I used to have a friend who was an eternal malcontent. He chased happiness, convinced that he would find it first in Hawaii, then in California. But really, he was miserable and managed to find misery everywhere he went. In Hawaii, he found one of the worst areas and left soon after bemoaning his misfortune. Always the victim.
But he was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, a city that many aspire or dream to live in. He did not see his own good fortune. More than any other single person or incident, this friend poignantly illustrated the nature of unhappiness and that even in New York City, it is easy to be unhappy, regardless of all the people, places, and culture.
There are people who actually believe that places, money, or things buy happiness. They may not say it directly, but it is evident in their words. If had this or that, if I lived there instead of here. You know someone like my friend for sure. And perhaps, like the lyrics from Nowhere Man by the Beatles, at times, you may find - isn't he a bit like you and me?
I hate when people ask, "How are you doing?" because it is a perfunctory question with no intent to hear the truth. I am going to be honest with you in a way that very few are. I really don't want to write today, and I have nothing much to say. But the "daily photo" is an obligation, and until such time I change the premise, I will meet that obligation. Worse than Seinfeld's show about nothing, this is a story about not wanting to write a story.
Yesterday, I was not in a great mood. I reflected on what I might do for today's story. I had neither any good ideas nor any good photos. I had a personal conflict and was miserable. How will I possibly keep up the standard for writing and taking photos with an attitude like that?
As I drove in Manhattan to move my vehicle, I felt weighed down by the leaden skies of the city. It was gray and gloomy with a raw cold. I only left home in the late evening. What little light remained was cast from a winter sun hanging low in the sky behind a solid mass of clouds. New York City was no joy at all. Skyscrapers along Sixth Avenue were not uplifting at all but just seemed to be humiliating and adding insult to injury. So dreary, it was reminiscent of northern Maine, where my family grew up. Only living in the Arctic Circle during the Dark Time seemed worse.
People were scurrying about in an obligatory way, getting through the cold like our Nordic brethren, killing time while waiting for spring and better weather. The best I could muster is an idea to take a photo of the gray day for a blue story. It's time for a remake of that song in honor of my old friend and anyone feeling the blues. Let's call it Unhappy Man with the same refrain - Isn't he a bit like you and me :(
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