Happy Daze

JM - Antioch, California
Entered on April 8, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: children, hope

Happy Daze

I believe in optimism.

It was a miserable day; 110 degrees without air-conditioning at home or in my black Honda. Why? Rolling-blackouts: when the city power companies deny service to a specific area of town to conserve energy. Pity the sucker in one of those portions of town. My house was numbered among those “specific areas” destroying any hope of cool air and my black Honda- just old. I’d reached the high school’s parking lot and it was an oven; black, reflective, asphalt, heat rising in waves. I was irritable, but continued through the motions of the day.

Slowly I trudged up the hot cement steps (Why couldn’t this school have indoor hallways?!) to class. Instantly after a bell rang I found myself in a tight spot- pushing, swearing, elbowing, spiting. This was suddenly a one way staircase; I was against the flow of traffic. My brown backpack, unsteady on my shoulder, slipped off. The stampede of my peers, possessing no regard, kicked it away. What a mess. Who kicked it – the red Converse to the left or the Nike’s to the right? The bell rang, the mob dispersed. I remained stationary, rooted on the fifteenth step from the top of the amphitheater. The heat from the sun added to my boiled blood. I didn’t care anymore. Breaking point. I wanted to get even! Gah. Screw patience and love.

There came a tug at my left Capri pant leg. Staring up at me, were two bright brown eyes. The eyes belonged to a little girl wearing pink overalls, hair in pigtails; she’d recently lost a front baby tooth. She smiled while handing me the backpack. This was quite an example, it must have been a difficult task for her, she wasn’t much larger than the backpack; and she definitely weighed less than my five hardbound textbooks. Her limbs were visibly shaking from the effort, yet in the sweltering, weary heat of a miserable day she glowed. “Dwopped ‘dis.” The enthusiasm in her voice was clear; she’d pulled off an everyday miracle. Her happiness and outlook on life was equal to a yawn; contagious. My backpack reclaimed I asked why she helped me. “Right. Good!” She skipped off, smiling, toward the small red slide within the school’s daycare center.

I found her attitude inspiring. She was so content with life. I wondered when I’d become so bitter. I made a conscience effort ever since to “look on the bright side of life”, to be a little friendlier, a little more patient. I found life more pleasant, slightly easier to bear with optimism. That philosophy was taken from a little girl with a smile.