I once heard it said that happiness, or the lack thereof, is a state of contentment influenced by outside stimuli. Conversely, I have also heard it said that joy is a state of inner contentment or delight that resists outside influences. For example, I found that when I was outside working in my garden, I experienced happiness. When I discovered that the backyard groundhog (nicknamed “ground cow”) breached my fence and ravished my snap peas, I was unhappy. Obviously, this beast was not related to the well-behaved Punxsutawney Phil on the television. Truthfully, I was angry when my plants were invaded – but my joy for gardening remained. That inner joy was a sign of the creative life inside me. I have learned to enjoy that creative aspect manifested as the intersection of a woman and her dirt.
Time and Tide Do Not Wait
Jon Stevens hadn’t seen a living person in weeks, and he preferred it that way since just about every one of those so-called human beings had tried to kill him for either his meager belongings or for food. Not that he often carried food because it was hard to come by even when he was looking for it – but rather these two-footed beasts considered him to be a convenient source of nourishment. Small animals had become nearly non-existent, at least where people were trying to survive. Big game like deer and bear had moved deeper into wooded areas that were much harder for the hungry few to navigate. Human beings were now food for each other. No one in Jon’s neighborhood saw this coming – the power outage eleven months ago that everyone thought would last a few hours and turned out to be permanent. Now people were eating each other. “How the hell does this happen?” Jon mused to himself walking carefully among the trees along what used to be Interstate 79 North.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
Marcus took another long drag on his cigarette, letting the smoke fill his lungs and holding it briefly as the nicotine shot into his bloodstream, and then exhaled slowly as if letting the smoke go was speeding him closer toward his meeting with death. He wasn’t a smoker. Or a drinker for that matter. But when Henry came on shift and offered Marcus the already lit cigarette, something inside just said “Oh, what the hell.”