Searching for Happiness
I decided to deal with my dread of not knowing by reading tea leaves. I didn’t steep them and then read the dregs, I laid them out dry on the kitchen table and shaped them into letters, vowels mostly and the most-used consonants. I avoided X & Z but kept Y because you need Y to spell happy.
It took awhile, I had to go back to the store for another box of leaves, I was making the letters too big. But I finally got it done.
“You will win the mega-lotto and find the love of your life and be happy forever,” the tea leaves said.
“Jesus,” my only friend Anthony said, “Jesus, man, that’s not how it works. What’s the matter with you?”
“I’m not happy,” I said, and Anthony said, “Maybe you should go to a fortune teller, let her read the leaves like it’s supposed to be done.”
“How’s that?” I said, and Anthony said, “How the hell should I know?”
I gave up on the tea leaves and started making voodoo dolls for everyone I could think of who made me unhappy. A year went by and my rented room was packed with dolls with their names on slips of paper tied around their necks with string like tiny nooses. Then I stuck pins in them.
There was hardly any room to move around in, I had three narrow paths connecting the door to my room, the bathroom, and the cot that I slept on.
But when I ran into people on the street I’d made dolls of, they seemed like nothing had changed, like they were still happy.
I finally gave up on the dolls too. At first I didn’t know what to try next, and then it occurred to me I should buy a gun.