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So What Makes You Happy
These Days?
Edna Weisser

In the midst of world events gone haywire, stuck with
choices for my daily angst, grounded traveler reduced to
home, work, and back, a mileage earner turned immobile,
the definition of the word happiness escaped me while I

flipped between CNN and NBC. I bounced the word happy
inside my mouth, probed it with my tongue, gritted it
between my teeth. I thought it had a taste but that too has left. I flipped it in my gray matter—left brain, right brain, horizontal,

diagonal—I believe I saw it flash a smile before it said, It's
really just a state of the mind. It is not a person, not a place, not a situation, nor a chunk of time. It is all but a zeitgeist. And so I asked my soul. Tell me when I'm happy, I implored. To which it

replied, I have long stopped screaming for you. Do you want me to do it all over again? And I laughed. And when I laugh, I can't be sad. Don't scream, my soul, just don't. We've been through this before, we have outgrown this act, let's just move on. To where?

Oh don't ask, we just can't stand here, we have to go some
place, wherever that is. I tried the question with my Shopper
Friend and she said that watching the sunrise and the flowerbeds on her way to work makes her happy.
My guts told me to be

cynical, like, Girl, what happened to the kind of happiness that
you could wear.live.drive.eat.flaunt.charge? I can't listen to this kind of talk. It is very 40something, makes me feel old! And so I tried the same question on my Golfer Friend, his name is Mags.

Mags said that watching the sunrise and the sunset to and from his work make him happy. This time I laughed and replied, Haynaku, mababaw na ang nga kaligayahan ninyo! Did he forget the flowerbeds? To which Mags added that 'Everything

that does not make me sad keeps me happy.' To which I replied, 'I am not sad, so does that make me happy?' But of course I had to stop before I could say all the right things—right for him, wrong for me. Mags can twist nouns and pronouns, bend verbs

and adverbs, coil vowels and consonants, until he can torture
a confession out of me, especially the part about the late '70s!
He really believes the chapters are juicy. To which I say, I
survived the Saturday Night Fever in Makati so is that a biggie?

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So What Makes You
Happy These Days
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