Thursday, 13 May 2010

This includes no Venn diagrams

I couldn't pin it down. I tried analysing the air, the temperature, the slant of the sun, my rate of footsteps per minute, none of this data helped. The problem was I was too happy, too happy by far.  I was walking down a long hill in the afternoon sunlight crammed-full of contentedness. Everything seemed in order and I was almost enjoying myself when I noticed one big thing - the absence of all problems.

The air was full of bushfire smoke but this reminded me of my youth when a bushfire suspended all ordinary business, the adults all stayed inside (once they had finished plugging up the roof gutters and filling them with water) glued to the television and radio, at the same time. I would wander about the streets marvelling at the dense and luminous orange air.

I was slightly too warm but I was cheered by wearing an electric blue cardigan and knowing if I became any warmer I could take it off and be perfectly comfortable even at a brisk walking pace. I was carrying a bag but it was light and swung contentedly in a perfect arc. I was sure that a random wave of sorrow, anxiety or misfortune would hit at any moment and return the world to order, but it didn't.

Five minutes after arriving at The Peach I was installed on The Peach Deck with tea and toast on a tray, a cat on my lap and a book in my hand but I was still far too happy. I found my book kept lowering itself to allow me to stare dreamily at the sky in a contented way. This is when I became seriously alarmed. 

It didn't seem possible for such a heady mix of cheer, goodwill and contentedness to descend on me without some serious repercussions. The extreme sense of wellbeing faded gently into ordinary after sunset but I'm still waiting to hear who died, or blew up or accidentally killed their lover whilst sleepwalking with machete. Come to think of it I had better telephone my mother and make sure she is still alive. Who knows who I could have harmed by holding a whole afternoon of happiness in my hands.

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