• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 10

The Wait

Try and picture yourself in your Happy Place, that’s what they always say isn’t it. My Happy Place? Oh, but that’s tough. I’m thinking mountains and lakes and a moonrise and…and rainbows. No hang on that’s not possible. Whose Happy Place is that? It’s no place I’ve ever been. This is supposed to be about me. Where and when was I happy? In that attic room with Shannon? When we were just fooling around and then…and then it wasn’t foolish at all. Well yes, in the moment I was happy, of course. But then later when it turned out it was just a moment not so much. The opposite in fact. So I can’t go there.

At the funfair maybe? Sitting on my dad’s shoulders, getting candyfloss in his hair. Laughing. Then trying to catch a plastic duck with a stick to win a goldfish. With the flashing and crashing and shrieking of the dodgems and the Wurlitzer all around. And they always give you the goldfish in the end anyway. That was happiness then but that isn’t what I need now. Not that commotion and all those other people.

Happy Place? A smiling face in a joyful space. You’re a disgrace to the human race. Wait, where did that come from? Jesus, this is making things worse. Calm down. Focus on your breathing. What, so I can’t even breathe normally now? The most natural and essential thing in the world. The one thing you should never need to think about. Try again.

Happy Place? All right so I’m floating in the sea, the sun ricocheting off the surface. Seagulls overhead and salt-spray on my face. I turn my head towards the shore and they’re all waving to me and I feel a sense of lightness and peace. Yes, this is better. What next? Well, they’re still waving but they seem so far away now. And the sun is so bright and I feel so free and then. And then? Oh, never mind that will do for now. For a Happy Place. I wonder how much longer it will be. How long has it been already? I’m sure it will be my turn soon. For whatever it is. Happy Place? That’s just a daft name for a fish ‘n’ chip shop, isn’t it ?