I was walking down the street. And I was happy.
I was walking, and I was happy, and I was holding a huge subway sandwich in between my gloved hands. I was walking, and I was thinking, and I was eating. And I was happy.
I was eating, and looking at buildings on a seasonably chilly night in New York City. I was walking, and looking at buildings that I normally pass by without ever paying them attention and I was thinking about why that is. I was eating, and mayonnaise had begun to squeeze its way out of the side of my sandwich and drip onto my gloves, but I was happy.
I was walking, and I was happy. I noticed a man walking along the edge of the sidewalk, and when he saw me he turned his trajectory so we would meet in the middle. I never stopped walking or eating or being happy. The man came directly in front of me, as close as he possibly could without touching my sandwich, but close enough that he could breathe on it.
And in the most sexual, most disgusting voice he could use he said, “Can I have bite?”
And I stopped chewing. And I stood there for a quick moment. And I took off my glove, though I’m not sure why.
And I said, “Sir…go to Hell”.
And I was not happy. I was furious.
It surprised me to hear myself say this. Surprised me I tell you, and now I’ll tell you why.
That scenario I just presented was a potpourri of emotions centered around anger, ranging from offense to shock to pure disgust. And the best response I could come up with was “Sir, go to Hell”. The lack of vulgarity is what surprised me the most. Surely I still know the bad words that most would have plugged in, but they didn’t come steaming out of me. It shows me that my efforts to speak carefully and use words worthy of my stature is working, even at moments when I don’t want it to.
But no one—no one!—has right to interfere with your happy. You remember that.
As with every year since my sophomore year of college, I’m voluntarily giving up something for Lent. This year’s sacrifice is “surfing the internet when it’s not work/volunteer related”. That was the best I could come up with, and I only chose it so that I could make sure I’d have time to read the books I’m assuming will be purchased for my birthday. I named off six books to various people, and if at least two people get me the novels I’ve asked for, I’ll have plenty to keep me occupied on my vacation.
I’m going to the Bahamas for my birthday in March with Anastasia Munoz, or Tasia for short. It’s been my dream to go somewhere warm for the last five years, and it’s finally happening. Fin-ally. And although short, not a moment of it will be wasted with a cell phone, computer, or worry. No alcohol, no crazy partying, just sun and rest and reading. And more reading. The book that I plan to start this Spring won’t get written until I have some proper inspiration.
We won’t even spend much money, I imagine, just enjoy the simple amenities that a tropical island offers. Because before I know it, I’ll be back in New York…walking and eating and looking…
…And being happy.