Remember When We Used to be Happy

Remember when we used to be happy? Unapologetically happy?

8:02 pm on a Saturday: “Wtp?” “Any moves tonight?” “Hey girly are you gonna pre?” I’d just spent all day emotionally and physically recovering from last night’s drunken mistakes, the shivering walk home, and the intoxicating effects on my body. All I did was clean alone, answer emails alone, and eat in the dining hall alone. Where’s my spark? 

I can tell you where it is. It’s in that wine bottle. Yesterday it was in the tequila bottle. Liquid rapture down my throat, each gulp giving life to a smile I haven’t seen since last Saturday night. Where did the regular smile go? The one that instinctively emerged upon seeing our parents’ faces for the first time. The one that overtook us with wonder on Christmas morning. The one precipitated by running around the playground, cooking with our moms, coloring in a book. I used to smile while walking around. Unprovoked. Just there—happy. No complications, no nuances, no causes or effects, just a smile. Teeth showing, dimples pronounced, cheeks hurting from joy. 

Have we reached the point where we find comfort in sadness because it’s become our resting state? Do we subconsciously find the somber in what’s around us so we can stay…sad? In constant fear of the inevitable loss of the next happy feeling? 

What happened to our default smiles? 

We left them somewhere between playgrounds, posies, playing and deadlines, depression, and drinks.

Remember when we used to be happy? 

But, yes. The pre is at 10:30.

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