Happiness is the initial realization upon waking that you do not have to work that night.
I don't have a lot of food left; I'll barely make it through payday. But I have a little something saved up, so I decide to head out; hit the local grocer and pick up some ramen, just to cover my ass.
It's different, though; I wake and within minutes, I'm on my feet. Pushed by the unseen force, I get dressed quickly and am on my way out the door, where ten minutes earlier, I was sound asleep. I don't question moments like these; I just go with them.
Sure enough, it's Saturday, it's a little warmer than I expected, and there is another festival downtown. I wonder if, weather permitting, there's a festival every weekend.
The last couple of days haven't been good. This morning, I wake up to find a contract canceled, and yesterday, I ended things with Samantha. Some people saw it as inevitable, but I was tired of causing her pain, and tired of not being good enough. I actually allowed myself to fall for this girl so hard that I have a hard time remembering Julie's last name now. I really thought she was it. I still do.
These events pass through my mind as I navigate whatever it is Jeff City has going on this week. There's a tap dancing family/group or something that has a a lot of people's attention, but the aura of something in this crowd is familiar...one of the gifts I missed was the ability to sense everyone by life force, but it only seems to work when I'm single. It usually frightens people I'm with, so I subconsciously repress.
But amid the auras of the young and old, there is something familiar, bright, and radiant that stands out atop the sea of humanity. Drawn to it, I walk towards it...and find a booth advertising free martial arts lesson for children. The practitioners are dressed in coal-black gi's reminiscent of those who practice aikido, and I realize, looking at the children who practice bo-jitsu, that they are the source of the aura I felt.
Amazing, I think. These kids are younger than my oldest, but they're stronger than some of my old opponents...stronger than I was at one point.
Indeed they are; they seamlessly link together stabbing gestures, twirls, and spins as mere ways to pass the time, with the efficiency and precision of those who devote their whole lives to the perfection of the art. I'm mesmerized, watching them laugh and joke as children, but play as martial artists. I make a mental note; I've never heard of the fighting style, but the man in charge of the booth possesses the aura of a master; there is a calm, quiet confidence about the unseeming man. If I saw him in street clothes, I probably wouldn't have felt much. I have yet to learn that trick, to keep my chi beneath the surface. But I'm getting better.
Eventually, I'll take a look at the school. Anyone who can do that to kids has to know what they're doing.
I wonder if that's why I felt so compelled to head uptown.
I enter the little grocer and quickly realize why I never shop there; their selection is fairly limited and they never have anything I like. Cool, I get to sit on my money, but food is still an issue...and I'd really like to know why He pushed me out the door. So I head back outside with eyes open and start looking for my answers.
Within a few feet, I come acorss several exhibits geared towards children and wonder how come I can't see--or feel--Sam or Dani.
Suddenly, almost subconsciously at first, and then openly, for the first time, I am scanning for Sam or Dani's presence. I realize I haven't done this as long as I've known her.
This festival is right up her alley, something she would bring Dani too and spend hours looking at all the little knick-knacks.
All the girls I've ever dated, all the endless chasing and searching, only Sam came along and eclipsed all of them, including Drea or Julie. No one else balanced me out so completely, and I was genuinely convinced that after so many years of hitting and missing, not just with girls, but with life in general, that she was it; the one. I still believe it.
But as I pass through the festival, I can neither see, nor hear or feel her. I think Dani would've called me out had she seen me.
As I prepare to leave, in the continuing drama that is my life, I catch a glimpse of something, only a flicker, as a candle burning it's brightest just before it goes out, and I turn and look. Three Days Grace in my ear; "Maybe we'll turn it all around cause it's not too late. It's never too late."
I hope they're right.
But she's not here, and I'm not sure when or even if I'll ever see her again.
And so I head home...