Merry Happy

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Merry Happy Empty Merry Happy

Post  Jessica Swanson on Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:22 pm

Well, I was bored the other night and listening to the song "Merry Happy" by Kate Nash and so I decided to write a story based on it. Unedited because I didn't feel like it.

I can watch the sunset on my own.

It’s more peaceful that way, away from all the noise and bustle of other people. I did that when I was younger- hid away from the crowds, the gatherings, the groups, even the small ones. I wasn’t lonely- just alone. And I liked it that way. No one to annoy me with their blabbering about politics and money and clothes. And if anyone ever tried to accompany me, when I wanted to stay in solitude, I just scared them away with some morbid comment. “What’s the point, we all end up dust.” “I smell blood. All the time.” “Is there any purpose in life? Really?”

Well, I suppose that’s what got me labeled as a depressing suicidal loner. (Really I was just a loner. And a happy one, at that.) It’s what got me boxed up and mailed off to a therapist in Manhattan. He had a goatee and round glasses, and his mouth moved like a Muppet’s. I called him a number of things- Freud, Moron, Shrinkwrap. Not behind his back, but to his face. After ten hour-long sessions, he’d yanked over a thousand dollars from my parents, who’d gleaned only the knowledge that inkblots look like inkblots to me.

That’s when I started writing. I wrote poems, songs, limericks, couplets, graffiti’d all over my walls and arms, and occasionally in notebooks like a normal person. I tried to write a novel once, but after a couple pages the characters started driving me nuts so I killed them all off in a freak car accident and dubbed it a tragic short story. Despite that, Mom and Dad loosened up. They stopped worrying about me and let me go on my merry monologue-writing way. Without a psychotic cutter for a daughter, the two of them were free to sit back and get a divorce.

That was 2002. Since then I’ve gained three inches, fourteen pounds, and sixteen haircuts. I went to college for no apparent reason and flew out of there with a mostly useless diploma, and I still don’t know what I want to do with the rest of my life. Everything I wanted to be when I was younger is too ambitious to prepare for now, and everything I want to be now is too simple to warrant any enthusiasm.

So here I am, in what I’m attempting to call a temporary job as a waitress, in what I’m attempting to call a temporary crappy one-window apartment. Still, it’s a window, and it works just as well as any other. Faces the west, just like I like. I set up a couch right in front of it, the way most people do with their TVs, and I’ve sat there and watched the sunset without fail for every day I’ve lived here.

Almost every day. There was that one time when you stopped by after work and taxi’d me off to the park, spread a blanket under a big tree and handed me half a sub sandwich you’d gotten for free because the bread was stale and the pastrami had been left unrefrigerated all night.

I woke up the next morning in your bed and sprinted for the bathroom – damn questionable lunchmeat. But I still remember your hands yanking my hair away from my face and holding it against the back of my sweaty neck as I relinquished the half-thoughtful dinner into the toilet, and that was the first sign of true affection I ever really saw from you. So I guess I have to thank the idiot at Subway, for giving you a chance to make me happy.

That’s what I remember most from the couple weeks we were together – being happy. Not relieved happy, not hyper happy, not even “thank God you reminded me to cover the spaghetti sauce before microwaving it” happy. Just in-general happy, all the time, like having perpetual good luck or owning a dog.

Or like the promise of a sunset every day. You were that promise. Even though I only ever watched the sunset that one time with you, I realized that I could count on you. Not indefinitely, but to an extent. I knew you would always be there, even if “there” wasn’t here.

I’m used to being alone, though. I even like it. It’s not like that book I read in high school, Flowers for Algernon. I thought it would be but it’s not. Everything went back to normal after you left. I went back to normal- if what I was can be called that. I hummed while I carried coffee to customers at work, I scribbled song ideas on the insides of my elbows, I went shopping at the mall. (Not that going to the mall was very much a part of my behavior, but I needed a nice outfit and I was craving a soft pretzel.) I did laundry (and shrank the nice outfit, which led to a stream of cursing and scaring Mrs. Netters as she stepped into the laundry room). I tried new things (like yoga) and continued with old things (like yogurt) and lived my life. I watched the sunset on my own.

It was the Wednesday after you left that I realized: my life isn’t a movie. It’s not one of those drawn out romantic comedies with a killer soundtrack and actresses that keep hopping in and out of rehab. There are no characters, there is no plot, there is no pre-set script that everyone has to follow. The only soundtrack is the music in my head. It’s not a movie. It’s my life.

I wrote a song about a flume ride yesterday. Maybe someday you’ll hear it on the radio. Or maybe you wrecked your truck on the way to LA and damaged your stereo, so now you’ll never hear my song. I don’t really care. It doesn’t much matter, does it? We’re all going to die anyway.

Just stating a fact. Seriously, though, I’m happy. It’s my own special brand of happy.

You’ll never understand.
Jessica Swanson
Jessica Swanson

Posts : 31
Join date : 2010-07-23
Age : 22
Location : Summerville, South Carolina

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