere rush of wondering what slant the future holds? For me, it’s love as a concept. I love people so much because I don’t really feel like we’re in the same category, but I so greatly admire how we all work. I want to get as close as I can, meet as many people as possible so I can figure out how to be a little more human myself.

After the novelty of my intelligence wears off, it sometimes crosses my mind that people tire of me quickly.

The brilliance of The Great Happiness Space, the aforementioned documentary, lies in the business of selling dreams. My days are consumed by the implicit satisfaction of lying in the dark, the curtains closed to the passage of time. Here, I can’t buy, but I can fabricate the dreams unlimited like counterfeit bills and I can use them to purchase the dreams of others, to fuel my enjoyment for another brief lapse in time. Is it an investment or a gamble? I can’t say that I’m sure.


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