Four Small Keys to Happiness

I have sorted thing out finally and I am old enough to have rid myself of nearly all social pressures on my preferences. I figure there are only four things I really like, four keys to my happiness. Here they are:

I like writing and I like re-writing. That’s any time of day or night that I am awake. I enjoy writing just about everything, including stories, essays, scholarly papers, but also advertising slogans, and even technical “how-to” notices. I write on my PC but also long-hand, even on the back of envelopes. Sometimes, people even read what I write. My friends think I have a self-esteem problem because I am pleased with just about everything I write. I have no clear idea of what they mean. I am mostly happy because I write nearly every day.

I like foods that taste like themselves, beef that tastes only like beef and fish that tastes like fish. There are a few exceptions though. It’s OK for tripe to carry other flavors. That would be cow stomach, served as menudo, in Spanish, for example. In season, I eat fresh cauliflower raw with a little vinegar. I can do that five meals in a row without tiring. As a rule, I will eat anything any other human being anywhere eats as long as it’s distinctive. I make only two exceptions: Ordinarily, I would not consume people, or even dogs whose name I know.

Nouvelle Cuisine is not for me. It’s just putting together foods that don’t belong on the same plate and sprinkling them with raspberry vinegar. California Cuisine just means eating fresh vegetables. My grandmother advised much the same and she was not from California. Almost any wine will do to accompany my food. I have no refinement in that respect (or in any other) and I don’t pretend to.

I am married to an intelligent, resourceful woman who would rather please me than not, at least much of the time. I am a decent cook myself. My tastes are not luxurious. Usually, my food is satisfying. So, I am happy most of the time.

A silvery, bounding fish hooked while trolling under sail on a sunny day at sea, I like desperately. Why “desperately”? Because it’s only happened four times. Each instance occupies an unseemly amount of space in my pleasure memory.

Making love ziplessly to a needy woman who is almost a stranger, I really, really like. It happened more than four times but it was a long time ago so, I am not even completely sure I was involved anymore.

© Jacques Delacroix 2008, 2009

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