Of late I’ve been thinking, from time to time, about joy – the sort of moment that lights you up like a Christmas tree and then leaves you just as suddenly, but that’s ok, because you’ve been there, haven’t you! Music seems to have a lot to do with it…sometimes sex. Often nature. Sex IN nature while listening to music…yes! So this is a little memory from my life that I wrote for friends…and a song to go with it.
Words for joy seem inadequate to describe these moments of utter connection. Happiness, bliss, ecstasy, intoxication, rapture – none of these terms seem quite right. I am in a bar, of all places, playing pool – a game I am not good at – with a glass of beer on the table – a drink I do not like – with a temporary friend, a woman with whom I have nothing much in common. The bar is full of Africans; she is mildly racist.
Oh but my God, the potency and power of that pool cue as I balance it in my hand, the beautiful buzz of flirtation, desirability, peril, possibility, the unaccustomed thrill of having a friend of the female persuasion, for once, the secret satisfaction of knowing that I am more pusillanimous than she, the sheer fun of bending over the balls, sighting my shot like a sniper, the snap of the hit and spin and thunk into the pocket, a fantastic fluke.
And then this feeling of reasonless felicity, as if the universe has opened its infinite palm and released a torrent of light, a comet, a halo of happiness white, neon blue, a flower, a flame,, and my grin barely able to contain it all. I should be a burning tower, an exploding star, a wave, a dragon, but I’m just me.
“You know what,” I say to my nervous and narrow companion, “Right now I’m really, really happy!”
“Are you?” she says, and by her uncertain, wary smile I understand that she sees no reason for this hyperbolic happiness, for where are we but in a bar, dingy, unkempt and full of dark foreign faces, her make up worn in vain for there’s no swain here she’d choose to seduce, both of us playing pool poorly, and the drinks cheap and flat.
Words fail and flounder, when divine fire strikes, and I’m its conductor. But like any lightning rod, I must be grounded, connected, a conduit. I can’t do it alone. Spontaneous combustion, a crackle in the atmosphere, a living spark, conflagration. Why we live.
And the song…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJwLIG4bwIo
Moving from the, um, sublime to the not so sublime, if you’re in the mood to pick up a free first-of-series in the paranormal/scifi/fantasy genres, there’s a bunch of them to be found here! I’ve downloaded a few myself, in my endless search for the Great Indie Novel – so if you do drop by the promotion, tell me if you find a good one.