Riding home on the Chinatown bus, the reading light was burned out so all I could do was stare off into the night and ponder. The guy next to me keeps disinfecting his hands with some germ-kill goo and the smell of it burns my eyes. I'm wondering about a phrase I heard this weekend in New York. I'm thinking of what it means to be 50% happy.
50% happy. Is it pleasant, like being half-asleep? Or is it awful, like being half-awake? I suppose that's a pretty personal perspective. I suppose that it must vary from person to person, from minute to minute. The bus was crawling down the Turnpike. I felt like I was never going to get back to DC.
I have always wanted most of all to be able to be two people at once. That would lessen the burden of committing myself to any specific path, knowing that I could keep one of my selves free and unburdened by choices while the other pursued a stable and practical life, ending with maybe a comparing of notes and a discussion of the plusses and minuses of either path. But, would such a double-life doom one to no more than 50% happiness? It is possible, I suppose, that focus and commitment to something (another person, a cause, a job, God, a community, a fetish, baseball statistics, model trains, cool shoes - who knows?) is the way to raise that percentage slowly and steadily over the course of a lifetime. Maybe, if we try, we can get up to 75-80% happiness. Who knows?
Arriving in Washington last night, the trees were already white with spring blossoms. New York didn't have that. I forget how much I've grown used to this place. I'm home here, for now. New York is fun and exciting, but it isn't home to me. It's where my friends live. It's also where my friend's kids are growing up and I am a little sad to not to see more of that. But there are choices that get made and at least we have a little springtime here in the District. A nice middle ground would just be to visit more.