The Road To Happiness: A Series

Is This Your Life?

Common American Man, this is how your life will unfold. You will start with dreams, big dreams. You will believe you are ordained for exceptionalism. You will reluctantly abandon your dreams as the years pass and reality inexorably descends upon you like a choking shroud of grit. That reality looks like this –

You will get older, uglier, and fatter with each year. Soon you will notice young women no longer take your flirtations seriously. Your sloth and social detachment will worsen until people don’t even bother to be polite around you. You will gradually lower your standards in what you want in a girl until desperation pushes you to marry a dumpy oinker well past her prime. You will rut with her once a week, then once a month, then holidays only. You will relieve yourself drearily masturbating in the middle of the night by the cold flickering light of your computer monitor while that bloated seacow who doesn’t give a shit for your desires snores in the bed you can no longer get a good night’s sleep in. Your one shred of solace will come from knowing your depreciating asset (AKA wife) will have as few options as you do, virtually guaranteeing lifelong fidelity. Eventually you will have a couple of ungrateful snotty kids and your free time and discretionary cash will be completely obliterated. You will squander whatever morsels of opportunity come your way as you settle into an achingly dull job paying the median wage dutifully punching the clock as a faceless cog in the corporate machine greasing the soul-soaked gears of the global marketplace with your bitter bloody tears. You will silently mourn your impotent, shriveled manhood as the established order extracts the last penny of tribute from your broken spirit. You will numb the pain with alcohol, untold hours vegging in front of the TV, and leveling your character in World of Warcraft. Hours, days, months, years will slip away. Then, one lonely quiet cloudy day sitting in your well-worn easy chair, you’ll contemplate the arc of your life. And you’ll feel the gnawing grip of emptiness as the crushing weight of what a barren nothingness your existence proved to be presses down on you. Barely comprehending, you’ll shudder. And then, finally, the Grim Reaper will steal your last breath and you will disappear from the world as if you had never been here and when they bury you no one will really notice and no one will really care because in your whole life you never never never, not even once, stepped off the hamster wheel and did anything courageous or interesting or different.

And it will be too late when you realize that the chains clasped to your ankles and wrists were unlocked all along and you were always free to go.



4 thoughts on “The Road To Happiness: A Series

  1. I think you are being overly pessimistic about this. There is much truth in what you say – it is part of the condition of modern life that we are quite far from the wilderness of pre-modern life and now live in boxes. But most people, every day, are able to find some simple pleasures in life – and to me that is a lot.

    Things were never easy or completely free. If you look at anthropological studies, primitive people were hemmed in by their own self-created limitations. There was disease, and accidents with no hospitals to go to. And tyranny (look at the Incas or Aztecs).

    I think a lot of happiness has to do with attitude, not the conditions we find ourselves in. I remember a man who lived somewhere in the South and saw a roofing worker pouring tar on a flat roof in the middle of a very hot and humid summer. Miserable job. Yet the worker radiated happiness.

    As for your ideal lifestyle of freedom of choice, there are lots of people who still manage to achieve that, too. So even accepting all your premises, there are still many who escape the trap. I just read about a 16-year-old boy who is sailing alone around the world. There are lots of people who find their own way. I hope you do, too.

  2. Thank you for your comment, Jimmy. You’ll notice that this is a series and that the title of the series is “The Road To Happiness”. So, obviously, there is a way out and I intend to expand on that. This opener was for those that find themselves trapped and feel as I have outlined above. I would argue that the majority of people are not all that happy – Yes, they may find snippets of happiness in their daily life, but are unhappy overall. The roofer you mentioned stands out because he is not the norm, but an aberration. And I would have taken being an Inca and facing death and disease every day immediately over the life of being stuck in a gray cubicle and shitty relationship. At least the former life would have offered adventure and glory and a chance to feel alive.

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