The Gauge of Happiness

I’ve forgotten when it all started, but there came a time when I wanted a certain August day to pass by unnoticed. Without fanfare, without any commotion. Not that I wasn’t thankful for the blessing of making it past another year, but I just wanted it to be a quiet day, free from the unnecessary spotlight that was traditionally imposed on celebrants like myself.

Also, one other reason is that I didn’t want anyone spending on gifts for me. I was already quite content just being in the company of family and friends, so I’ve never expected any gifts of the material kind. It sounds like something out of a Shōnen manga, but there was no better gift for me than friendship.

One day, out of nowhere, a friend of mine asked me what I thought about guitar picks. True to form, I almost rambled on about the perks of playing the guitar using a pick, and the difference in sound quality. I asked Tonet why the sudden interest, and I was told that it was for someone she knew who plays the guitar.

At that moment my mind was thinking: Riiiight. But of course, I didn’t make a big deal out of it. Not even when she asked if a pick was something that I would enjoy using when playing the guitar. I replied with a shrug, as if to say yeah it’s okay to have one, but it’s also okay either way.

I think a week had already passed since I turned a year older, when another friend of mine asked me to drop by her station because she had something that she wanted to hand over to me. She wouldn’t say what it was, only that it was something that I can use, but might decide not to use. It was also something that she doesn’t use. With those clues, a guitar pick was the second thing that came to mind. Vlad said it was almost time for her to leave, so she was thinking of just leaving the mystery item on her table, for me to pick up. I told her to wait, and I rushed over to the other side of the building.

As she raised her closed hand to me, I had a foreboding premonition that what I had been thinking was coming true; And that was even after I told Vlad and the others off-hand during lunch that I wasn’t keen on receiving gifts of any kind. I was unfortunately too simple when it came to happiness, and never needed big gifts to make my day.

On my friend’s hand was a Tortex® Pitch Black Jazz III guitar pick, and as I looked at it, a sudden rush of delightful memories flooded through me. Me learning to play the guitar. My father giving me my first pick. That, and every other blessed memory filled me with such unspeakable joy. I knew I said that I didn’t want gifts, but when it was something so sweet and so thoughtful, then it gets me all misty inside. It was just a small and round triangular device that you use when playing a certain string instrument, but as I held it in my hands it felt so much more than that.

 

Sometimes, happiness comes in 0.50 mm packages. :)

-Ed. E.

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