Life is suffocating and boring, sometimes, don’t you think?
—I rarely, if ever, get that impression. I certainly have my problems and anxieties. However, despite all the stress I have had in my life, it seems to me that I have always had the strength to continue.
—You have happiness in you.
—There are days when I wouldn’t mind dying.
—To die? Come on, it would be easier.
—It will be easier, indeed, one day, but for now, I will continue.
— You see, you have happiness stuck to your skin.
I smile inside, puzzled. The conversation takes place on one of these meeting boards. I’ve known the man for about five years. We never met, but we almost did. We had an appointment at a restaurant. He never came, apologizing later for a practical “something urgent to do”.
This friend is in the closet, which I abhor without condemning, comfortable as he is in his bourgeois life, well paid by his university, on the verge of retirement, seeking the silent company of men while his wife and children sleep in other rooms.
He feels trapped and there is no point in lecturing him about the decisions to be made, because I have as many beams in my eyes as he does. I can understand his suffocation, but I cannot be for him that substitute of happiness that he will suck as a bear and his honey. There are many of these missed appointments, with people who only cling to your branches for the duration of an accidental gust. I am the first to believe that it is necessary to kiss many toads before meeting own’s Prince Charming and I can understand that one clings to the one found, even on the Internet, even if the fairy tale is only a bad truth passed through the mill of convenience. It is as easy for me to claim that I continue with resilience and simplicity. I too am dying in my little closet of uncertainties and, as I grow older, I am finding reasons that do not necessarily hold water.
A year ago, I had some strange suicidal thoughts. When I saw the subway train arriving at the station, I imagined myself rushing ahead. My body told me to do it. It really disturbed me, to the point of making me think about what I wanted in life. I don’t think I have the courage or conviction to end my life, because things are passing by and the mystery of my life is casting too strong a light on me for me to turn away from it so happily.
I am more and more elsewhere, it seems to me, happy with my current situation, even if, in many respects, it is fragile. I am coming out of the financial slump in which I got bogged down (in fact, I manage, up to the last news, to float). I have very good friends and I don’t think I’ll die alone. I preserve my happiness.
Last Sunday, I attended an agnostic baptism. The celebrant told us, the most ecumenically possible, that we came from the same light. I see this light daily, and I don’t really need any further explanation. Maybe it’s just that I have this naive happiness in me. I have these hands full of a certain innocence. I don’t know. We could say that I am old enough not to care, that the game, for me, is no longer worth it and that, blessed I am to be happy and content to catch a furtive ray of sunshine.
I don’t want to be bothered by other people’s shadows anymore. I am willing to participate in their passions, to know and understand their movements, to help them also to walk, to take a break with them, to take their paths or invite them to those of my interior gardens, but as long as their troubles are not vampire decoys.
I love the light, I breathe it. I want to live.